It would be just a matter of weeks before the general elections. That is if Buhari doesn’t decide to postpone an inevitable tragedy like his predecessor did. Security was what GEJ cited and issues bordering round that have quadrupled since PMB took over. The Niger Delta militancy and the clamour for a Biafran state may have abated but he also has the Fulani herdsmen to complement a resurgent Boko Haram.
He may make up with his wife after the scandalous anti-Buhari videos she posted on her twitter page and Garba Shehu may even come out to tell us her account was hacked. Realistically speaking, nobody expects her to leave the man or at least before he vacates the villa and no one expects Buhari to refuse to run because of her 2nd act of war. But one thing is certain, this time next year, Buhari will be afraid.
His wife’s recent photo in a keke napep tricycle went largely unnoticed and that indicates Nigerians will no longer be deceived by photos of her helping a roadside food seller fry akara or Buhari himself ensuring we see the empty N50 Milo sachet beside his tea cup.
The PDP would have a field day playing righteous and even if Femi Adesina does better than telling us to go and fight pipeline vandals ourselves instead of the man we voted to do so or saying that the herdsmen killings are a state matter and not a federal one, I doubt it will have any real effect on the scheme of things.
An increase in minimum wage despite these tough times would replace the obliteration of Boko Haram and corruption as his top achievements.
For the first time in probably forever, our governors are listing payment of salaries as part of their dividends to the people. His number one supporter owes civil servants eight months salary and has just completed a mansion in his village. Buhari has released bailout funds and Paris club refunds twice to state governments but he isn’t asking anyone questions. If I was Gov. Yahaya Bello, I would love him too. Whatever happened to his promise to look into how the funds were utilized? No one truly expects the man to keep a promise.
The APC worried itself more about ousting the PDP than having a solid structure in place and now the consequences have caught up with it. Unlike all other Presidents since 1999, Buhari will regret not seizing control of the party machinery. He will clinch the ticket alright but even he knows a lot of key people in the party are unenthusiastic about his 2019 presidential bid.Some are serving in his government.
Rotimi Amaechi, the transportation minister, has openly lauded the Jonathan administration for its huge strides towards infrastructural development and Aisha Alhassan, the minister of women affairs, has also publicly adopted Atiku Abubakar as her 2019 Presidential candidate. All these will hurt him most when electioneering is in top gear.
Every Nigerian with the true love of this country at heart will better appreciate the individuality and progressiveness of the South Western electorate. The vast majority will decline to vote Buhari against the perhaps ‘fake’ wishes of Asiwaju and the governors. They will decide it again this time, only for whoever squares up against Buhari. By January 2019,it would become very obvious to Buhari he is going back home.
Did I mention PDP would play righteous? It would be most pleasant to watch them campaign to people about protecting their votes and ensuring they count. They would tell us how ‘well’ we lived during their 16 year reign and the patriot would focus on preaching how we should keep on ‘changing’ till we get the right one. Nothing will work for the President except his core northern fan base that have been programmed to see him as first, a good Muslim man of integrity and then pro-masses irrespective of anything he has done or would do. But that won’t really count much as he is guaranteed a win only in a handful of places in the north.
Every good thing he manages to do between now and next year will only appear a 911 campaign move and not for the betterment of Nigerian lives. We will no longer be willing ‘magas’ to political fraudsters.
The goal of many Nigerians for the most part of Buhari’s term was staying alive and they will eagerly look forward to their chance to exact revenge the only way possible. They just have to make it to next year.
Sa’ad Hassan is a lawyer based in Kano