The General elections of 2015 is perhaps like none other in Nigeria’s recent history. It is an election which has been played up as a battle for the heart and soul of Nigeria, especially at a time when Africa’s “giant” is tottering.
An unbroken 16 year rule of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) at the federal level implies that for a long time Nigeria was in reality a one party state. However, for the first time ever, the self styled “biggest party in Nigeria” is getting a run for its money.
An amalgam of various opposition parties formed the now powerful opposition, the All Progressives Congress (APC) and finally, it’s looking like a contest.
Let us examine the Nigerian situation; there’s a war in the North East and Boko Haram’s confidence growing in leaps and bounds. Poverty is at an all time high and we’re an unemployment percentage which would probably be unacceptable anywhere else in the world.
Nigeria and Nigerians are faced with the unenviable decision of having to choose the captain of this distressed ship for the next four years.
The New York Times Editorial aptly tagged it “the dispiriting choice of keeping a lousy incumbent or returning to power a former autocratic leader”. Professor Wole Soyinka has of course been vocal as well calling both Presidential candidates “problematic”.
Having lost out in three Presidential elections, it is hard to project the APC Presidential candidate Muhammadu Buhari as the “savior” especially considering his military background. We are placed between Scylla and Charybdis- an unenviable choice.
However, an incumbent who has little to commend himself to the voting public and has hinged the bulk of the campaign on discrediting the opposition candidate tells a whole other story.
If Muhammadu Buhari has become popular, the cause isn’t far fetched, the Goodluck administration remained lackluster about all the issues affecting Nigerians.
When asked about Nigeria’s rising poverty level, the President insisted that Nigeria cannot be poor, seeing as Nigerians own a sizable number of private jets. His utterance, more than anything, showed the government’s ignorance of our real problems.
As I sit down to type this in semi darkness, I’m reminded of the inability of the government to provide the much promised 6,000 MW of electricity.
Perhaps it detracts from much of the condemnation that most of it has been done by the not so impeccable former President, Olusegun Obasanjo. Many have of course gone up in arms to contest Obasanjo’s moral standing to criticize an incumbent seeing as he wasn’t exactly a role model of great governance.
Be that as it may, our choices loom large over us, will it be Scylla or Charybdis?