How To Lose The Presidential Election Four Times


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How To Lose The Presidential Election Four Times
Posted on: December 23, 2014, 09:41:50 PM
y Femi Aribisala
If anybody would like to be a serial loser of the
presidential election in Nigeria, here is a list of
what he needs to do; according to the blueprint
of Muhammadu Buhari.
If one were to decode the guiding principle of
Muhammadu Buhari’s presidential ambitions, it would
be this: “If at first you don’t succeed, don’t give
up until you have failed three more times on the
trot.” Nigerians don’t want Muhammadu Buhari to be
our president. We have said this repeatedly since
1999. But Buhari simply refuses to take “No” for an
answer. When is he finally going to get the
message that an overwhelming majority of Nigerians
don’t want him?
Buhari is the last of yesterday’s men who insist
that a country of 170 million people must
continue to rely on the leadership of the same
old and failed generation. Nigerians have already
put paid to the presumptions of Olusegun
Obasanjo; who wanted a fourth term; Ibrahim
Babangida; who stepped aside and wanted to step
back in; and Atiku Abubakar, who runs a marathon
for the presidency. Buhari is the last of these
recalcitrant dinosaurs. The one good thing about
the coming presidential election is that it is
likely to provide Nigerians with a final definitive
opportunity to send him permanently into
Buhari’s repeated failure to secure a national
mandate provides a textbook case of how not to
run for the presidency in a plural country like
Nigeria. This is a compendium of some of the
reasons why the Nigerian presidency will forever
elude men like Buhari, inspire of all the song and
dance that attends their candidacies. If anybody
would like to be a serial loser of the
presidential election in Nigeria, here is a list of
what he needs to do; according to the blueprint
of Muhammadu Buhari.
Be an enemy of democracy
Claim you are anti-corruption but steal the
presidency of the entire country through an illegal
and fraudulent military coup. Claim you are a
democrat after you overthrew a democratically
elected government in 1983 and made yourself Head
of State without the consent of the people of
Nigeria. As military Head of State, refuse to
entertain any plan for a return to civilian rule.
Tell Nigerians that anyone who discusses a return
to civil rule would be arrested.
Overthrow a government, but be more against the
opposition than the government in power. Establish
manhunts for key politicians in the length and
breadth of the country. Nevertheless, allow key
elements of the ruling NPN to escape out of the
country, including party chairman, Richard Akinloye;
legal counsel, Richard Akinjide; and Minister of
Transport, Umaru Dikko. Allow the Secretary-
General of the party, Uba Ahmed, to escape
abroad, even after he had mistakenly returned to
the country and was arrested and jailed.
Violate human rights
Promulgate the infamous Decree 2 that makes even
the reporting of the truth a punishable offence.
Use it to imprison Tunde Thompson and Nduka
Irabo, two journalists from the South, for reporting
stories that were factually true. Then tell
Nigerian journalists: “It does not matter whether
the story reported was true or not, if my regime
does not like it, the writer would go to jail.”
Try Nigerian civilians in military tribunals as
opposed to regular courts of law in violation of
internationally acceptable legal norms. Create a
secret police, the National Security Organization
(NSO) for the first time in Nigeria’s history under
infamous Lawal Rafindadi to harass and imprison
without trial Nigerian citizens in clear violation of
their human rights.
Publicly murder three Nigerians; Lawal Ojuolape (30),
Bernard Ogedengbe (29) and Bartholomew Owoh (26):
two from the South-West and one from the South
East, under the dubious Decree 20 for drug-related
offences. Ignore the fact that, at the time they
committed their crimes, their offences were not
punishable by the death sentences.
Nevertheless, maliciously backdate the death-
sentence with illegal retroactive decrees that
violate every international norm of due process and
human rights just in order to kill these three
hapless young men. In spite of widespread
international condemnation for this, refuse to show
any remorse or contrition or to apologise for this
judicial murder till date.
When asked to appear before the Justice Oputa
“Truth and Reconciliation Panel” in order to answer
for a litany of abuses of power and violation of
human rights while in power as Nigeria’s military
Head of State, refuse to appear showing your
contempt for Nigerians.
Discriminate against the South
Balance a Northern Fulani Head of State with
another Northern Fulani deputy. Conduct a coup
d’état, ostensibly to overthrow a corrupt Nigerian
government. However, be so ethnically chauvinistic
that you put Dr. Alex Ekwueme, the vice-president
who took none of the decisions under lock-and-key
in jail in Kirikiri because he is Igbo and Christian. At
the same time, put Alhaji Shehu Shagari, the
president who was the person in charge under house
arrest in a palatial mansion in Ikoyi, Lagos because
he happens to be the same as you: Fulani and
Make Northern politicians sacred cows and
untouchable. Fail to arrest and prosecute none of
the prominent Hausa/Fulani politicians who were the
principal actors in the government you overthrew;
including Adamu Ciroma, Suleiman Takuma, Aliu
Gusau, Lawal Kaita, Barkin Zuwo, Shehu Kangiwa and
Awwal Ibrahim.
At the same time, jail Southern politicians,
including Bisi Onabanjo, Ambrose Alli, Lateef
Jakande, Jim Nwobodo, and others on trumped up
charges that could not be substantiated in any
court of law. Try octogenarian Michael Ajasin of
the South-West before a tribunal. When he is
discharged and acquitted; try him again. When he is
discharged and acquitted again, try him a third time.
When he is discharged and acquitted yet again,
keep him in indefinite detention without just cause.
Maltreat Southern leaders
Send a team of soldiers to ransack the Park Lane,
Apapa residence of elder Southern statesman, Chief
Obafemi Awolowo. Give no reason whatsoever for
this blatant violation of the old man’s privacy.
Seize his international passport for no just cause.
Later, try to pull the wool over the eyes of
the Yorubas by choosing a man married to
Awolowo’s grand-daughter as your vice-presidential
Lock Emeka Ojukwu, an Igbo man from the South,
in prison in Kirikiri with the politicians of the
Second Republic, in spite of the fact that he
committed no crime and held no public office in
the Second Republic. Moreover, after Ojukwu
returned to Nigeria after 13 years of exile, he
received a full pardon from the president of Nigeria
for his activities as leader of the secessionist
government of Biafra. Provide Nigerians with no
explanation whatsoever for the exact offence that
led to Ojukwu’s arrest and incarceration.
Get booted out of office by your own clique in
the army. Have your colleague, Ibrahim Babangida,
give this testimony about you: “regrettably it
turned out that (he) was too rigid and
uncompromising in his attitudes to issues of
national significance. Efforts to make him
understand that a diverse polity like Nigeria
required recognition and appreciation of differences in
both cultural and individual perceptions only served
to aggravate the attitudes.”
Corrupt practices
Prohibit the importation of naira into the country
during a much ballyhooed currency exchange
program. Then contravene your own policy by
having your ADC, Colonel Mustapha Jokolo, allow
his father, the Emir of Gwandu from the North, to
smuggle into the country through Muritala
Muhammed International Airport 53 suitcases which
the then Area Administrator of the Lagos Airport
Customs Command, Atiku Abubakar, was not allowed
to search.
At the same time, sentence Afrobeat musician, Fela
Anikulapo Kuti, a Yoruba man from the South-West,
to 20 months in jail for being in possession of
foreign-exchange he had legitimately procured for
the upkeep of his band on a foreign trip. Because
Fela mocked you in his songs for being unable to
address the problems of Nigeria, declare to
Nigerians that: “I decided to deal with this Fela
problem once and for all.” Face public
embarrassment because the judge who pronounced
the sentence on Fela later confessed that he
was ordered to jail him.
Disregard for Nigeria’s secularity
As military Head of State, contravene the country’s
secularity by having Nigeria apply to join the
Organisation of Islamic States (OIC). The application
finally came through in 1986 and divided the country
acrimoniously along Muslim/Christian lines.
Tell Muslims not to vote for Christians. Reveal
to Nigerians that you are a religious bigot by
declaring in Kaduna in 2001 that: “I will continue
to show openly and inside me the total
commitment to the Sharia movement that is
sweeping all over Nigeria. God willing, we will not
stop the agitation for the total implementation
of the Sharia in the country.” Say this, in spite of
the fact that declaring some states as sharia
states is in clear violation of the secularity of
Nigeria’s federalism, as contained in section 10 of
the Constitution of Nigeria
Anti-corruption contradictions
Claim to be an anti-corruption crusader;
nevertheless, agree to serve under Sani Abacha, one
of the most corrupt Heads-of-State ever in the
history of Nigeria. On the 10th anniversary of
General Abacha’s demise, tell incredulous Nigerians
that Abacha did not steal anything while he was
Nigeria’s Head of State. Describe all the
allegations of looting the treasury leveled
against Abacha as “baseless.” Maintain that: “ten
years after Abacha, those allegations remain
unproven because of lack of facts.”
Hold this position in spite of the millions of
dollars of Abacha’s loot recovered from banks
around the world, and in spite of the fact that
the Abacha’s family signed a formal agreement to
return over $1 billion to the Nigerian government.
As chairman of the juiciest portfolio of all under
Sanni Abacha’s government; the Petroleum Trust
Fund with a budget of 181 billion naira between 1994
and 1999, fail woefully to curb the rampant
corruption in the organisation. When in 2000,
President Obasanjo set up an Interim Management
Committee to look into the affairs of the PTF
under the chairmanship of Haroun Adamu, it was
discovered that over 25 billion naira was stolen
under your watch.
Claim to be an anti-corruption crusader, but Group
Captain Usman Jibrin, a board member of PTF,
resigned from the organization in protest over the
blatant irregularities in your appointment of

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