Last week, almost from nowhere, the former vice president, AtikuAbubakar, who is a front-runner in the crowded race for the PDP presidential ticket in next year’s election, burst into tears, weeping, according to some close quarters, for the pitiful and sorry sight that Nigeria and its affairs have become, and perhaps, how intractable the attempts to emerge from Nigeria’s political quicksand are becoming.
For the watchers of Nigeria’s political circus, Atiku’s tears merely appeared as a déjà vu, and, therefore, failed to elicit the expected serious reactions. Deja vu, because in April 2011, Muhammadu Buhari who was the then CPC presidential candidate, at a public outing, had burst into bitter tears, sobbing that he was done with attempts to vie for the highest political position in the land. He had done his bit and was bowing out permanently. Buhari lamented that Nigeria had become a basket case, and before his associates, had vowed that he had given his best shot at trying to rescue the country and would therefrom,, leave the arena for the others.
What was clearly a solemn moment of epiphany was to later lose its value because, as, like a broken record, Buhari threw his hat, once again, into the political ring and was rewarded with an electoral victory in 2015. As matters stand today, the nation would have been better off if Buhari had lived up to his billing as the Mai Gaskiya, who never told lies. For the truth is that his governance of Nigeria has turned out as an unmitigated disaster during which the daily prayer of Nigerians is no longer to be governed right, but to have a situation whereby Nigeria would remain a country at all. Under the present administration, seeking to have the good things of life has become Utopian, as things have gotten so bad that Nigerians are begging and praying to have their country back.
At no time in the history of Nigeria – not even during the civil war – has Nigeria been at such a risk of ceasing to exist. Never before has Nigeria been at such a risk of evaporating into the thin air. It is not even the spectre of Nigeria ceasing to exist that is so scary. The scariest thing is the uncertainty of what could ensue if the worst happens with the sorry pass where Nigeria has found itself. Nigerians of the different backgrounds had always quarrelled and poked fingers in each other’s eyes, yet, nobody had ever seriously imagined Nigeria going to the dogs, as is becoming apparent unless the present administration is shown to way out.
It is clear that, no matter their tongues or creed, Nigerians are unanimous in their belief that the only way to get their country back for the present and future generations is to effect a change in governance of the country. Simply put, unless the APC administration of Muhammadu Buhari is defeated in the forthcoming elections, the crocodile tears being shed by these self-seeking politicians would become the portion of all Nigerians.
The eagerness of Nigerians in the ongoing political process – warts and all – does not translate to the love of Nigerians for particular political platforms nor of the actors that are driving them. Rather Nigerians are eager to do anything that they need to do in order to keep Nigeria in good health. But it is because political parties are the only legal avenue to bring about changes, the eagerness of Nigerians is being misconstrued as the eagerness to endorse political parties.
But truth to be said, even though the different between the two major parties is like the difference between six and a half dozen, it has become unfortunate that it is only another political party that can oust the APC that is currently marauding us all. To that effect, applauding the efforts to strengthen the PDP does not amount to canonizing PDP but rather because of the pragmatic fact that it is only the PDP that has the capacity to legally oust the APC. For the survival of Nigeria, there is no alternative to ousting the APC administration in 2019. No type of euphemism can serve in indicating the size of the predicament in which Nigeria finds itself.
Closely tied to the success of this desideratum is the ability – and the lack of it – for the PDP to succeed in picking the right candidate on whose shoulders and on whose head, this ultimate patriotic duty of saving Nigeria hangs. In effect, ensuring that PDP picks the right candidate is a responsibility that goes beyond the members of the party alone. That is a patriotic responsibility that beckons on every Nigerian that looks forward to getting our country back.
PDP should and must get it back, otherwise we will all be ruined. The continuity of the APC on the national saddle is not an option; it is like securing suicide ropes and searching for the nearest tree branch to hang ourselves.
The task of selecting the next president is already attracting the interest and attention of non-Nigerians, especially of those, who in the realisation of the pivotal position of Nigeria in the near and distant future are already saying their prayers. But us Nigerians, whether we are political or not must go beyond prayers and get practically involved in helping the PDP take the right decision in their choice of a presidential flag-bearer.
Muhammadu Buhari and APC seem to have dug in, ensconced in the cold comfort which only confidence in evil sleight of hand can guarantee.
But then, the 2019 election is a race for national survival, and so there are solemn decisions that Nigerians must make now or never.
(To be continued)