We said we wanted an educated President and a young one too. We got both in President Goodluck Jonathan and in addition, a record experience as a man who had held virtually all the executive positions in the land. We were blind to character and competence, instead we added sentiments in their place. And GEJ showed us how not to choose a leader. He showed us that regardless of religious injunctions (he flaunts his Christianity into our faces all the time), education, economic background or experience, a man will be what he chooses to be; good or bad. The upside however, is that he has made us see the worst so that we can pull our senses together and know how to choose the best.
General Muhammadu Buhari has emerged as the APC Presidential candidate in a true contest that saw the best of Nigerian politicking yet. Atiku Abubakar, his strongest contender, was a formidable opponent who prosecuted an intelligent campaign. It had to take a whole lot to overcome his force of wealth and intellectualism which GMB did.
The legitimacy of the process through which GMB has emerged places him on a higher moral pedestal than his opponent. There was no attempt to muscle anyone out of the race. All those who indicated interest were allowed to take part, including Sam Nda-Isaiah and Gov Rochas Okorocha. There was no contrived consensus candidate and no attempts to disqualify anyone through zoning, religion or any means whatsoever. Going into the elections, GMB has more credibility than GEJ. His mandate is clean, won on a just and democratic platter, through excellence and proven integrity.
It is worthy of note that the APC platform was built from the scratch as opposition forces began the journey to a merger after the 2011 elections. It has taken four years for the structure to set. The coalition survived all the doom predictions of cynical commentators as against all odds, it grew into a mighty institution that has given Nigerians an alternative to the ill-fated PDP. The last of the predictions was an implosion after the Presidential primaries, which has turned out a failed calculation because of the flawless nature of the process and the maturity of the APC family. They have indeed proved wrong, those who say APC and PDP are the same. I know for sure that the cynics are those who hope it will succeed but are afraid to publicly show their expectation so that if it fails they won’t be disappointed.
It is symbolic that GMB has been handed the flag of hope in Lagos, hundreds of miles away from his traditional Northern region and what I find interesting is that he is 72 but his greatest support base is the young people. We have the voting majority. He strikes a chord with us and as he comes on board the Presidential race proper, to fly our flag of hope, we welcome him and we shall hand him our mandate by the grace of God the Almighty.
It is divine that he had to wait this long and make a seemingly endless journey during which he cried, was betrayed, his character assaulted by false accusations of religious fanatism and at some point was so despondent he spoke of giving up. It is divine too, that we have had to see the worst in our life as a people, before coming to appreciate him. He could never have been a better President than he will be now. Indeed GMB will unite us all as the moment for a truly great Nigeria dawns. I’m glad it is happening in my age, for I know Nigeria has found her moment of brilliant manifestation as our flag of hope goes into the hand of a man that God will direct his affairs to the glory of His name. The journey has just began and I’m under no illusion that it will be easy. It will be difficult, but surely we shall triumph. God bless GMB and God bless Nigeria.
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