The political rage as Nigeria heads to the polls next week visited the camp of Kaduna State governor, Mallam Nasir El-Rufai while cautioning western powers from interfering in our domestic politics. The United States, the United Kingdom and the European Union have taken it upon themselves to respond to any issues of politics in Nigeria in the name of Election Observation. Most recent was the unfortunate saga in the Judiciary that has not ended in a good note for them. They also threatened visa restrictions for Nigerians or political actors who participate in acts of violence for this 2019 general elections. No thanks to Nigerians who see the US, UK and the EU as the only countries in the world to visit for education or on vacation. Whichever the case, all these does not and cannot undermine our sovereignty as an Independent nation and this has been for 58 years and our elections are not excluded.
El-Rufai used some strong words to address the EU, US and UK who have been listening to the voice of the opposition or Atiku Abubakar and his team who pillaged our country even after 16 years of returning to democratic rule. They were among the class of Nigerians who were privileged and used that privileged not as an opportunity to serve but as opportunists who stole away everything. And today, they want to return as messiahs and saviours when they have not answered for the past. Elections are won based on facts, figures and of course propaganda and even though the APC used it on 2015; you can see that theirs was not actually propaganda but facts of the looting and corruption that affected the thinking of Presidents to those of mere thieves. When the greed of a man comes to play, the abuse of power becomes inevitable and this played out during the times of PDP and we are still suffering that today.
As the hope to return (even when it is impossible), they have resorted to lies, fake news as has never been seen before and the misinformation of Nigerians who are clearly tired of governance in this country. Nigerians have lost interest in the new media, the radio, the political campaigns and those who come for these campaigns are now the poor and jobless who hope that something will come out of them. And only this administration is tackling poverty for the first time in our national history or since we gained our independence as a country. Nigeria has been run on a class and privileged basis and if you have none of that, you are only permitted to go further into poverty and penury. The PDP is weaponizing a Western power-report that we are now the poverty capital of the world when the poverty and the foundation of what we see now started in the PDP. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala stated these in her book on Fighting Corruption is Hard. She served in two different governments under the PDP and to say that it was hard, it means that the political leadership she was under never offered the necessary political will and support.
Political will is not rare and even the ascendancy to power does not guarantee that either. The reason that the political will is high in this government is clear; the person of President Muhammadu Buhari. Obasanjo and those after him despite the military background never dared the cabal and people like Atiku Abubakar his Vice-President. It is President Muhammadu Buhari that said this “I belong to everybody and I belong to nobody” on his inaugural address on May 29 2015, and he has proved this in this administration. The Western powers are not happy because of the many wrong negotiations and projects that the previous government went into with them that President Muhammadu Buhari has discontinued for the sake of getting Nigerians something better. And this is not an assumption because there are projects like that, particularly in the oil and gas sector. The corruption in Nigeria does not need the kid gloves of a corrupt President who will care for his/her welfare when chasing thieves and cabals in high places. With President Muhammadu Buhari, the Western powers are worried for their interests in the oil and gas and various sectors of the Nigerian economy and Atiku Abubakar is ready to sell everything to them as he has rightly said. Atiku Abubakar has said he will sell the NNPC to his friends and ordinary Nigerians will be driven further into the poverty that President Muhammadu Buhari is taking them out of.
The PDP is running a campaign of survival or one that is in a coma with no hope of revival. They are appealing to gullible Western powers who also are pursuing their selfish and vested interests that will work against millions of Nigerians. Why is it that it is President Muhammadu Buhari that is talking about the Ogoni clean-up when the PDP have been stealing our oil wealth for so many years and the Niger Deltans are suffering. After many years of oil of exploration and pillaging and spills by foreign companies (who should do the clean-up), the PDP kept stealing the wealth while the host communities died for it. Their means of livelihood taken away, their fishing, farming and source of drinking water denied by governments that didn’t care. Even President Goodluck Jonathan as President Commander-In-Chief could not do something tangible for his people. He could not clean-up the Niger Delta. He was not close to a strong man, let alone a willful leader and President.
While President Muhammadu Buhari is one who is working to get Nigeria back on track, his government have given little emphasis on their programs. This misstep is what the opposition PDP (who have lost relevant) is now using against the government that has built mass housing, primary healthcare facilities, rail projects completed, institutions strengthen, Boko Haram fight, anti-corruption fight and more. The truth about this election is that all the programs being pursued by this government of President Muhammadu Buhari was initiated in previous governments as policies on paper but no political will to pursue them. The Treasury Single Account (TSA) was there but no courage to close the many accounts being operated by public servants and some states had about 2,400 accounts for federation wealth. Goodluck Jonathan and the ones before him like Obasanjo preferred to act indifferent on such matters while they have adverse effects on the country and people got rich without adding value. Today, as President Buhari is blocking the loopholes of corruption, ordinary and middle-class Nigerians are unfortunately suffering from it. The truth is, he knows and when the election is won next week; we will have a consolidation of many things that the APC-led government has done and is still doing.
Western Powers are coming to observe and report and not to meddle in our domestic politics. They are here to stand and see and not to comment on the way we treat our judiciary or handle corrupt judges like Walter Onnoghen and his likes. Their work during this period is on the election days and not to comment on the issues leading up to the elections. This is Nigeria and we are still a sovereign nation and have no plans to lose that status while still doing business with foreign powers. The statement by El-Rufai was duly clarified beyond the body bags that the opposition chose to run their campaigns with.
President Muhammadu Buhari will win the elections massively and the PDP knows this so they have resorted to public sympathy and vested interests and the Western powers are buying it. Nigeria and the will of the people to re-elect President Buhari will not be left for Western powers (UK, EU, US) to decide or influence and Atiku Abubakar is baiting them.