"Politics is more dangerous than war, for in war you are only killed once,"--Winston Churchill.
Modern day African politicians are special species, plenty of them are funny lot, some are ignoramuses and some are incurable utopians, but one thing that appears to be general phenomenon is self-centredness.
Unlike in the early days of African independence struggle, where African leaders were ideologues, because they were passionate about the the well being of their people, in a situation where people like Sekeou Toure of Guinea would champion socialism for his country with the people at the centre of his manifestoes; Julius Nyerere would seek African socialism as an attitude in Tanzania; Kwame Nkrumah would demand intellectual activism and socialism for Ghana and African, and our own Obafemi Awolowo would canvass for Socialism with parliamentary democracy just to define how and who to govern, the modern day politicians are controlled by their ego centrism of negative value-me, myself and I.
I read in the newspapers an interview granted by one politician from Kwara state, Mr. Kawu Baraje, who happened to be the former chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) now a chieftain of All Progressives Congress (APC) and one of the political boys of the embattled Senate President Bukola Saraki, where he predicted doom for his party, because the interest of his paymaster is being threatened by the anti-corruption drive of President Buhari as touching Saraki's trial at the Code of Conduct Tribunal and I laughed out at his fallacies and old logic.
For those who have not read the interview, let me just point out three points out of Baraje gibberish and affirm his claim-that APC is floundering, because the President is being distracted by his aides; that the party and the President stand aloof in the trial of the embattled Senate President for corruption at the Code of Conduct Tribunal, making Saraki to be facing justice without influence; that the trial is designed to remove Saraki from Senate Presidency, because some party chiefs were not happy with the way he emerged as number three citizen cum chairman of the National Assembly. Therefore, APC would break like they did to the decimated PDP and new stronger party would emerge.
Those who are thinking with their anus go along with the possible worlds created by Baraje, while any level headed person knows that the same tactics cannot be used to win election twice. I would have been convinced by the poor man's argument had it been that he detached emotion from his points, but his desperation is understood, and I would not fall into the error of argumentum ad hominem by attacking his personality.
I chose to write this piece, because I voted for President Buhari, not as an APC member, but because he was the only credible alternative to former President Goodluck Jonathan whose administration was hijacked by the wicked looters and unscrupulous politicians who succeeded in dragging the country backward for 50 years. So, I affirm my locus for speaking on the matter affecting his presidency.
In the first place, Baraje has forgotten that what attracted Nigerians to Buhari in his fourth attempt was his anti-corruption status, and his handlers deployed his sterling anti-graft posture as a campaign tool. More so, the people recognized that corruption was on its four when Jonathan was ruling, and that the nation was becoming pariah. So, for Baraje to think that the neutrality of President Buhari would spell doom for his party in the next election is false, because people are keenly following the trial, and they want to test the will of the President, and if he is seen interfering with the trial, his anti corruption fight would be deflated and useless. So, Baraje's first and second premises are false.
Furthermore, Baraje failed to understand that Buhari did not win because a new PDP was formed and broke away from the old PDP, the President won, because the "talakawas" of the North and South West identified with the man because of his spartan lifestyle and his unblemished integrity despite the fact that he had served in all strategic positions the nation could offer including being Head of State. And for the fact that Professor Attahiru Jega, the man of history made the votes count(a feat that must be credited to Jonathan). Fact sheet had it that the last election would still have been won by Buhari without the help of any big PDP chief in the North, but the input of the south western elite was obvious anyway. So, for Baraje to claim that another party would emerge from APC like the then new PDP and shoot down Buhari suggests an inductive leap.
Now, what could make Buhari presidency to kiss the dust? It is certain that the President is concerned and is working round the clock to fix the mess this nation was put into, but the struggle of the old order with the new Sheriff has brought untold pain unto the masses. So, people are justifiably shouting under heavy pressure: economic topsy-turvy, epileptic power supply, paralysis of critical sectors, skyrocketing inflation, fuel scarcity, infrastructure decay and terrible hunger. Hence, Baraje thought this crisis brewed because the President chose not to save Saraki. What a fallacy!
If Buhari delivers on his campaign promises by deploying maximum force against the pipeline vandals and the gas flow freely to our turbines, and the power is fixed, jobs at formal and informal sectors would be created in millions, and people would be happy; if Buhari deploys funds to capital projects and turn the entire nation into a construction site, jobs would be created in thousands and there would be development along the affected corridors, and people would be happy.
Besides, if Buhari can fix the naira value just the way he sought out the currency deal with China, and use the yuan to fight dollar dominance in the country, and the commoners regain their purchasing power, and the machinery to develop agriculture is imported, and the new factory from textile to car assemblies spring up, jobs would be created in millions and the people would be happy; if Buhari can chase boko haram out the country and annihilate the terrorists, and make the country safe and secure just the way it is happening now in the North East, then there would be no vacancy in Aso Rock in 2019. Otherwise, his party will kiss the dust.
Meanwhile, Buhari seems to be reading Awolowo's mental magnitude that touches on discipline of mind on the part of leadership, because the President has made enough trips, and I have not seen him journey with his beautiful wife, suggesting that toiling for the nation matters to him than fun trip, where the wife would disembark from the Presidential aircraft before the President. Suffice to say that the world takes this President serious.
It is very difficult to have a man like Buhari, a Muslim Fulani who sticks with one wife, with no scandal or corruption profile, who had been the governor, Petroleum Minister, Chairman, Petroleum Trust Fund, Head of State without commensurate wealth. So, I pray he succeeds and there are indicators that he would succeed, and that this nation would be happier for it, because if he fails, Nigeria is doomed. Where are the honest people again? Dasukigate revealed the real identities of the so called leaders of the nation.
If Baraje likes, let him go back to his bag of tricks and unleash the known antics of breaking the APC, we are no longer bothered, because the difference between the PDP and the APC is located in the difference between the six and half of a dozen. All we want is for Buhari to deliver. After all, President Obama, the most successful President in United States came on the slogan of 'change' and won his second term on the mantra of "forward" despite the fact that Republican (opposition) torpedoed his party, Democrats at the Congress. So, for Baraje to ascribe PDP's wining of rerun election in some southern states to what is coming is fallacious and illogical, and at best the reflection of a frustrated old horse.
Lest I forget, my gratitude to friends and family who sent their greetings for my birthday, I must say I felt the pleasure of the day through the prayer of my mother and the inspirational acknowledgement of my wife, all the from the United States, messages from teachers, senior colleagues, colleagues, school mates, students who had passed through my tutelage, old and new friends. And it cut across the continents. I thank you all for identifying with yours sincerely.
Butika is journalist of intercontinental exposure.