Former President Goodluck Jonathan, being a Christian from the South, appointed Attahiru Jega, a Muslim from the North, a man he never knew before then to head Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, and appointed other credible hands evenly spread across the six geo-political zones to assist him.
President Muhammadu Buhari, a Muslim from the North, on the other hand, appointed his Northern Muslim relative as acting INEC chairperson which he later replaced with another Northern Muslim relative of his and tilted the appointment of commissioners for INEC in favour of the Muslim North.
Buhari appointed commissioners for INEC reluctantly, after intense pressure from the press and civil society organisations. Since Buhari became president he has been foot dragging on following the Nigerian constitution on so many decisions he has taken.
In 2011, we had an election which was generally adjudged the freest and fairest in our history, Buhari deservedly lost and hell was let loose as thousands of innocent Nigerians, including youth corp members and pregnant women and children were slaughtered and burnt to ashes by irate supporters of the former military dictator. Every Nigerian knew Buhari did not have enough national support or political muscles under his now defunct party, the Congress for Progressive Change, CPC to have won that election.
Yet, Buhari blatantly refused to accept his obvious defeat at the poll. He inspired that violence that claimed the lives of thousands of Nigerians. Till today, he refuses to accept that he was defeated in 2011. He claims the poll was rigged.
In 2015, the election was blatantly rigged in favour of Muhammadu Buhari by Jega’s INEC. 12 million permanent voter cards, majority of them from the South South and South East regions – the stronghold of the incumbent, President Goodluck Jonathan were withheld by INEC, denying millions of voters their right to cast a vote in the elections. But, in the North minors and a hoard of Muslim foreigners from neighbouring Chad and Niger, somehow, got permanent voter cards and were able to vote for Buhari.
However, before the election results were announced, President Jonathan took political pundits and dooms days prophets to the cleaners when he called Buhari and conceded defeat.
To him, the exigencies of the time necessitated a paradigm shift from the norms. He would rather lose the election than allow more innocent Nigerians die in the hands of wicked and callous blood suckers who had their pipes ready to suck blood as they did in 2011
Dr. Goodluck Jonathan actualized the word he had echoed at different fora that no one would shed blood on the account of his political ambition. He even refused to contest that rogue election as Buhari did in 2011, in 2007, and 2003, clawing his way to the Supreme Court to overturn the result of elections in which he ran as a regional candidate in a national elections.
Jonathan kept his word even when as the commander-in-chief of the Armed Forces of Nigeria, he had all the powers at his disposal to swing the election in his favour.
By this singular act, Goodluck Ebele Jonathan wrote his name in gold on the hearts of many Nigerians, Africans and the world at large. He did what none of our past leaders had ever done in the annals of our political development. He upheld our democracy. As a man of integrity his hand were free from the blood of Nigerians.
Unfortunately, the Buhari government is doing everything it can to erode our democracy and our democratic institutions. When some Nigerians claim President Buhari is a man with an unquestionable integrity, I often wonder if they know the meaning of the word. I have always thought they are under some form of spell or something.
There seems to be a deliberate attempt by APC and her ”change agents” to change the real narrative and rewrite our history in the heart of gullible Nigerians whose lives have been surcharged and impoverished since they came in but we shall continue to tell our people the real truth. We shall continue to remind them about what actually transpires so the chaff can be well separated from the wheat before 2019.
We must prepare our people for a complete routing of this confused and directionless leadership placed on us through the instrumentality of falsehood and propaganda.
A leadership with a lot of noise without substance.
A leadership of highly distorted character.
You can make your own judgement from the truth stated above vis-a-vis the reality on ground as it unfolds itself to us today.
Between Goodluck Jonathan and Muhammadu Buhari, who has been sincere to Nigerians, and who can you really say has true integrity? Which of them should Nigerians see as a true leader?
I leave that for you to reflect upon.
Hosea Oliomogbe is a member of the Anti-Corruption Network of Nigeria. He is a social media political activist. Connect with him on Facebook.
The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author.