Even if I see my candidate robbing a bank in broad daylight, I will hail and chant his name and on the day of election, I will vote for him twice, if possible. Even if I see my candidate enter a depressed place with a rifle and open fire on innocent people mourning in the cemetery and seventy died, on the day of election, I will walk straight to the ballot box, his name beating healthier than my heartbeat, place my thumb on that fine form and give him a valid vote. You can keep reeling all these propaganda all you like but I’m at the point of no return. Logic and commonsense do not live here and if I find a trace of any in the elements in this place, I will hold them by the jugular, flip them and smash their cruel bodies to the ground.
How many of you remember these arguments? Even if you report that my candidate already signed the cheque to hand the country over to the League of Extraordinary Failures and Reapers and even I see that you are correct and not making anything up, come 2019 when Nigerians decide who they elect as new President, I will play back that story in my mind as I vote for that very person you told me will kill me. You want logic and commonsense now but where were logic and commonsense that year you choose to do the same? Where were their siblings: reason, thought and intellect, when you made sure the least qualified candidate, without any relationship with the family, was made President?
Where were their relatives: past, present and history, when you took a decision without any respect to present, past and history? Today, you are asking for logic and commonsense and I just wonder if you will recognize them if logic and commonsense decide to pay your lost soul a surprise visit. I wonder the kind of discourse the three of you will engage in. Madman and psychiatrist comes to mind. Now you are talking of history, past and present and I wonder if you can see that right now you don’t look like a human specimen and a zombie in one of those Hollywood movies like Resident Evil will reason better thoughts. Anything but a dullard is allowed. A stone over the lifeless one. A baboon over the lifeless one. Anything but the lifeless one.
Prior to the election of Muhammadu Buhari as the President of Nigeria in 2015, the arguments were lowered to regions at par with the stupid rhetorics up there. Competence was ditched for change — any sort of change. The majority were so fed up with the past government that anything, as long as it breathes, will be a better replacement. In truth, what Nigerians wanted and searched for was a medicine man. Someone with a divine mandate by God, either Allah or Yahweh — the source does not matter, but as is the usual with this sort of nonexistent primate, any President so birthed will always don the coat of a con artist and the lanky man didn’t disappoint.
In fact, even before officially donning the gown of failure, he moved around in it and the body language that followed him exuded a fragrance that extradited competence, integrity and sound intellect. Then his certificate saga was still a big contest and even though that was the minimum required for persons running for public office, he submitted an affidavit claiming the original was with the Nigeria Army. The military denied and the rhetorics within that period were similar to what we’ve been getting since Atiku Abubakar won the Peoples Democratic, PDP, presidential primaries. Some joke with it while others are honestly in line with it.
Even if Buhari presents a NEPA bill as certificate, we in the majority will still vote for him, they said, and they did vote for him even though he never provided the National Electric Power Authority bill or any other bill for that matter. Even if you tell us and show us that Buhari is a religious fanatic and an ethnic jingoist (and actually he was and still is) we will still vote for him and they were told and shown photos and words any patriot should not utter but they waved it aside and voted him on election day in 2015. I still recall, as a youth corp member and presiding officer in a polling unit, the seemingly genuine love for the man, the communal disdain of history and the desire to do the right thing by electing an upright candidate.
True stories were dismissed as hearsay, hearsays were told as true stories. His holiness must not be tampered with and cult worship, hero worship and a false god was at the centre of the so called children of God. Truth was, if faith wasn’t lost at any point such blind faith wouldn’t have followed. That sounds like a paradox because the death of faith should shut all likes and tamper the mind but in our case, our blind faith respires as faith in the country expired. So, from ‘even if he presents a NEPA bill we will vote for him’ we got neither the mighty NEPA bill nor any bill for that matter. We asked for the lowering of standards and he showed us where he lived.
At midterm, after just meeting the rotten benefits of our blind worship the story changed to ‘Buhari, present your certificate’ but by this time we have traded with stupidity for too long and our level of consciousness dropped prior to the moment and we can’t do anything to move the glorified lanky Messiah. Immediately he won, we asked for the constitution to be suspended so that he would heal us faster but we saw him running to and fro to London trying to recuperate his secret health condition. We lost total faith again but instead of trying to think and rationalise why we are at this very point again, we have started from that very point we left. First. Lose faith on the present government and see how stupid and irrational you were in blindly following.
Second. Look for a mortal to make God out of him, just like you made the minimally exceptional old man. Third. Develop slogans to reinforce another one, usually a failure, and shun reason and logic in any argument. When he wins and poisons you, you lose faith again, curse him, leave your brains behind and press repeat. We are hearing that slogan again. We are hearing the sound of that bitter slogan soaked in the blood of cretinism again and like we did before, it seems like we will swallow it. Even if Atiku Abubakar is caught robbing a bank we will still vote for him you are saying. Even if Atiku is responsible for all the deaths that have happened since the creation of Nigeria we will still vote for him. Even if Atiku cannot go to America because of a scandal (and actually there is) we will still vote for him.
The standards have been lowered to a point that any option is an option. The truth is, it doesn’t seem like there’d ever be a Nigerian President like the current President. Calling him the doyen of failed leadership is understatement. Calling him the failure of failures wouldn’t get you a proper portrait. He is the symbol of poverty. The sign of mortality. The hero of zombies. The dark and the darkness. And the truth is, he would be proud and happy to know that a lot of people think this highly of him. If he is angry, then my poetry is less Shakespearean. That aside, no one should get a pass because of that. Yes, the standards have been lowered and to the majority, 30% is now an A and 70%, the work of a genius, but these slogans shouldn’t ring.
Just like we'( ‘we’ here refers to the magic loving Nigerians) moved from ‘even if Buhari does not present his certificate I will vote him’ to ‘Buhari, where is your certificate?’ we may move from ‘even if I see Atiku robbing a bank in daylight’ to ‘how did Atiku become President?’, and by then it would be too late. This is not a protest against Atiku Abubakar but simply a call to vote for Atiku for what Atiku has done and not because Buhari failed even before winning the elections in 2015. Buhari was voted because of the failures of Goodluck Jonathan and not because Buhari was the better candidate or best of the options. Atiku should be voted for what Atiku has done, what he can do and legacy. How will he respond to the problem of the herdsmen? Will the herdsmen stop killing if Atiku becomes the President of Nigeria or will they simply see him as another brother and patron whose body language washes familial mortal and venial sins?
Has he given any opinion on herdsmen violence or he believes, like the current President, that they are from Libya and Senegal, yet do nothing about foreign invasion? Does Atiku has the capacity to reduce the hatred of Nigerians for Nigerians? Will he treat the Christian majority North Central region as conquered territory like the current guy is overtly doing? Will he respect the law courts and what are his records with respect to the rule of law? Does he seem to have the balls to end Boko Haram or expose their sponsors? In what ways has he made Nigeria priority? Is he a religious extremist or a smart guy wearing a moderate outfit with an inner core of extremism? How did he become successful in business? These are the sort of questions we need ask and not the usual hero worship that leads to nothing but pandemic pain.