Has Buhari Learned Any Meaningful Lessons?

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By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.

He is, perhaps, the most knowledgeable political journalist on the Ghanaian media landscape presently. Still, I strongly beg to differ with New Crusading Guide Editor-Publisher Mr. Malik Kweku Baako that going into the March 2015 general election, Nigerians were presented with two bad presidential candidates, and that the Nigerian electorate had no other alternatives than to choose between these two bad options (See “Nigerians Chose Buhari Out of Two Bad Options – Baako” MyJoyOnline.com / Ghanaweb.com 4/1/15).

President-elect Muhammadu Buhari
President-elect Muhammadu Buhari

The son of the man widely credited with coining the term “Nkrumaism” also claims that there were far better presidential-candidate materials in Africa’s most populous nation, but Mr. Baako failed to mention a single one of such ideal candidates. My gut reaction is that the New Crusading Guide proprietor may well be apt in his assessment, except that I also sincerely believe that any nation of humans chooses its own leaders based on the caliber of their vision and ingenuity. In other words, nobody outside that volatile country chose Messrs. Buhari and Jonathan as leadership options for the Nigerians. The Nigerians chose these two personalities for themselves.

I am personally disappointed in Dr. Goodluck Ebele Azikiwe Jonathan, because the Doctor of Animals’ Studies had the prime opportunity to creditably acquit both himself as well as southern Nigerian politicians and royally blew up the same. I am even tempted to characterize his gross administrative incompetence as one that verged on the incontrovertibly criminal. President Jonathan had also better pray to whatever deity it is that he worships to avert a corruption investigations initiative and prosecution by President-Elect Muhammadu Buhari. Not only is the former Major-General of the Nigerian Armed Forces widely known to be pathologically vindictive and temperamentally uncharitable, the man who overthrew the democratically elected President Shehu Shagari has also had nearly a couple of years as a junta leader to eloquently and doubtlessly demonstrate the same.

And unless Dr. Jonathan were bereft of any viable long-term memory faculties, he ought to have witnessed the proverbial handwriting on the wall, once the perennial presidential candidate of the All-Progressives’ Congress (APC) made a prime campaign agenda of rank administrative corruption and the Boko Haram Menace. Indeed, if the Nigerian voters woefully failed to select and/or elect leaders who could have better served their national interests, as the New Crusading Guide’s Editor-Publisher claims, the problem may be at least three-fold. One: If, as Mr. Baako maintains, there existed a pool of far better potential presidential candidates than either the incumbent President Jonathan or the forcibly retired General Buhari, it well does appear that the executive leadership of the ruling People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and the main opposition All-Progressives’ Congress had not been either visually acute or intellectually discerning enough to have recognized the same.

Secondly, it simply could well have been that even though such a viable pool of far more progressive presidential-candidate materials existed in the lead-up to Nigeria’s Election 2015, these purportedly astute statesmen and women did not simply want to be bothered by the humdrum and prosaic details of presidential affairs and existence. And finally, while in the opinion and imagination of Mr. Baako there may well have existed a better pool of potential presidential materials of a caliber that was far better than either President Jonathan or President-Elect Buhari, that purported pool of candidates had not seem capable of offering the kind of conducive political climate much desired by the movers and shakers of the country’s two major political parties.

Ultimately, the decision of whether the prime candidates of Nigeria’s just-ended Election 2015 were of the right caliber and temperament belongs to the Nigerians themselves. A similar analysis could be made of the two major Ghanaian presidential candidates in the lead-up to Election 2016 and even well before. But at the end of the day and this discussion, all that matters is the language which the voters of the two countries choose to speak in the polling booth.

Source: Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.
Garden City, New York
E-mail: okoampaahoofe@optimum.net

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