Buharism And Third Term Gambit By Ozodinukwe Okenwa

Hypocrisy and sycophancy are part of the social problems associated with our decadent society. Apart from pretending shamelessly to ‘love’ God or Jesus Christ more than the Jews or the prophets of yore, we have turned worshipping the immortal one into a billion-dollar spinning business venture week in week out! Our so-called bishops are riding in private jets, ranked among the richest in the world! Alas, despite this affliction of the syndrome of ‘godliness’ in the midst of immorality and corruption, Nigeria remains a basket case of hopelessness.

While nations with dreadful history of atheism (China, Japan etc) are making steady progress towards greatness in all spheres of human endeavors, we are stuck in the developmental mess for decades. Our leadership lot since independence had been one of mediocrity and idiocy all along. Yet we are a happy people suffering and smiling and hoping for divine intervention somehow, someday.

Our leaders at the federal and state levels lie to us daily about improvements in our living conditions yet things are getting worse. They swindle us, the politicians, by looting the treasury with impunity and serving themselves instead of ‘we the people’ that put them to power and authority in the first place.
The followers are glorified ‘mumus’ who glorify political abominations as long as they benefit from same!

Olusegun ‘Baba’ Obasanjo presided over Nigeria from 1999-2007. Since he was ‘coronated’ post-Abacha, he had established ‘Babacracy’ in the stead of democracy – a vainglorious system fraught with vindictiveness and pettiness. OBJ, in spite of some flashes of achievements here and there, failed generally to take Nigeria to the next level she was supposed to be by now. The ‘Babacratic’ politics played with little or no patriotism led to the ‘disappearance’ of $16bn which he claimed his administration poured into the power sector without any corresponding power to show for it!

Overwhelmed by the spirit of omnipotence, OBJ had desperately sought to do another four-year (third) term after the expiration of his second term as approved by the constitution of the Federal Republic. Billions of dollars were invested into the project but it was fortunately ‘killed’ in the Senate! Obasanjo and his gang had wanted to modify the constitution to legitimise and legalise the third term but the senators led by one Ken Nnamani had patriotically thought otherwise in the superior interest of the nation’s democracy.

Given the failure of the gambit, ‘Baba’ reluctantly handed over power to the late Umaru Yar’Adua. Not long after his departure from Aso Rock, evidence upon evidence began to emerge of millions and billions (sometimes packed in Ghana-must-go bags) distributed among legislators to ‘buy’ them over.
Today, the nauseating politics of third term is here with us – even timidly. President Muhammadu Buhari, still basking in the euphoria of a rigged presidential poll of last year in his favour, is being rumoured to be secretly nursing the ambition of a third stint of four years in power beyond 2023! The campaign for this absurd scheme has commenced in earnest if what we read online are anything to hold on to. Whilst we acknowledge the fact that the presidency has since debunked the rumours distancing itself from the political jobbers pushing for Buharism post-2023, we hold nonetheless that there is no smoke without fire emanating from somewhere. Despite the plethora of evidence linking ‘Baba’ to the third term brouhaha, OBJ still conveniently lives in denial – even today!

But what befuddles the sound mind remains the real reason behind any idea of four more extra-constitutional years for Buhari. Should the Buharists not be praying fervently for their champion to see 2023 hale and hearty given his fragile health profile? Besides, what has Buhari achieved extra-ordinarily to warrant third term in power? Closing the borders for months at a time of national peace? ‘Technically’ defeating Boko Haram yet counting dead bodies of soldiers and civilians wasted on a daily basis at the different fronts? Tactically aiding and abetting Fulani herdsmen terrorists in their murderous armed campaign for pastural dominion?

The APC National Chairman, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, a diminutive man known for his garrulous hubristic style of leadership, had accused the opposition PDP of being behind the third term campaign in order to discredit the image of the APC! Whatever is wrong with the ruling party then the PDP must be blamed for that!

West Africa had lately been insulated from the strong-man weak-institutions syndrome post-Kerekou, Eyadema and Jammeh. Today the Biya-Museveni-Mbasogo longevity-in-power syndrome however, seems to be spreading fast like malaria.

In Guinea, Prof Alpha Conde, an historic opposition figure elected President close to a decade ago, is seeking a third term in office unconstitutionally. And it is now official. To achieve the feat, Conde has been mobilising his ‘troops’ and the constitution is set to be amended. From Conakry to Labe, the vibrant opposition are up in ‘arms’ against the diabolical scheme. Demonstrations had rocked cities and towns turning often bloody and casualties are mounting weekly and monthly. The polity remains charged and over-heated in a poor country struggling with a dictatorial past and institutional corruption.

In the Ivory Coast, President Alassane Ouattara, a septuagenarian much like Buhari and Conde, has suddenly been bitten by the third-term power bug. His third term bid is no longer rumour but a project with a huge budget! The constitution is about to be tinkered with soon in order to remove the age limit associated with qualification for the presidency. Though Ouattara is a good President with great accomplishments, opposition is mounting in Abidjan and elsewhere over this inordinate ambition of his to do another five years after 10 eventful years in the saddle.

President Buhari cannot boast of being a good leader from every stretch of imagination. His leadership style gives him away as a potentate unaware of what true democracy really represents. Given his Islamic superiority complex coupled with his presidential aloofness, Nigeria cannot possibly make any meaningful progress politically and econo-socially. Against this backdrop, therefore, the third term gambit, whether true or false, is nothing but an insult to our collective sensibilities and intelligence. It must be halted fortwith!

Nigeria deserves better and Nigerians deserve a better leader come 2023.
SOC Okenwa
[email protected]


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