How to Lose the Presidential Election Four Times (2), By Femi Aribisala
APC presidential candidate Muhammadu Buhari’s blueprint for being a serial loser of presidential elections in Nigeria continues as follows:
Be an uneducated presidential candidate
Get your APC supporters to deride Goodluck Jonathan as “clueless,” but to complain when PDP National Secretary, Wale Oladipo, calls you “a semi-literate jackboot.”
Run against Goodluck Jonathan, the most highly-educated president in the history of Nigeria, who has a B.Sc. in Zoology; an M.Sc. in Hydro-biology and Fisheries Biology; and a Ph.D. in Zoology from the University of Port Harcourt; while you, on the other hand, did not even go to university but only as far as Katsina Provisional Secondary School.
Be one of the few senior military officers in the history of the Nigeria to fail the Command and Staff College exams as well as the senior military examinations. While your senior military colleagues, such as Ibrahim Babangida, Tunde Idiagbon, Theophilus Danjuma, Augustus Aikhomu and Abdulsalami Abubakar have military suffixes after their names, such as FSS; Psc; or MNI; have none after yours.
Have no policy program
Have no idea whatsoever of what you would do as president. Mouth anti-corruption platitudes without telling Nigerians how you propose to fight corruption. Fail to appreciate that the president of a democratic government does not have the dictatorial powers you exhibited unscrupulously as military head of state.
Refuse to appear in a public debate with President Obasanjo during the 2003 presidential election for fear of being disgraced. Be ridiculed by another invitation to debate Goodluck Jonathan today because the PDP is confident you will not be up to the task.
Claim: “no right-thinking Nigerian will vote for Jonathan” but show zero understanding of public policy. When asked in an interview on Channels Television how you would grow the Nigerian economy, give the ludicrous response that you would unilaterally stabilize dwindling oil prices; something even OPEC cannot do now.
When Jide Ajani asks you: “Looking at the economy today, what are those things you would point at that are fundamental to making the economy prosperous?” Reply, showing your acute ignorance, by saying: “I am not an economist but with my experience, it is about the indiscipline and lack of probity of the PDP government.”
When he tries to get you to be more forthcoming by asking: “You have spoken in general terms but were you to make a presentation to the business community, what are those things you would be telling them about your economic agenda – in specific terms?” Reply in the most vacuous nonsensical manner possible: “Firstly, let us secure our country. It means anything that comes to this country should be secure, but with people being kidnapped, armed robbery, bombings here and there, bad roads, fraudulent practices, nobody would come in and invest.”
When he still tries to get some substance from you by insisting: “What solutions would you proffer?” Show you have no idea whatsoever by replying: “It is not about telling them what to do which I have as plans but we have to understand how the problem developed? The ruling party must first accept responsibility for the failure of the nation before we can begin to talk about solutions.”
Be known for nonsensical policies
As military head of state, treat Nigerians as school-children through an infantile “War Against Indiscipline.” Force them to queue at bus-stops under the watchful eyes of soldiers wielding whips with orders to flog publicly those deemed unruly. Make civil-servants who come late to work do humiliating frog-jumps. Confuse this charade as cogent public policy.
Be the pioneer of kidnapping in Nigeria by seizing, drugging and crating Umaru Dikko in London, in the failed attempt to ship him forcibly back home. Make a monkey of the Nigerian judicial system by imposing ridiculous 200-year prison sentences on politicians. Put a corrupt president under house arrest, but jail students for 24 years for cheating at exams.
Publicly chastise and humiliate the Ooni of Ife and the Emir of Kano, like a headmaster would his errant school-children, because they went on a private business trip to Israel. Even though Nigerians did not need government permission to visit Israel, seize their passports and place them under travel-bans.
Revert to the ancient stone-age policy of trade by barter referred to as counter-trading. Use it to camouflage the siphoning of Nigeria’s resources abroad to Brazil. Violate ECOWAS protocols by instituting a “Ghana-Must-Go” policy that sought to expel Ghanaians from Nigeria. Impose austerity measures that create widespread job-losses and business closures and lowered the living-standards of Nigerians.
Be involved in $2.8 billion scandal
Claim you are anti-corruption, but under your watch as federal commissioner for petroleum resources, it was discovered that $2.8 billion of Nigeria’s oil money was withdrawn from the NNPC account in London’s Midland Bank and fraudulently deposited in a private BCCI (Bank of Credit and Commerce International) London account where it generated interest amounting to 419 million pounds for private pockets.
BCCI, described by Time Magazine as “the dirtiest bank of all,” turned out to be a rogue bank of international drug-barons and money-launderers owned by a notorious Pakistani; Agha Hassan Abedi. The bank finally collapsed in 1991 after British and American regulators discovered it was involved in widespread money-laundering deals.
The Shagari administration instituted a probe panel, headed by Justice Ayo Irikefe, to get to the bottom of the $2.8 billion scandal. The Senate also instituted its own investigations, headed by majority leader, Olusola Saraki. The Saraki committee’s report was presented to the Senate at the tail-end of the Shagari administration’s first term, with the resolve to address the matter after the 1983 election.
Conduct a coup d’état overthrowing the civilian government before the report could be made public. Bury the Irikefe Report, ensuring that it has never been made public. Intimidate the press into silence by promulgating the infamous Decree 2 which stifled press freedom and threatened prosecution of even those who tell the truth, as long as it is not palatable to you. Send politicians indiscriminately to jail on corruption charges as a way of diverting attention from your own corruption scandal.
Remove the Chief Justice of the Federation and replace him with Justice Ayo Irikefe, the man who headed the probe panel whose report you buried. Also appoint Chike Ofodile, the secretary of the probe panel whose report you buried, as your attorney-general.
Fail to see the hypocrisy in your insistence that the probe report today on NNPC accounts must be published. You say: “In the spirit of the War Against Corruption, we demand the release of the Audit Report of the missing $20billion.” But you buried the Irikefe Report on the missing $2.8 billion. Lai Mohammed, APC publicity secretary, says: “Nigerians will continue to demand that the audit report be made public, in the interest of transparency. The issue will not be swept under the carpet.”
However, you, the APC presidential candidate, rejected transparency by refusing to appear before the Justice Oputa “Truth and Reconciliation Panel” to defend your battered anti-corruption pretensions, suggesting thereby that you have something to hide. Instead, get gullible South-West journalists, like Dele Shobowale, to attack and malign anyone who dares to remind Nigerians about the missing $2.8 billion skeleton in your political wardrobe. Foolishly believe such scurrilous attacks on your critics would make the matter go away.
When Vera Ifudu, an NTA reporter, revealed to Nigerians that Senate Leader, Saraki, told her in an interview that the missing $2.8 billion was moved from the NNPC’s Midland Bank account to a private account; get NTA to dismiss her. However, she sued NTA, won the case, and was awarded financial compensation for wrongful dismissal.
Be an anti-corruption hypocrite
Deceive Nigerians into believing you are a poor man, in spite of the fact that you earn the fat and generous pension of a former head of state from the federal government.
Proclaim yourself an anti-corruption champion but fail to prosecute Alhaji Abubakar Alhaji, a Fulani Prince of the Sokoto Caliphate and ex-Permanent Secretary, federal Ministry of Finance, who lost thousands of pounds of his personal money in a London taxi while on official trip in London; even though Nigerian civil-servants are prohibited from maintaining foreign accounts. Simply post him from the Ministry of Finance to the Ministry of National Planning. Then crown it by appointing him a board-member of the NNPC.
Claim you are against corruption, but surround yourself with corrupt politicians and enter into coalition with corrupt politicians in the APC. Have as one of your key allies, a man who has dubiously appropriated choice land properties in Lagos State, including a local government secretariat.
As military head of state, have a palatial guest-house built in your home-town of Daura. Jail Bisi Akande on corruption charges, and later have him as interim chairman of your so-called anti-corruption APC. Claim your party is anti-corruption; however, the APC minority leader in the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, was convicted for professional misconduct by the Supreme Court of Georgia, U.S.A. in 2006 for defrauding a client of $25,000.
Accuse the PDP of being corrupt, but welcome with open-arms as many PDP members as possible. Accept into your party, men like Murtala Nyako, who was then impeached as governor of Adamawa State on corruption and other charges. Lead a high-powered APC delegation to the Ota home of one of the biggest PDP bigwigs of all, former president Obasanjo, in order to persuade him to come and be “the navigator” of your “anti-corruption” party.
Make a song and dance about being anti-corruption, but readily acquiesce to your party’s demand that a whopping 27.5 million naira fee to be paid by all presidential aspirants of your party; an amount more than that required by the PDP. Tell Nigerians you could not afford the 27.5 million naira. Nevertheless, declare your candidacy lavishly in Eagle Square, Abuja.
Tell Nigerians you took a dubious bank loan of 27.5 million naira in order to pay for your party’s presidential nomination papers. But afterwards it was reported in the papers that it was a former governor that wrote the cheque to your party to pay for you.
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