Since 1999 when democracy returned to Nigeria, every administration has attributed a character which was largely defined by the personality and performances of the head of administration: Olusegun Obasanjo was regarded as despotic and vengeful; late Umaru Musa Yar’Adua was considered uninformed but tactful; Goodluck was “clueless” and incompetent, attributes he now shares with President Muhammadu Buhari. How come two men who differ in almost everything share common attributes?
When Goodluck first came to power following the demised of President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua on 5th May 2010, it was a moment of relief for most Nigerian owning to the mysterious game of power that ensued since the incapacitation of Yar’adua and the hijacking of the government by a “Cabal” – the first time Cabals would appear on Nigerian political scene. Goodluck took over and many expected much to be fixed by him, especially the emerging threat of Boko Haram insurgency in the North-East whose leader Muhammad Yusuf was killed the year before.
But under Goodluck, the radical religious group transformed itself into a monster that by 2015 it had undermined the government of Goodluck Jonathan and the credibility of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) through its series of successful bomb blast attacks, suicide bombing attacks, sieges and sacking of towns and villages, the establishment of a Caliphate and abduction of over 200 school girls which over 100 of them are yet to be released. The President seemed incapable of fighting this menace, he was incapable of handling other crises as well: social, political, and economic. Surrounded by sycophants and deceitful whisperers, Goodluck Jonathan was misled and controlled by a handful of opportunistic persons, thus the reemergence of a cabal once again!
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His government was a period of blame game and personality condemnation: terror was politicized and the fight against it was treated as a political game. The president was called clueless, incapable of understanding what is happening under his nose which explains his inability to bring about a solution to most of the crises that abounded. He was condemned as fearful and weak, his critics often citing the prominent role of his wife in government, and the constant reference to a cabal that had hijacked the government from the President and exploiting it for selfish gains. Most Nigerians dismissed Goodluck Jonathan as incompetent, incapable of leading a nation like Nigeria and the entire nation wanted him out.
Only his kin supported him, ethnic or religious brethren, but others regarded him as incapable of governance; a front of popular votes of no-confidence was formed to make sure Goodluck was never returned as Nigeria’s president again. His party men oppose him – a faction broke away and joined the newly formed APC; the North condemned him and blamed him for the prevalence of terror in the region; Nigeria’s digital elites on twitter posts anti-GEJ and anti-PDP rhetorics. For Nigeria to move forward, Goodluck must Go. Nigeria doesn’t need a weak, indecisive, and clueless leader like GEJ again, the better option was Buhari.
Buhari was well packaged by the media as if the nation was just realizing him for the first time, he was presented as a sincere, principled, decisive, strong-willed, determine, and competent man attributes Goodluck was said to lack. Buhari and APC became the obvious choice in the built-up to the 2015 general elections. It was at the dying minute that Goodluck gave the nation the best parting gift ever, a credible election; he lost to Buhari, accepted defeat, and left the Villa to his village in Otueke in Bayelsa state.
But Buhari made the nation regret their decision; power transformed him into something unknown and unexpected! In these four years, he had been the nation’s leader, he had continued on the path of Goodluck’s incompetence and cluelessness. Nothing has changed, everything has become worse! Buhari is making Goodluck appear good, making those who voted him out hang their head in shame and regret; we had us a better democratic leader who has his faults but we failed him.” Those things Nigerians blamed Goodluck for; Buhari is yet to solve them things have become worst!
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Boko Haram is still active, it has broken into numerous and violent factions; banditry had intensified, herdsmen killing is the norm in North-Central Nigeria, kidnapping and other arm criminal activities are most prevalent now. Corruption is far from being eradicated, rule of law and human rights is constantly violated and under assault under this administration. The administration is still Spendthrift while the unemployment rate is skyrocketing, the poverty rate is worsening, and the President appears not to be aware of things as they are like he isn’t in control – there is a rumor of a cabal that has hijacked the government from him. It could be true because what the nation is experiencing is far from what many expected of the President unless of course, we misunderstood him prior.
Goodluck Jonathan was rightly voted out of power, the nation must not regret this; Nigerians voted for the right reason, but Buhari coming to power is regrettable. He is guilty of the offenses Goodluck committed as a leader and maybe worse. They both did their best, but it was below average. Buhari and Goodluck have more in common than everyone assumed, they are both incapable of leading a country like Nigeria. Next time the nation must choose wisely if the next President would make Buhari appear as a saint, then Nigeria has no right to exists. God forbid!