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Friday, June 14, 2024

Opinion: Dear Nigerians, The Moment Of Decision Is Here (READ)

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by Uwem Herman Inyang

Since the series started with the slogan of the All Progressive Congress being “Change”, I feel it would be fitting to end with the motto of the People’s Democratic Party which is “Continuity”.

You can read the previous editorial in this series, Why General Buhari Is Grossly Unqualified To Be President Of Nigeria (READ), Why General Buhari’s ‘Integrity’ Image Is The Fraud Of The Century (READ), For A Former Army General, Buhari Comes Very Short On His Views On Security (READ), and Dear Nigerians, General Buhari’s Sketchy Economic Policies Will Tank Nigeria (READ).

It’s been a catchy word that has largely dwelt on the achievements of President Goodluck Jonathan for the past 4 years. It was about time what was being done was rolled out into the public space for digestion, verification and appreciation. A lot has been revealed to me over the past many weeks that I didn’t even know about, and I do applaud the strides made so far considering our very difficult terrains.

Agriculture has been a major success. The trains are running again. Highway roads are being made motorable. Airports have been upgraded and many more. Probably, so much more could have been achieved, but when we look at the huge distraction insecurity has been and the billions thrown into it and also do some comparative analysis with past eras, then there has to be a pass mark for President Jonathan’s regime.

One major progress I noted was the increase of the barrels of oil a day we now produce. In 2012, we were producing just 700,000 bpd while as at today, it’s jumped up to 2,500,000 bpd. Non oil exports have surged from 8% to 31% over the same period of time too.

Would you prefer continuity of these efforts or would you prefer the cloudy change of the unknown?

As far as I am concerned, the APC promises are just too bogus, too unreal and without deep understanding. They are more about power grabbing than anything else and they do sound too bitter to be focused. No matter what they claim, it is always very difficult to generate positive energy when the mind is so angry and vengeful as that of APC is. Moreover, from the conglomeration of their personalities, it just does not give anyone hope! Old wine in new bottle remains old wine.

I think Jonathan has been shaken up a bit now considering the pressures of the elections and he knows there is very little room for not flying high during his second tenure. There is still a lot of progress to be made. Moreover, GEJ has met with almost everyone, chatted and even danced with them. That is how comfortable a leader should be with his people. On the other hand, Buhari and Osinbajo have deliberately refused to debate and tell the masses what they intend to do and how.

Furthermore, prepared public speeches and town addresses will never be a substitute for a PROPER debate. Any candidate that ignores the yearnings of the people and travels to Chatham House for a needless speech with non PVC carriers has not done enough! Any candidate that continues to play hide and seek about his illogical plans, health and welfare is not doing enough! Any leader who refuses do a proper Q & A session at the very least with the masses is shying away from being found out!

Buhari has not spoken for up to 2hrs in his ENTIRE nationwide campaigns. That totals about 3.5mins per State at best! Some record isn’t it? Beyond the disrespect, it’s a clear manifestation of some complex. That is, not being sure of oneself and the clear lack of confidence to defend whatever they have promised.

I watched the Q & A session with Jeremy Paxman between David Cameron and Ed Miliband last night. It was some tough grills and drills for the two forerunners. Both did well to the best of their ability and that is what true candidates face in preparation for leadership. It’s a reminder that it is indeed a very serious job where millions place their expectations of service delivery on you. For the entire change chorus Buhari and his VP hopeful have been “preaching”, they are artful dodgers when the chips are down.

On the other hand, we have seen both GEJ and Sambo deliberate and talk about the issues. They have been courageous, plucky, and gusty about what they stand for and intend for Nigerians. They have actually debated and laid their proposals for public study while answering questions. We have none for the APC Presidential or Vice Presidential candidates!

Governance is about being open, transparent and making yourself accessible to sell your ideas. With no public scrutiny, how can Nigeria take that gamble and risk with these duo who have so far shown that they are not well clued up for the job? Or do they expect people to present their manifesto as an alibi to promises made and not kept if they ever get there?

It’s been some interesting days doing these series and I have thoroughly enjoyed them. It’s my desire that anyone who kept the faith with me had the same feeling too.

We are coming to the crunch time and the moment of decision. We have laid our cards on the table. For those who have joined the gratuitous slander of GEJ calling him a “failed” President, they could be forgiven for their pettiness. They all based it on the insecurity in the land which is now being tamed. How many people called Obama or Cameron failed Presidents or PM’s due to ISIS brutal beheadings and killings of their citizens in Iraq? Or Syria or Libya? I mean, for all their intelligence and technology, how come they continue to look helpless in the face of menacing ISIS threats?

Back to Nigeria. Buhari has not shown any firm grip on the problems of concern. The yells of change are not enough to sway those who are logical, practical, empirical and politically experienced. If APC were supposed to be taken as a serious opposition party, they would have gone for far better quality and youth too. GEJ has been growing from strength to strength and can only get better. Continuity is the positive way forward.

Change is just a word APC are using to create an illusion and encourage more political delusion. Continuity is promising to use more of technology to fight corruption, and we have seen how effective it has been with the fertilizer funds and rooting out ghost workers. The latter saved Nigeria a whooping N208billion. So, in the absence of a corrupt free judiciary, EFCC and Police Force, we can at least rely on technology to block the loopholes where people defraud and loot. That is the continuity promise.

Has the change camp told us how they intend to even fight corruption? Nope! They seem like a troop who desperately want to throw out the legitimate and more trust worthy occupiers of Aso Rock, get in there and then wonder what next to do. We just cannot put our faith in such people who have told the masses so little and come across as quite cocky.

Finally, FOUR more years for GEJ is what we need. When there is a serious, dependable and trusty opposition, we will know. Keep on keeping on. Vote Goodluck Ebele Azikiwe Jonathan for a second term! Be of good cheer tomorrow as you vote. GEJ is whom we want and whom we need! We have come so far and are getting very near. God Bless Nigeria and thanks much for being a part of this.

Uwem Inyang is an engineer and a political analyst. He is on Facebook.

The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author.

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