As I meandered through the headlines early this morning as has been my daily routine for sometime now, my attention was drawn to events at Buhari’s last campaign rally at the Abuja international conference centre as reported by several dailies.
Buhari was said to have broken into tears as he addressed a world press conference to mark the grand finale of his Presidential campaign. He lamented the ‘havoc which the government had done to Nigerians and their reputation’.
He said, “Ladies and gentlemen, in the life of any nation there comes a time when some people have to stand up and point out when things are moving off track, explain why they are going wrongly, demonstrate how they can be set aright, and work towards making a difference.
“For Nigeria, that time has come and it is now; and the people to stand up are you and me! Second, let me state categorically that I am not in this race to advance or protect any vested interest or group.
“We are seeking to replace a government that has done so much havoc to its people and their reputation; and we are determined, with your help, to uproot them completely. By the grace of God, Nigeria is going through its last few weeks of arbitrary non-accountable, corrupt governance—the type that has turned it into a republic of thieves.”
Buhari said that in all the time he had the privilege of managing national resources in various capacities in the country, he ‘never touched a kobo of public funds’.
“I have fought drift and purposelessness in this nation. I have fought corruption and indiscipline. I have fought indolence and the betrayal of trusts. I have fought the Nigerian civil war and struggled for the unity of this country in many other ways.
Some of his critics have already attributed his tears to frustrations of a sinking man. Others have said he is trying to buy sympathy votes with his ‘’theatrics’’. I’ve also heard a few say the results of last Saturday’s NASS elections must have dealt him a huge blow hence his outburst.
Perhaps his critics are right however as I pondered upon the headlines and in particular the character General Muhammadu Buhari. Before this morning I could not imagine General Buhari weep in public…The stories we had heard about him tell me otherwise. Stoic, disciplined, a general in the army etc. My thoughts drifted to Prof Pat Utomi and Dr Okey Ndibe. Prof Utomi had a few weeks said ‘’lets sink this ship…lets crash this democracy because its not working for Nigeria’’. Dr Okey Ndibe had also wriiten an article within that same time frame titled Time to destroy the Nigerian temple? I began to wonder why these men we had always seen as Patrotic Nigerians begin to loose faith in the future of Nigeria. I began to ask many more questions.
The what if questions hence my title. What If Nigerians truly deserve the leaders they get…what if Buhari is a true patroit and his tears were really about the rot in the system and his passion to salvage the system from self destruction…what if majority of Nigerians really are satisfied with where they are? A chilling thought then struck my heart…what if Buhari’s tears were an analogy of the tears of Christ as he gazed upon Jerusalem in Luke 19: 41-44 ‘’As Jesus drew near to the city of Jerusalem he wept over it saying "If you had known, even you, especially in this your day, the things that make for your peace!! But now they are hidden from your eyes. For the days will come when your enemies will build an embankment around you, surround you and close you in on every side and level you and your children to the ground; and they will not leave in you one stone upon another, because you did not know the time of your visitation."
Jerusalem was destroyed in AD 70 as Jesus prophesied. What would make Buhari, Utomi and Ndibe agonize over Nigeria to the point of weeping. I do hope this analogy does not come through but again what if it does?
Hypothetically, perhaps this election might present Nigerians the opportunity to decide between Buhari who sees himself as the messiah to bring Nigerian out of the woods and the current President. If we choose to reject him and choose the status quo then we can safely say that it is our collective decision and we would face the ‘’consequences’’ of our decision.
The Jewish nation took a decision to reject Christ as their messiah and the prophesies of Christ came upon them in AD 70. I really hope this wont be our own story.
Perhaps I am just hallucinating or overreacting but my initial questions still beg to be answered. what If buhari is right? What if majority of Nigerians deserve bad leadership. What if the fears expressed by Okey Ndibe and Pat Utomi are founded on facts. So many WHAT IF’s?
I just hope that Nigerians can get beyond selfish and religious sentiments in picking her leaders this time around.