There will never be peace for the wicked ones. Yes, that is what all those plotting to foist a clearly unfit character as the next President of Nigeria are – wicked and selfish. These same selfish politicians worked for the emergence of President Muhammadu Buhari in 2015. Some of us warned against this then. Today, we are all reaping the ‘benefits’. Despite his calamitous rule, Buhari has expressed his desire to leave a noble legacy before he quits in May 2023. He wants Nigerians to freely choose whoever will be their President without any intimidation, inducement or harassment. This is partly what has brought out the bile in some prominent members of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Kaduna State Governor, Nasir el-Rufai, is one of them. In a recent interview with Channels Television, el-Rufai said there were people in the presidency fighting to scuttle the election of the APC candidate, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, as president. He made some snide remarks about the redesign of the naira and the current fuel scarcity in Nigeria and then fumed, “I believe there are elements in the Villa that want us to lose the election because they didn’t get their way. They had their candidate. Their candidate did not win the primaries. They are trying to get us to lose the election, and they are hiding behind the president’s desire to do what he thinks is right.”
This was a direct jab at the President. Or, can el-Rufai tell us who those elements in the Villa are? Even if there are fifth columnists in the Villa, does it mean that the President is so daft that he can no longer decipher what is good and what is bad? Does it mean he does not have a mind of his own such that he will dance to whatever tune the fifth columnists play for him whether good or bad? This is a subtle insult to the President.
Tinubu has also been casting aspersions on Buhari in his campaign rallies. In a recent rally in Abeokuta, he condemned the government for some of its policies such as the naira redesign and fuel subsidy regime. As far as he is concerned, these two policies are aimed at scuttling his victory at the polls. Last week in Calabar, Tinubu added that the Buhari-led government met the exchange rate at N200/$1, but because of its poor management of the economy, the exchange rate had climbed to N800/$1. He too cleverly avoided mentioning the President directly, but it was obvious Buhari was the object of the attack.
The Federal Government is not oblivious of the machinations aimed at thwarting its plans for a free-and-fair election in February. Last week, the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, said Buhari had consistently demonstrated his commitment to free, fair and credible elections. According to him, fair, free and credible election actually means not favouring anybody or disadvantaging anybody.
If I may advise, President Buhari should not bother about the arrows being shot at him by his fellow party men. He should maintain his neutrality. It is obvious that some of the stalwarts of the APC are now gasping for breath. They are desperately looking for the last straw to clutch to avoid drowning in the sea of political oblivion.
Peter Obi has remained their greatest nightmare. At first, his opponents resorted to ethnic and religious profiling. That didn’t work. Later, they said he had no structure. But everywhere he goes, including in the North, excited fans mob him like a super star and even struggle to touch him and take pictures with him. El-Rufai’s Kaduna was one of the places he received the greatest show of love from the people.
Even before the campaigns started, youths across different states, without any inducement, engaged in crowd-pulling rallies to drum support for Obi. In one of those rallies in Abuja, a newly-wedded couple, still in their wedding attire, joined to the delight of all and sundry.
Despite this, el-Rufai has continued to wallow in his grand delusion. The other day, he said Obi would not win the presidential election, describing him as a Nollywood actor. According to his faulty analysis, Obi would only do well in the South-East and South-South. “He is not polling well in the South-West other than a drop in the ocean in Lagos,” he said. He added that the Labour Party Presidential candidate was polling only one per cent in Sokoto, two per cent in Katsina, five per cent in Kano, saying “that’s where the votes are.” He dismissed the scientific polls conducted by reputable organisations like ANAP, NOI Polls Limited, and Bloomberg that have clearly given the presidential election victory to Obi. “We have done a poll with a sample of nearly 40,000 across Nigeria and the result of the poll shows that we are ahead,” el-Rufai claimed, adding, “this election is between the APC and the PDP.”
Nollywood actors should not have even bothered responding to the Kaduna governor’s derogatory remarks. In a statement, the National President of the Actors Guild of Nigeria, Chief Ejezie Emeka Rollas, said el-Rufai’s statement was very offensive and intended to belittle and demean the intellectual capacity of an actor. “Using actors to make sarcastic examples of an unintelligent person is arrogant and condescending of a public office holder,” Rollas said. He called on el-Rufai to withdraw his statement and tender an unreserved apology to Nollywood actors.
I pity el-Rufai! This election will shock him and his ilk. While his beloved presidential candidate is busy abusing people during his party’s rallies, Obi has been busy traversing the nooks and crannies of this country, wooing voters and telling them how he will transform the country if given the chance. He has made serious inroads into the core North and other areas.
Thus, be it known to el-Rufai and co. that Obi will win this election if it’s free and fair. Among the nation’s six geopolitical zones, Obi will likely lead comfortably in the South-East and South-South. He will give Tinubu a good run in the South-West. He will also do well in the North Central. Recall that Southern and Middle Belt Leaders Forum unanimously endorsed him last week. Afenifere had earlier endorsed him. Former President Olusegun Obasanjo, some northern Islamic clerics and many other prominent Nigerians have also endorsed him. Even in the North-East and North-West where they feel he will not do well, Obi will garner substantial votes there. A good number of emirs and even Islamic clerics have been praying for him.
No doubt, many stalwarts of the ruling party appear to be in panic mode now. They will do everything possible to manipulate the result of the forthcoming election. But Nigerians are wiser now. The battle is between the forces of darkness and light. But light will always overshadow darkness.
As legal luminary, Chief Afe Babalola (SAN) put it, “Unless you are part of the old system that has brought us to where we are, there is no way you will oppose a young man like Mr. Peter Obi, an untainted, young, educated man with ideas from being the President of Nigeria.” We shall overcome on February 25!
Re: Buhari’s heart is not with Tinubu
If Zik, Awo and other nationalists who fought for Nigeria’s independence couldn’t make the ‘emilokan’ entitlement about the presidency, is it Tinubu that ran away on exile during the Abacha regime that Nigeria owes the debt of the presidency? People like Ekwueme and the G34 stayed back and dared Abacha to bring about the current democracy but Tinubu who ran away out of cowardice is making ‘emilokan’ entitlement claim. Tinubu, as president, will be an institution himself. He will be greater and richer than Nigeria as a country. God forbid!
-Ifeanyi Maduako, Owerri, +234 806 156 2735
Mr. Casmir, you have done wonderfully well in your weekly write-ups. Life in Nigeria has become very bitter, frustrating, hopeless, painful and stressful. Over 180 million people are regretting to be Nigerians & living in Nigeria. Those in Diaspora are afraid to come back to Nigeria to offer assistance to their loved ones, because of serious insecurity. They may be killed or kidnapped. No stable electric power, refineries are not working; yet people work there and earn millions. What a country! Nigerians should please vote wisely this time. If Nigeria is good, it’s good for all us.
-Mr. Jimoh Orgaji Abdulrahaman, Idoji Okene in Kogi State, +234 802 355 2194
Dear Casy, Nigeria, in the last seven years, has been on the auctioning table. While the auctioning bids lasted, our people helplessly groaned under the weight of undeserved hardship. Towards the finishing line, being the eight year of this All Poverty Congress (APC) Government, the auctioning bids increased in tempo and finally graduated into going, going, gone! This can be seen in the daily increase in the prices of fuel, goods and services, which have rendered our Naira an ordinary tissue paper with little or no purchasing power. Having, at last, woken up to the reality of the parlous condition of living of the people, the humanity in Mr. President seemed to have taken greater part of him. Hence, his decision not to support any particular presidential candidate in the national interest, party loyalty notwithstanding. I want to believe that Mr. President wants to bequeath to Nigerians, as a parting gift to make up for his abysmal failure, someone with competence, character, intellectual capacity and unquestionable academic credentials.
-Steve Okoye, Awka, 08036630731.
Casmir, the battle line was drawn between the duo when Buhari said “you cannot sit in Lagos and decide for APC who the presidential candidate of APC should be.” Also, Adamu announced Lawan as APC’s consensus candidate which he could not have done without the consent of Buhari. Since then, it has been a cold battle of wits between the two APC leaders which has been festering and has culminated in Tinubu’s latest outburst of sabotage against him. President Buhari knows Tinubu is not an ideal candidate for the ‘respectable office’ and wants to curtail the influence of the use of money in the forthcoming elections. Now, while Buhari is striving to solve the lingering fuel scarcity, Tinubu is only about his lifelong ambition of getting the keys to Aso Rock. Tinubu has this I, me and myself character. Rather than proffer solutions or appeal to the masses for patience as Buhari looks for solution to the lingering crisis, he is busy working at cross purposes with Buhari’s government which makes him ‘a bad party man’.
-Mike, Mushin, Lagos, +234 816 111 4572
Dear Casmir, the beginning of a dance is not an issue but how one ended it. Buhari is ending well with genuine franchise and cashless economy. We wish the contending candidates success.
-Cletus Frenchman, Enugu, +234 909 538 5215
Indeed, as you have rightly observed, “these are not the best of times for Asiwaju Bola Tinubu”. Let me also add that the heart of the APC National Chairman is not also with Tinubu. The signs of the Jonathan treatment are still hovering. The first plot hatched by Buhari and Adamu failed because Tinubu, as a master tactician of the game of intrigues, was constantly looking over his shoulders based on his disbelief in the support of the duo. Tinubu eventually outfoxed both Buhari and Adamu in their game when he deployed his massive war chest as a proof that ‘what ordinary cannot do, more money can do’. Thanks to Godswill Akpabio the former Akwa Ibom governor who is widely credited as the original owner of the uncommon expression!
-Edet Essien Esq. Cal South +234 810 809 5633
- Also published in the Daily Sun of Monday, February 6, 2023