BUHARI’S PRESIDENCY: A NEW VISION FOR NIGERIA

APC Campaign Rivers

By Sadiq Abdullahi

The high level of dissatisfaction and discontent with the PDP-led leadership since 1999 have led to many Nigerians in the country and abroad to seek a new vision and a new direction for Nigeria. The 2015 Presidential Election holds that vision and direction for a new beginning for NIGERIA!

After a series of internal and external issues and problems, the All Progressives Congress (APC) successfully organized and presented an exceptional primaries around the nation which culminated with a superb job at the national convention in Lagos, which saw General Muhammadu Buhari emerged as the flag bearer for the February 2015 Election, and made a strong statement that the party is here to stay.

Many Nigerians and Nigerians-in Diaspora were very impressed and welcomed the transformation of APC despite challenges in the merger process. Politics is about “who” gets “what,” “when,” and “how.” All of these will play out in the aftermath of the elections

But Nigeria is a nation of contradiction in practice. This contradiction stems from the fact that we profess collective values and collective brotherhood, yet we undermine our collective vision and aspiration as one people, one nation. We continue as a nation in search of a new identity and a new direction. We allow insecurity to undermine our spirit and our ability to defend and uphold our constitution.

Nigerians want to reclaim Nigeria again. They want a new vision and a new direction. They want a new leader. Security becomes the first issue facing Nigeria. The Boko Haram insurgency is causing menace to communities in the North-Western and North-Eastern parts of the country with impunity, causing fear and insecurity in the entire North of the country; with  corresponding fear and insecurity in the Southern part of the country.

Nigeria continues to face serious political, social, and economic challenges. These challenges retard national development, national unity, and nation building. Nigeria has failed to build and sustain democratic institutions needed to foster democratic behaviors and actions. Regional, ethnic, religious, and tribal allegiances and bigotry have become a way of life, making the nation highly polarized and unfocused. Our national identity has been eroded and has become a laughing stock in the global community. Nigerians are not taken seriously any longer. Locally, we have lost all common humanity and common bonding as one people under God. We have lost our sense of national history, critical to appreciating our troubled past.

PDP has claimed that we are the leading economy in Africa, growing it by an average of 6% per year and enjoying the 26th ranked position in the world while aspiring to be among the top 20 leading economies. Yet, President Jonathan and the nation have failed to deal with the colossal corruption that continues to take resources away from critical areas of development. We underdevelop critical infrastructures such as hospitals, roads, schools, and essential amenities. Nigerians must come out in large numbers on Election Day to vote for change.

Since returning to Nigeria in June 2014 on a one year leave of absence from United States, I have heard ordinary Nigerians in Kashere, Gombe State yearning for change. The poor people of Kashere want change and they seem to represent the general sentiments in the country. When our great and beloved nation attained independence in 1960, our independent leaders with great love and resolve vowed to uphold the principles in the Nigerian constitution. They knew that the new nation with its many languages and competing regional interests will be difficult to govern, but they stuck together until the military coup came. Democracy and good leadership were quickly disrupted.

APC and General Buhari must endeavor to abide by the 1999 Nigerian Constitution, the most important document and the supreme law of the nation. It serves as the framework of national government and the source of Nigerian citizens’ basic rights.They must endeavor to create “a New Deal,” “a Fair Deal” and a “Good Deal” for all Nigerians.This should be in the form of a series of legislation aimed at addressing pressing challenges, creating new jobs, reducing crimes and violence etc.

APC and General Buhari must move the nation into “a New Frontier” with the youth forming a big chunk of the transition team, making room for continuity of programs and good governance. General Buhari’s agenda of inclusiveness, diversity, growth and change should excite the National Assembly who in turn would passenabling legislationsvery quickly.

Public opinion supports a New Nigeria and the mounting approval minute by minute, hour by hour, day by day, and week by week. Criticisms and concerns are also coming from detractors and those who want to maintain the status quo. APC and General Buhari acknowledged and understand this. One of the main concerns is the violence that may ensue if the outcome of thepresidential election is not favorable to either candidate. If this happens, democracy will be the culprit. But if we have to go by past history and the outcome of previous presidential elections, we have to be on the side of caution as this can torn the nation apart.

APC and General Buhari will need to win the 25% votes across the board in most of the states to seal the deal, with over 18 million from the north-west, over 11 million from the north-east, over 14 million from south-west, and a good showing in the south-south and south-east. Although, we expect the presidential election to be competitive and contentious, the expected outcome will be the catalyst Nigeria needs to begin the true transformation of Nigeria.

“BUHARI/APC GO FOR CHANGE, THE TIME IS NOW”!

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