GIVE US BUHARI, THE LEADER WE NEED - Lauretta Onochie
And then there was light! At the end of the tunnel, there was light! APC is the All Progressive Congress, the newest formed political party in Nigeria. It was the coming together of some of the smaller political parties in opposition. It was a MERGER which came as a result of the realisation that our nation was drifting to the edge of the precipice, in all aspects of our nationhood. Patriots, who wanted to serve our nation more profitably came together. Even progressives who were choking within the PDP, made a dash for fresh air and came along under APC. Ordinary Nigerians who desire Change, trooped out to identify with APC.
This merger formation brought together many unlike elements or strange bedfellows, including a few who are also guilty of the dire situation in our nation. However, the combined effort of the Nigerian masses and good elements in APC, promises to produce a credible head of a new administration, who we strongly hope would afford the Nigerian nation, the desired and deserved responsible leadership and government.
Nigerians, desperate for the sort of leadership they can proudly identify with, have thrown caution to the wind. They have come out in their numbers, from across the land with their unflinching support for the man PDP loves to hate, General Mohammadu Buhari. I have great respect for a man of no financial standing who is able to maintain such huge fanatical follower-ship and is now garnering support from unusual quarters, in a nation where money is the language of politics....and in the face of sustained massive local and international negative propaganda, funded with our common wealth.
But all the lies are falling apart, internationally and locally, across the nation. From the South South, the homestead of President Jonathan, thousands are joining the crusade for a leader we deserve. They are sharing the truth and turning on its head, lies that have been deliberately written and spoken and texted and Whatsapped and BBed against this epitome of integrity.
Hear Gawain Ako, one of many South southerners, who may not be members of APC, but are looking to APC to give us the leader we deserve:
"Let me reiterate what I said before and let me sound it at the top of the mountain again!!. I do not like the PDP and do not owe any body an apology for not liking them.
I welcome wholeheartedly the emergence of APC and thank GOD for that. I make bold to say that my affiliation is anti PDP. I will never support a party that has ruined Nigeria since 1999, never ...it'll never happen. (The hottest part of hell are meant for those who during moral crisis assume neutrality....Julius Nyerere).
I am not a 'condition' or an 'if' man...what I say in secret, I say in the open.....A party under whose watch, more than 8000 civilians have died and headed by the most divisive, ethnic bigot of a President will never get my support.
Do you think I am on this earth to lick anyones boot? Nothing will change my view save I begin to see strong leadership and accountability where all, devoid of ethnicity and regional bigotry, will serve the goodwill of humanity.
An injustice to one is an injustice to all and that is the motto I have clung to since my Great Ife days.....So much insensitivity which is shown towards the slaughter in the North East is terrible and wicked and I should sit on the fence when I already know their Presidential flag bearer who is dragging the country to civil war? Incredulous!
We all must stand against this wicked party that blindsides soldiers to their death.. I have placed my support with the conviction of my very being. I hope Buhari is the APC flag bearer and by God I will campaign for him because no matter how any one placates him as an ethnic, corrupt and religious bigot, all accusations will fall like a pack of cards.....
I want this blood shed to stop and so long as PDP remains in power soldiers, civilians, women and children will die.....It is my hope that he, Buhari is as strong as he used to be.
Apart from that I have solidarity for APC because it stopped Nigeria from becoming a one party state and I commend Tinubu for that political gambit. Where it not for him....who knows what will be happening. So stay on your side of the aisle and continue deciding who or what or how you want to support....I dont do ifs!" - Gawain Ako
In a statement jointly signed by its International Leader, Ufuoma Atsiangbe, National Leader, Ben Okoro and Co-ordinator in Bayelsa State, Tony Garoro, on Thursday, South-South Actualization Movement for Muhammadu Buhari, said Nigeria was bedevilled with a lot of challenges, which only Gen. Buhari could fix.
Why this new clamour for Gen. Buhari's presidency? Let's go through memory lane and see how corruption, the bane of our nation, developed, and it shouldn't he hard for anyone to see why Nigerians are already breathing a sigh of relief and praying to be delivered into the hands of APC and General Buhari.
1. 1960 - 1966: Sir Abubakar Tafawa - Balewa's tenure -
no public funds stolen
2. 1966: Major - General Aguiyi Ironsi's. brief tenure -
no public funds stolen
3. 1966 - 1975: General Yakubu Gowon's tenure -
very little corruption creeping in
4. 1975 - 1976: General Murtala Ramat Muhammed's tenure -
zero tolerance for corruption and indiscipline
5. 1976 - 1979: General Olusegun Aremu Matthew Okikiola Obasanjo's tenure -
rulers started owning large properties running into millions of dollars
6. 1979 - 1983: President Shehu Shagari's tenure -
characterised by weak leadership. Ministers and other top functionaries had a field day looting all the lootable public funds and properties even though the President himself was not stealing any dime!
7. 1984 - 1985: Major - General Muhammadu Buhari's tenure -
zero tolerance for corruption, indolence and indiscipline. Corrupt politicians were jailed a minimum of 100 years in prison each!
8. 1985 - 1993: General Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida's tenure -
freed all the corrupt politicians jailed by General Buhari. These same freed politicians are majorly the same set of politicians ruining Nigeria now. During Babangida's tenure public funds were being carted away by public servants like confetti. In one fell swoop, about 12 billion dollars mysteriously vanished!
9. 1993 - 1998: General Sani Abacha's tenure -
five billion dollars and more stolen in his five years tenure
10. 1998 - 1999: General Abdulsalami Abubakar's 11 months tenure - About 2 billion dollars were alleged to have been stolen. Anyway the man is among the wealthiest people in the country today!
11. 1999 - 2007: President Olusegun Matthew Aremu Okikiola Obasanjo's second tenure -
His bank account grew from twenty thousand naira after emerging from prison to being a multi-billionaire with choice properties in Nigeria and major cities of the world. Public infrastructure declined massively and gangsterism became the order of the day by his party, the PDP. Corruption prospered massively in his tenure! In one fell swoop, 16 billion dollars just vanished, allegedly for electric power projects but darkness was supplied and is still being supplied in large quantity! In another mysterious disappearance the sum of 300 billion naira (2 billion dollars) meant for road projects also vanished into thin air!
12. 2007 - 2010: Late President Yar'adua's tenure -
A quiet reserved and the messiah that did not live long to be! The noiseless tenure. But due to perpetual ill-health was unable to tame corruption which is the character and perfume of his party men and women in the PDP. Had a slightly large family but he never allowed public funds to be spent on feeding the first family!
13. 2010 - Present: President Nnamdi Azikiwe Ebele Goodluck Jonathan's tenure -
Full of noise but empty of substance. Spends about a billion naira per year for food for himself, wife and two kids. In the 2011 election year about 2.6 trillion naira just disappeared from the public till, which is the highest disappearance of public funds per year in the country's history! Intolerant of criticisms. Suffers acute inferiority complex and seems to dislike any war against corruption. A former Education Minister and Vice President of the World Bank, Mrs Oby Ezekwesili accused his government and that of his immediate predecessor of not accounting for about 67 billion dollars! Since then his government has been responding in the manner of a headless chicken. They are busy insulting the woman instead of stating in facts and figures what they did with the money. In fact, the SUNDAY PUNCH newspaper of 25/11/2012 pointedly said about 31 billion dollars were stolen since his government came to being on May 6, 2010. And there's more, but his government looks promising to hold the medal for the most corrupt in the world! Judge for yourself!!
Moving on, according to Harris Pen Ogbolu, General Buhari achieved so much in his war against corruption between December 1983 and August1985. Queuing in an orderly form, the monthly cleaning of our environment, etc are still with us today, courtesy of Gen Buhari's War against Indiscipline, WAI.
General Buhari has integrity and is the only ex-leader not living in opulence. Discipline is his watchword, probity and accountability are his footstools.
Unlike Generals Babangida and Obasanjo, he was not a western stooge and held out for the best deals for Nigeria in negotiations with the International Monetary Funds. Every way he acted as a leader of this once aspiring great nation, showed him as a leader who had the best interests of Nigeria. He stood for Nigeria and for Nigerians.
General Buhari jailed over 600 corrupt politicians and businessmen and refused to release them until their loot were recovered. He even tried to forcefully kidnap President Shagari's defence minister, Alhaji Umaru Dikko from the UK, who had stolen millions of dollars after the British government refused to send him back to Nigeria. Oh, how we need him today!
Under General Buhari, there was less crime as he took a hard line on all crimes especially violent crimes and drug trafficking.
In just 20 months General Buhari improved Nigeria's trade deficit and reduced our national debt, paving the way for the take off of the largest and healthiest economy in Africa and positioning Nigeria as a potential world power.
Nigeria's problems are myriad but number one problem is corruption in high places. Once corruption is tackled, most debilitating national issues, such as electoral fraud, poor provisions of electricity and other social amenities/infrastructures, decay in the civil service, poor work ethics, sentimental attachment and dedication to corrupt leaders based on religion and ethnicity, etc.
Amongst those who have presented themselves for the 2015 presidential election, General Buhari is the only politician with a proven record of effectively fighting corruption. He may not be the best Nigeria has to offer, but amongst those who have presented themselves for service, he towers head and shoulder, having a proven track record of acting in the best interest of Nigerians with a zero tolerance for corruption.
APC delegates must know that Nigeria is in their hands to save. Their choice of a flag bearer must reflect the current needs of our nation. National Structures and social institutions have fallen apart. Families are disjointed. Whole Nigerian communities have been sacked and many children separated from their families as in war times. Poverty pervades as children who should be in schools, flood the streets of Nigeria earning money to support their families to put food on the table.
Insurgency has been left to fester and capitalised upon by poor, insensitive, mediocre and massively corrupt leadership. Our need now, more than anything else, is a strong leadership that is able to act in the best interest of our nation. A leadership that we can trust to stem the decay that has become known internationally as the hallmark of the PDP government of President Jonathan.
Nigerians yearn for a leadership that can be relied upon to restore our pride as Nigerian people across the globe. A leadership that has the ability to bring together again, all peoples of Nigeria, taking our focus from religion and ethnicity and refocusing us on the Nigerian nation. A listening leadership that will not sweep issues of concern to Nigerians, under the carpet. A leadership that is responsive to the needs of Nigerians and can exercise its duty of care to all Nigerians, home and abroad.
That leader is General Buhari. Give us this day our leader, one man that fits all. Give us General Buhari.
Twitter @ Laurestar