“Even if Mahmoud Yakubu, INEC Chairman, testifies that he rigged the election on national television, the tribunal will still pronounce Buhari winner” ,Patrick, one of my friends, told me when the tribunal began in June.
And so, Wednesday, September 11,Nigerians didn’t hold their breaths as the Presidential Elections Tribunal, announced that Atiku Abubakar ,challenger didn’t prove his case challenging the re-election of Mohammadu Buhari. When the verdict came, and because the panel gave the impression that Atiku was winning, a pall was cast in Nigeria’s soul.
Mr Buhari who has presided over the most one-sided, inept, feckless and rudderless government in Nigeria took more root according to the tribunal. For obvious reasons, there were no pyrotechnics but instead ,the last dim glow of light in the troubled nation appeared to have been extinguished. No more lights in the moral horizons. A lack of standard appears to have been stamped. “Nigerians should disregard any congratulatory message issued in my name on the outcome of the Presidential Election Judgment. My party has indicated its intention to appeal the judgment, and as a party man and believer in the PDP/ATIKU 2019 project, I can’t author such statement.” – Ayodele Fayose
And as the government begs for approval , here is another.
“Whether you are a councillor, LGA Chairman, Governor or private citizen, anyone that chooses to congratulate Buhari is free to do so. Speaking for myself, I would rather be “dead in a ditch” (apologies to @BorisJohnson) than congratulate a man that rigged his way to power!” – Femi Fani-Kayode tweeted.
First, Buhari’s moral dilemma. Nigeria is one of those societies where old people are revered, sometimes, a step behind God. “The words of our elders are words of wisdom” as one maxim says. And Mr Buhari gave the sheen of an elder statesman who could do no wrong. To his worshippers, and they are( were?) legion ,Mr Buhari wont rig an election, falsify information and swear to an affidavit that he knew was a lie.
Because the tribunal said Mr Buhari won despite the killings on election’s day, the discrepancies about his academic qualifications and the fact that more people said they voted for Mr Abubakar (Some of Mr Buhari’s witnesses testified against him) and he accepted the verdict, a very bad example has been set. A lesson has been taught. One of the bad examples is that truth ,for instance, no longer matters. You also don’t need to be qualified.
Mr Buhari is now a subject of derision in Nigeria’s rich social media. Most children want to drop out of school because “We will use affidavits”. Those who are disappointed by Mr Buhari must wonder how he is able to live with the exact oposite of the image he sold for decades. Who would have believed that honour and truth will die in the hands of the man that was sung very loudly as “Mr Integrity”?
Second, more violent crimes .In Mr Buhari’s first term, more people had been killed than in any peace time period in Nigeria. Under Mr Buhari, Nigeria is just behind Yemen and Syria among countries where people are most likely to get killed. What more, most of the crimes appear to have the support of the government and its agencies.
Myetti Allah, a violent organisation that champions Mr Buhari actually said that “cows are happy that Buhari won”. Yes, cow! And now that the tribunal has said he won, those killers have been given more fillip. And from the herdsmen and bandits who get paid by government to “halt killings”, Nigerians can only expect more rampage. Only Thursday, a day after the ruling, a version of RUGA was “approved by the governors forum of the North”. Soon, pressure will be applied and it will seep into the South.People will resist this and the result will be violence
A month before the verdict, an army captain, Balarabe, ordered the kiling of policemen who arrested a notorious kidnapper. Although the police has re-arrested Wadume, as the man is called, nothing has been heard of the case. Interestingly enough, captain Balarabe is Fulani, Mr Buhari’s tribe. In Nigeria, the case is dead. What that means is more kidnapping and allied crimes.
Third, suicide will increase.
In 2017, 2 years into Mr Buhari’s first dose, a doctor parked his car and jumped into the lagoon in Lagos. When the Marine police fished out a corpse, it wasn’t the doctor’s. More fishing netted more dead men and women. It turns out that those who wanted/want a way out of Mr Buhari’s new world took/take a dive. It is fair to assume that most rivers in Nigeria are also the final resting places of those who chose to die than to endure Nigeria’s hell. “Sniper ” an insecticide, is also a tool of choice for those who can’t live with reality. The government has “banned” the product but more potent variants are seen on shelves. It is also fair to assume that the sale of “Sniper ” will increase.
With no change in economic policy, no, let’s make that : With no economic policy, more people will die. The government has even set the suicide ball rolling. The battered citizen now have 2:2 percent added to the VAT that they groan to pay. In a recession, taxes are lowered to make products affordable. But Mr Buhari’s government knows very little about the economy.
Even Mr Buhari is trapped in his office. Masari, governor of Katsina, the president’s home state, has negotiations with bandits daily as security collapsed.
What’s more, its citizens from around the world are being sent home. Czech republic, for instance, simply gave Nigerians living there money to leave. They were also asked never to return.
A batch of Nigerians in South Africa has arrived ” home” to nothing. Those who are criminals among them will only do crime.
Finally, oil prices. Mr Buhari has been Nigeria’s oil minister since 2015. The state oil company, NNPC, has been reporting losses ever since. As foreign investors move to Ghana, Nigeria needs oil to sell for $ 120 to balance its budget but is today selling at $60 . And half of that goes to production costs. OPEC has been forced to cut quotas to stop the decline in price. A low producer which is also far from the market, like Nigeria, is in more trouble.
Oh, let’s also remember that 70 percent of that is spent on servicing debts, some 26 trillion Naira. What that means is that the loose change Nigeria gets is only spent in paying its bureaucracy. Nothing for schools, hospitals, roads ,etc. In short, Nigeria has been broke since 2015. Even China is unwilling to give out loans to fund Nigeria’s 2019 budget. What this means is that the government will make more promises and break them.
The end result of Mr Buhari’s victory is that life will mean less and less.
Finally, the supreme court will also disappoint.Atiku Abubakar has approached the supreme court thus rejecting Wednesday’s verdict. Is he just going through the motion? Nigerians hope not.
As a people who are quick to forget and are quicker to hope, they pray for a miracle, a dui ex machina, an act of God, that will change the mind of the supreme court justices. They hope that the final court will take Mr Buhari out of their lives. But I will tell them to not hold their breaths.