Finally, President Muhammadu Buhari has confirmed what has been known to many for nearly three years: he wants to remain in power for four more years.
According to Mr. Buhari, this decision is owed not to his personal desire, but to popular clamour.
It is always amusing when people who seek office, or want to cling to it, cite popular pressure. The truth is that only Buhari’s circle of loyalists wants him back. No Nigerian whose desire or interest is leadership rather than power, does.
I am not necessarily saying Buhari will not win the re-election contest, but if he does, it will not be because he deserves it. To begin with, voter turnout was high for him when he won in 2015, hope in full bloom.
In 2019, betrayed Nigerian voters may revert to indifference. Already, it is curious that mountains of voters’ cards are being ignored by their owners nationwide.
Otherwise, as a referendum on Buhari’s atrocious performance, 2019 ought to see him suffer the same humiliation as the one he handed his predecessor in 2015.
Why do so many Nigerians who braved every challenge on behalf of Buhari now resent the thought he wants another term?
Simply put, Buhari has been found out. Not only has he been unveiled as being incapable of running Nigeria, his claims of personal integrity, and that he has the credentials to conquer corruption, have been shattered.
The most important thing that Nigeria and the world have learned in the past three years is that there isn’t much to Buhari beyond words. And that, sadly, if he previously wasn’t, he has become a part of the corruption he lambasted for decades. No longer can he claim to be incorrupt, or incorruptible.
He has accomplished this in three related ways. The first is his rejection of merit as a principle. Where he was expected to assemble the best minds and hands, his appointees have ranged from the questionable to the miserable, with senior officials often working at cross-purposes. More: