GEJ or GMB: Who Will Be Your Val?

By on January 18, 2015

GEJ or GMB: Who will be your val?

[A Guest Blog By Bashir Adeboyejo]

It’s less than 30 days to the presidential election! Precisely , On Feb 14 2015- the St Valentine’s day , Nigerians will be asked literally to show “love” to any of the candidates seeking to be the commander in chief over the next four years. Interestingly, same faces from 2011 elections have shown up again. Same middling with different political and moral baggage are up against each other. Unlike in 2011, the fervor of political rivalry is a lot fierier. 11 candidates have been cleared by INEC but for me the contest is between 2 candidates – Goodluck Ebele Jonathan (GEJ) and General Muhammadu Buhari (GMB).

Now, the presidential election is one of the ways a group of people define itself and its medium to long term future. The issues on the agenda in this election are grievous. They speak to the very root and corporate existence of the country. 2015 electoral choice therefore is not one Nigerians should be flippant about. It could be a choice between blissful heaven and a fiery hell. The top 3 items on the agenda are Boko haram, economy and corruption. Boko haram is on an assault and are embolden in the knowledge that they are better equipped and more motivated than our military, the morale of our soldiers is at its lowest, institutional corruption has also taken a new dimension.

Our civil servants will be shocked if you show up with a proposal that do not have something for the boys. The corruption way is now the Nigerian way. The economy outlook is even more depressing. Shale oil development and its effect on oil pricing has meant a squeeze on the economic front .How much longer can we really continue to support the Naira from free fall?.

Let us try to examine the frontline candidates and possibly predict the shape of the election outcome

PRESIDENT JONATHAN4” Dr ”Good luck Ebele Jonathan, 54, Christian and a minority Ijaw man from Otuoke in Bayelsa state is the incumbent. The former teacher who became a career politician has been in power for 6 years as president and prior to that a Vice president, governor and deputy governor.

Dr Jonathan is a mixed bag of contradiction. A PhD holder in zoology with very poor understanding of verb agreement and a near empty vocabulary, a seemingly humble, unambitious and religious Christian personae who goes on a pilgrimage every other day but who hug power to the point of even lying about his one term agreement, a supposedly honest guy with an army of irredeemably corrupt cronies. Jonathan’s mass appeal in 2011 as a humble, servant leader is in reverse gear. The overwhelming support for a minority buoyed by a politics of pity, ethnicity and religious sentiment which ensured victory for Mr. Jonathan has being frittered away. His estranged Godfather and key PDP foundational members now detest him and have either left the party or openly in support of the opposition. Those who stayed with him only do that because they are too tainted or benefiting from the chop I chop politics.

Mr Jonathan lacks charisma and is neither inspiring nor convincing in mien and verbiage. The real reason he is largely perceived as inarticulate, incoherent and incorrigibly incompetent despite modest achievement of the few technocrats in his government. Clueless is popular descriptor for Mr. President. Like sonala olumese wrote ” he seems to have no grasp as to what day it is outside of his home”

He is married to Patience Faka Jonathan- his student – an easy catch and a good match considering Madams equally astounding public show of poor education. She dents his image in equal measure as the man himself. Its either Mr Jonathan is a poor teacher or Madam faka is a dull hollow student . chai!

Jonathan’s in-tray is also brimming with unfulfilled election promises dating back to 2009 but he is busy making fresh ones . I am not sure how many people believes those promises. However, we must give Jonathan some credit especially considering the context in which he operated for six year. Jonathan has performed within the limit of his constrained capacity. Disloyal aides joined the sycophants and a sprinkling of professionals in his cabinet giving an below par performance with moderate improvement in agriculture ,transport, education and infrastructure.

However, his effort in power sector which is one of his key electoral promises in 2011 has not yielded any positive result.

Aside his personal limitations, the president is going into this election with serious self-inflicted gouges. His critics will point to the following damning failures:

1. ONE TERM DEAL: GEJ despite his hollow denials agreed to a one term deal pre-2011 election. His lies clearly show that he is a man who lacks honor, is dishonest and cannot be trusted. This action has polarized his party and support base especially in the north who feel entitled to the seat based on PDP zoning arrangement.

2. I DONT GIVE A DAMN. This statement has haunted GEJ. In apparent frustration at being asked to declare his asset. He bluntly refused to tell Nigerians his material worth and leaves them wondering why a shoeless man would not declare his asset while his erstwhile boss Yardua with a redoubtable credential cheerfully did same.

3. CORRUPTION vs. STEALING: Whoever advised GEJ to a live media chat is sinister. The platform of engagement has been a theater of gaffe, obscene display of ignorance and pitiable delusional world Jonathan bask in. In the heat of the $ 20 billion NNPC and GEJ response in denying no fund was missing gushed out the statement “America will know if indeed money was missing”. Whaaaaaaat? In addition, a litany of corruption scandal keeps coming up in quick succession Eg Oduahgate, pension fund, employment scam where a couple of young Nigerians lost their lives , capital oil and amcon , fuel subsidy etc. all these he assigned to some committee where it all entered as we say in Nigeria “voicemail”.

4. BOKO HARAM: Chibok girls abduction is one big dark blot on Jonathan’s credential. The girls are still missing. 275 days after. Forgotten and betrayed by this administration. Mr. Jonathan can’t provide us security . He is not even talking about it anymore!.

5. HIS CRONIES: GEJ is surrounded by thieves and convicted criminals. His trust circle is easily a party of disgraced tricksters, crooks and looters who stoke his delusion by calling him an absurd equivalent of Mandela, Obama,ghandi and even Jesus Christ.

In summary, this is a “one chance” president. He has got his chance. I think its bye bye time. He would get no love from Nigerian on Valentine’s Day.

Here comes our second candidate.

buhari2General Muhammadu “Leko” Buhari , 72, Muslim; a Fulani from the north is the opposition party’s -APC -candidate.

He was career military man who rose to the rank of a General and took power by force in 1984 following a coup de tat.

The general is running on the basis of probity, integrity and discipline. This character set that should be the baseline for anyone who aspire to lead has interestingly become selling point for this candidate so the tangible issue of” how” and manifesto is now secondary . He is an honest man by many standards and stands out among his peers especially given that he led a military government and could have plundered the treasury at will. His contemporaries including Obasanjo and abdusalam are billionaires in dollar terms.

Like Mr. Jonathan, Buhari is also brimming with personal liabilities and reprehensible antecedents.
Buhari has a rich history of high handedness as a military head of state; some prominent Nigerian like Wole Soyinka actually described his reign as a period of enslavement. The press was practically gagged and specifically forbade all public discussion of a return to civilian, democratic rule. Little wonder there was no concrete blueprint for a return to democratic rule 20 months after the gap toothed general sacked the Shagari .Those who refused to be gagged like Tai Solarin were sent to jail. In Tai ‘s case he was totured and denied his personal medication with which that he effectively treats himself of his asthmatic condition..

Buhari treated a Commission of Enquiry, the Oputa Panel, with unconcealed disdain and refused to appear before the distinguished commission for charges of gross abuses of power and blatant assault on the fundamental human rights of the Nigerian citizenry.

What about the killing of Lawal Ojuolape (30), Bernard Ogedengbe (29) and Bartholomew Owoh (26) with a retroactive law which some considers an “unconscionable crime, carried out in defiance of the pleas and protests of nearly every sector of the Nigerian and international community – religious, civil rights, political, trade unions .
The case of Chief Adekunle Ajasin, arraigned, tried and retried before Buhari’s tribunal but acquitted when nothing was found against him . Buhari assumed the role of the judge and ordered indefinite detention of chief Ajasin.

Wole Soyinka in his article on Buhari in 2011 also points to “double, triple, multiple standards with unjust incarceration Audu Ogbeh, alex Ekwueme in Kiri-kiri while Sheu Shagari who was the head of government was kept in “cozy house detention in Ikoyi.”

Lest I forget, the story of 50 suitcases purportedly filled with dollars and brought in by a northern emir when the buhari government had shut tight the air, land and sea is another question begging for answer. Buhari role in personally redeploying the custom officer Atiku and instructing his aide –de camp to oversee entry of these cases is a blot on his credibility and fairness.

In summary, I refuse to agree to the messianic posturing of Mohammadu Buhari and for me he is a 5 /10 candidate.

I believe Nigerian deserve a choice better than these two . However our choice of a val is limited to these two . It’s the hand that we have been dealt and the conscious compromise is clear. GMB’s goodluck is that he is in this clime and so the fisher man may just have to return to Otuoke. GMB gets my vote ( reluctantly ).

My friends, please get your PVC , go out and vote your conscience where it’s safe and see that the vote is counted .

May God bless Nigeria. One love my people.

About Dr. Ope Banwo

Dr. Ope Banwo is an Attorney; Pastor; Business Consultant; Author; Motivational Speaker, and Corporate Solutions Provider. He holds several degrees in Law including a Bachelors, Masters and a Ph.D. He was admitted to the Nigerian Bar (1986), New York Bar (1997) and Federal Court of Nebraska (1997) in the United States. Ope Banwo has written several published books on different topics over the years including bestsellers in Christianity; Lifestyle; and Business such as The Kingdompreneur, Overcoming The Gideon Complex, The Kingdom Citizen, The Return of The Prodigal; The Blessings of Adversity; African Internet Business Manifesto; Confessions Of A Guru-Wannabe; Social Media Marketing Genesis; Offline-Online Business Manifesto, Digital Marketing Without Tears For Company Executives etc. Deeply committed to public service and service to humanity, Dr Ope Banwo has also initiated several public initiatives including the Ghetto Dreamz Foundation to empower economically-disadvantaged Youths; The Omega Wealth Club to teach youths legitimate ways to employ themselves online; The Kingdompreneur Academy to impact Christians in Business and the Nigerian Market Ombudsman to ensure transparency, accountability and fairness in the market place.

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