RSteeped in terms of its endowment of drama and intrigue, the current cycle of presidential primary elections, has to be considered perhaps the most worrisome for manifesting some of the wildly deviant tendencies, compared to previous fiscal years. This is despite the recent arrival of the Amended Electoral Law 2022, which aims to tame shrewd electoral malfeasance. However, it must be understood that the electoral malfeasance in Nigeria is so watery that the more you cut the ones you see, the more new angles emerge. Therefore, to its demerit, the presidential primaries exercise did not fail to elicit surprising twists, at every corner in its journey to provide the country with candidates from political parties to run as successors to President Muhamadu, in the presidential elections of March 2023.
In the first case, there was the recent exit of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) for its presidential primaries which allegedly featured, among other bizarre tendencies, the open bribery of delegates with hundreds of millions of US dollars, in a dispensation that has driven the open market price of this currency to an unprecedented value of one dollar traded for over N600. Needless to say, the country is still reeling from the impact of such a scandal , which has imposed a most deleterious effect on Nigeria’s import-dependent economy.
As if the PDP’s outrage weren’t enough for the country, followers around the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) say the party’s presidential primaries will likely come with a dispensation that could not only outshine the PDP in terms of raining money but is working by decree to install a personal choice of President Muhamadu Buhari as a candidate for the 2023 elections. party leadership to ensure that its personal candidate infallibly wins the party ticket. From the body language of the APC leadership, the prospects of disobeying his order may not exist, with the implication that anyone who emerges from the APC primaries will be an anointed Buhari. And if the APC wins the 2023 elections, it is likely that the legacies of Buhari’s presidency will continue to guide or haunt the country even after he is gone, depending on which side of the division the observer is on.
Ordinarily, in any leadership environment, it is not only normal for a retiring leader to be interested in a successor, but even on the fate of his legacy. Therefore, a successor personally chosen by Buhari can for all intents and purposes be a sidekick, who will be trusted to carry forward his leadership style, during his tenure as president. And therein lies the crux of the problem.
The essential questions here are as follows. Firstly, is the APC primary election aimed at selecting a candidate to run for President of Nigeria in the 2023 general election as provided for in the Constitution or a process to appease the President Muhamadu Buhari on an inalienable and divine right to choose his successor? Second, what legacies of Buhari should be continued by executive decision, after his tenure as president? Thirdly, do Nigerians no longer have the inalienable right to freely decide who should lead the country, without being subject to the whims and whims of no matter how highly placed an individual?
Along with several other questions that can be raised about this dispensation, the fact that if Buhari’s insistence on personally choosing his successor is not the height of impunity, then this word has lost its meaning in usage. ordinary. Here is a man whom providence had blessed to rank as one of only two individuals (Olusegun Obasanjo is the other), to rule the country for the second time after returning from the cold, but who allowed his tenure to may be the darkest days in the life of this country. Even with the most liberal endowment of charity, it is hard not to list among its positive and negative legacies, the country’s plunge into some of the most horrific examples of savagery unparalleled in mankind as insecurity and other heinous crimes have become the order of the day, in a country where such trends were unimaginable in the recent past. Nigeria today under Buhari is a living hell, where bandits and terrorists operate openly in broad daylight, set up checkpoints on popular highways, attack military bases to kill and kidnap personnel, attack villages and install rulers who collect taxes and even rename these places. It was in the great Shakespearean play ‘Julius Ceaser’ where Mark Anthony mused that “the evil that men do lives after them, but the good is often buried with their bones…”. The moral here is that everything good people do in their lifetime may not be easily remembered as the evil and pain associated with them. In this context then, does Buhari really want Nigerians to carry on with his negative legacy even after leaving office?
In any case, seen from the point of view of history, the president should not bear the blame alone for his insistence on choosing his successor on his own, because throughout the term of his presidency, there have been several instances where he embarked on political positions and actions that clearly violated the Constitution and was allowed to do as he pleased. Why then should he be denied this “small” favor, he might ponder.
The entire show recalls the classic story of the Arabian traveler and his camel – both of which are stranded on a cold, frosty night in the desert. The Arab traveler had only one tent which could only accommodate himself and no one else. However, out of pity for the camel, which was sneezing a lot from the cold and dust of the night, the owner of the Arabian camel asked the beast to tuck in only its neck. As the night wore on, the camel – with his master’s acquiescence – gradually dragged his whole body into the tent and finally pushed his master out, claiming that the tent was too small to hold them all. of them.
As simple as it is, this story qualifies as a metaphor describing the game that President Muhamadu Buhari was able to play with the Nigerian state, throughout his tenure. His recent request is just one last gamble that the APC leadership must resist.
In other words, if the future of the country matters to them.