By Okanga Agila
Perhaps, for the first time in the last three years, President Muhammadu Buhari appears to have thrilled his political opponents and foes. It’s a clan of antagonists who have never agreed with him on any of his plausible mark of governance or humble enough to even admit his eye-catching achievements.
And the congregation is large and its web extends to even in-house saboteurs and betrayers, who frustrate every good intentions or steps taken by the Buhari Presidency, so far as they can reap personal gains. They pose as Buhari’s friends in the day time; but are deadly and venomous vipers at night.
Stimulatingly, the President’s open lamentation that he could not afford the N55 million Expression of Interest and Nomination forms fee charged by his party, the All Progressives Congress (APC) has excited his traducers.
While President Buhari’s genuine political admirers are worried and feel the pains of an upright President, who abominates corruption, the opponents or saboteurs’, who regale in it, dread the possibility of his backing out of the 2019 presidential race because of the high fees. So, grandeur, but deceptive schemes are hatched to simulate support.
In 2014, President Buhari obtained a bank loan of N27 million to secure his party’s Expression of Interest and Nomination Forms. The leeches expect that after three years in Aso Rock and by the corrupt proclivity of Nigerian leaders, Buhari should noiselessly afford the fee, even if it were much higher.
But they are pleasantly shocked that Buhari cannot afford it. But lesser public office holders like State Governor have expended millions quietly for the same purpose.
And so, those who delight in discreet sabotage of Nigeria and the administration of President Buhari for pecuniary benefits are saddened by the prospects of his backing out of the 2019 presidential race. Buhari’s failure to re-contest would curtail the multiple benefits of a system they have deliberately skewed and exploited.
The mad currents in acquiring the Expression of Interest and Nomination Form for President Buhari by these fellows, who have constituted themselves into groups is discerned from such prisms. And they are also insisting Buhari must run in 2019.
Even those who have consistently faulted President Buhari over his assertion of the defeat of Boko Haram terrorism in the past have become new converts into the Buhari camp as 2019 draws closer. They are more vociferous and see his reelection contest as a “do or die affair.”
Nigerians have woken up to the barefaced reality that President Buhari must continue so as to consolidate on his peace efforts in the Northeast. It’s day break and Buhari is now celebrated for terminating the reign and supremacy of the Boko Haram menace in Nigeria.
The scramble to purchase the nomination form by emergency pro- Buhari groups is menacingly fierce and tough. And they are not looking back at any hurdle. They don’t want to know whether the forms have been purchased by other groups. It is a testimony of the endorsement of the President’s performance in the last three years.
The North East Vanguard for Peace (NEVP) is in the forefront of this campaign. It is fervent that the reelection of President Buhari in 2019 is inevitable as reward for restoring peace in the once war-torn Northeast region of the country. The dawn has come; pretenders and patriots have mingled in one bowel.
NEVP’s National president, Dogo Danlami, bluntly stated, “As stakeholders in the ongoing war against Boko Haram Terrorists in North East Nigeria, we are conversant with the efforts and the grounds that have been gained in routing Boko Haram terrorist from the region, and also regaining LGAs that were once under their enclave before 2015.”
And NEVP is also pleading for the President’s approval of their efforts to organize mega mobilization rallies in six states of the country and crown it with a grand finali in Abuja. Good enough.
Even taciturn Nigerians who have never agreed with Buhari’s factual insistence of the decimation and technical defeat of Boko Haram terrorism are seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. It is justified by the eagerness of Nigerians to ensure President Buhari exceeds 2019. And it is understandable why various groups are very vocal and initiated actions for the reelection of Buhari.
There was time to maliciously dismiss President Buhari . But it is now time to speak the truth. Buhari’s unbeatable track records in the leadership of Nigeria are too visible to be ignored. He was denied acknowledgement, but the sponsorship of his nomination form by poor Nigerians has received overwhelming applauses even from Buhari haters.
Nigerians Buhari has placated most are the Northeasterners who were under the spell of Boko Haram terrorism. The natural passion for Buhari by one Sadiq Tsamia is to the extent of making claims that the President is from Maiduguri, in Borno state. He argued that his rebuilding the Northeast as a cardinal agenda, must go beyond 2019 to complete the good works for the Northeast and Nigeria.
It’s heartwarming to know President Buhari has no problem on 2019 election expenses. If he requires 20 nomination forms to contest the 2019 presidency, these groups of poor Nigerians are ever ready to foot the bills. And the support-base is expansive.
Nigerians have suddenly realized the administration of President Buhari is no longer infesting Nigerians with hunger, poverty and misery. His performance is elevated and appreciated beyond geographical boundaries.
The pro-Buhari 2019 campaigners are genuine groups, whose outing now is in tandem with the subsisting stand with the Buhari Presidency based on merit. They are truly the patriots of Nigeria. Among such groups also is the Nigeria Consolidation Ambassadors Network (NCAN) led by its national coordinator Sunusi Musa.
And what is the conviction of NCAN for the action? It’s simply because President Buhari has justified both in words and actions, his determination to lay an unbreakable foundation for a greater and prosperous Nigeria.
NCAN members are real compatriots in the project of Nigeria’s redemption as spearheaded by President Buhari. They are among the millions of Nigerians who believe President Buhari has carved a niche in the leadership of Nigeria, with positive impacts on the economy, provision of infrastructure, job and wealth creation, social welfare and above all, ending the previously widespread nuisance of insecurity, especially Boko Haram terrorism.
President Buhari has performed stunningly in ending consuming insurgencies and emergent insurrections in Nigeria. Insecurity is the greatest threat and stumbling block to the development and prosperity of any nation.
That today, Nigerians anywhere in the country are insulated from the mesmerizing phobia of Boko Haram terrorism is enough signpost of a nation on speedy recovery from ruination and rebirth. Nigerians held hostage by insurgents have been freed in thousands and clutched Nigerian territories have been reclaimed by the Army.
And Boko Haram insurgents factional leader, Abubakar Shekau is now in hiding. He has lost top commanders and foot soldiers to the Nigerian Army. Shekau has been weakened to a level, striking uncontrollably as obtainable in 2015 is impossible. And his fancied act of displaying the videos’ of abducted Nigerians or violent raids are not possible under a Buhari Presidency and indeed, a taboo.
Shekau is forced to desert Sambisa forest and Nigeria. He has taken refuge in the forests and mountains of the Republic of Cameroun. But the COAS and leader of counter-insurgency, Lt. Gen. TY Buratai, the tireless soldier is in alliance with the Multi-National Joint Task Force (M-NJTF) to fish him out from his dungeon in foreign lands.
These are pluses for the Buhari Presidency meticulously documented by genuine patriots. The spiraling support for Buhari for 2019 streams from unflustered pious hearts, liberated from Boko Haram.
And the ongoing rebuilding of the ravaged Northeast is testimony that President Buhari’s seamless working relationship with the Nigerian Army and its leadership has kicked terrorism out of the country incontestably. The gains cannot be reversed. It is enough reason for the genuine rush of support for Buhari’s reelection in 2019. This is why na Nigerians dey rush Buhari for 2019.
Okanga writes from Agila, Benue State .