Never since the criminal annulment of June 12 Presidential election has the muffled democratic will of the Nigerian people found such sharp vent nor was suddenly animated by the positive spirit of political change, than by the inevitable advent of the potentially corrective and liberating candidature of Gen. Muhammadu Buhari.
By the dint of a pleasant historical irony, the campaign jingle of the late Chief M.K.O Abiola during the June 12, 1993 presidential election was the popular lyric: “On The March Again”; and the high point of which slogan then was the ‘search’ for ‘the People’s Choice’.
And although that free-willing determination of the people to ‘march’ for the actualisation of their democratic choice was arbitrarily suppressed by the anti-democratic jackboot of vested military interest, that ‘Peoples Spirit’ was only scorched, but not entirely killed.
Thus twenty-two years since that historic June 12 annulment, Nigerians, for the first time, went ‘On The March Again’ – and this time incidentally in the month of March – to search for a president that is truly the democratic ‘Choice of the People’.
And it was not by accident that that democratic choice of the people would fall on the All Progressive Congress’s Gen. Muhammadu Buhari, one of Nigeria’s foremost military generals and her former head of state, reputed for his personal discipline and modesty as for his transparency and incorruptibility.
Thus as ‘ghosts’ are said to be spirits that rise from the dead, it is virtually safe to surmise that the ghost of June 12 has, at last, resurrected in the resounding victory of the APC’s presidential candidate, Gen. Muhammadu Buhari.
Never since the criminal annulment of the June 12 presidential election has the muffled democratic will of the Nigerian people found such sharp vent nor was suddenly animated by the positive spirit of political change, than by the inevitable advent of the potentially corrective and liberating candidature of Gen. Muhammadu Buhari.
The general’s persistence and perseverance in his bid for election as Nigeria’s civilian president after three previous failed attempts attest not only to his faith in the democratic process, but is also a veritable proof of the purge in him of the regimentation and impetuosity that the military mind in politics is reputed for.
And just like the Pan Nigerian mandate secured for the first time by the late Chief MKO in 1993, Gen. Muhammadu Buhari has re-enacted an electoral feat that is, once again, about to reunite Nigeria just when the country was on the verge of balkanisation.
The recent victory of Gen. Buhari (over an arrogantly under-performing incumbent Jonathan) was not only cross-cultural in its diversity, it was in fact secured by a free-willing and free-acting electorate encumbered though by, but stridently resistant to, the canker worm of geo-politics, ethnographic and religious divide.
The incoming administration of Gen. Muhammadu Buhari is not only a child of promise; it is a child of hope. Even before it has taken off it has brought a lot of healing to a nation only a few days ago on a snapping point. The combination of a humble, incorruptible man of extreme modesty as President and commander-in-chief and an erudite legal luminary and a man of God and Pastor as Vice President is a veritable recipe for transparency and accountability in the incoming APC dispensation.
Nor is the progressive content of this potentially messianic administration – as ably epitomised by the prodigious leadership of our very own Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the Asiwaju himself – any less promising of a new evangel of good governance or what a Minna-based colleague of mine described as the Albert Einstein pitch of contemplation whose trail was blazed 16 years ago in Lagos by the Jagaban himself.
It is my belief also that the advent of the Buhari-Osinbajo administration should give rest to the spirit of its political alter ego – June 12 – by finally giving a lasting repose to the soul of the very democratic icon whose supreme sacrifice 22 years ago set the nation on this irreversible path to democracy.
Last Line: For the sake of our dear old good “melting pot”, Lagos, and for continuity, here is calling on our Igbo brethren to come out en-masse come Saturday, April 11 and vote Akinwumi Ambode as next governor of the state.
It will be unimaginable for a Lagos that made the progressive “Zik of Africa” to become an enclave that will be ruled by a reactionary government installed by Igbo votes! The fact that our president-elect, Gen. Muhammmadu Buhari, and former President Olusegun Obasanjo waded into the Oba Akiolu gaffe is enough to assuage the feeling of our aggrieved Igbo brethren.
A Lagos under APC/Buhari administration after the disastrous GEJ years will benefit all and sundry and transform “Eko Akete” to the envisaged mega city of our dream.
Lisa Olu Akerele, former Political Assistant to the late M.K.O.Abiola, is the Atunwase of Ijeshaland.