Because we live in a country where nothing is impossible, there is no certainty that, come 2019, President Muhammadu Buhari would get the majority votes and emerge winner of the presidential race. If that day comes, would he do the honourable thing, just like his predecessor and make that call?
I guess you know the call I’m referring to: the one where the loser congratulates the winner and concedes defeat. That call when it was made in 2015—from what we were told—saved the country from anarchy and prevented loss of lives. That call brought about stability to the country and forced all those already beating the drums of war to change their tune, sheathe their swords and change their dance steps while at it.
The party in opposition at the time read the mood of the people perfectly and came up with the right messaging that promised change. The ground swell of support was overwhelming at a time when Nigerians were concerned about the abducted girls from Chibok and growing level of insecurity and random acts of terror in parts of the country including the nation’s capital.
Not much has changed since then, and some might argue with strong points in support of their claim that we are worse off now than we were then. The plot has thickened into a black wrecking ball and the intrigues wouldn’t have played out better if they were scripted by the writers of the hit American political drama, House of Cards starring Robin Wright and the out-of-favour Kevin Spacey.
With the dwindling popularity of the party in power and the resurgence of the main opposition party, what seemed unlikely only a few months ago now seem probable. The fact that the leader of the party and President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria is unable to make a connection with the people he serves and sustain the acceptance he enjoyed in the first few months in office should give him and his supporters serious cause for concern.
Equally alarming and counter-productive, if you ask me, is the belligerent tone and abrasive attitude Comrade Adams Oshiomole has displayed since he emerged as party chairman.
Nigerians have now seen—from the recently conducted governorship election in Ekiti state and bye-elections in Kogi, Katsina and Bauchi states—that the ruling party might not play fair in the general elections coming up in a few months’ time. Nigerians have also seen from the experience of Bayelsa state in its 2015/2016 governorship election that the APC as a party is not undefeatable.
What Nigerians have also seen with the repeated use of the word “must” by Adams Oshiomole in reference to the planned impeachment of the senate president is in fear of losing and being on the back foot, and of course a desperation to hold on to power at all cost.
APC could rig all they want. They could buy all the votes they want from people who feel that their PVC is an ATM card. They could send one hundred policemen to each polling station to intimidate voters into thumb printing against the broom. They could summon the INEC meeting for a lecture on returning the incumbent. They could send the DSS and EFCC to lock up every credible challenger in other parties. They could even jail all the Samuel Ogundipes and journalists everywhere.
They could do all these things and more but still lose the elections because there is a greater awareness amongst Nigerians about their rights and the power in their voter’s card. The number may be small now but it is growing, and it is being emboldened everyday by successful campaigns like the call to end SARS known to be spearheaded by Segun Awosanya known by Nigerian Twitter as @segalinks and the calls made in this light by Dr. Chidi Odinkalu.
If that day comes in March 2019 and the votes are counted and a Kingsley Moghalu or the flagbearer for the PDP, or any other candidate from any other party for that matter has more votes than the incumbent, President Muhammadu Buhari; would the president pick up his Nokia 3310 phone (because they say the president is a frugal man) and make that call?
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