With a month to Nigeria's Presidential Elections, to say the atmosphere is charged will be an understatement. Indeed, the days when one could easily predict that the results will go one way or the other is past. Maybe the way to put it is that the days of landslide victories are over, and even though there may be a frontrunner presently, it's possible that an event, or series of events very close to the elections may tilt the majority of votes from one candidate to the other. So, if you asked me now, I'd tell you that it is yet too close to call, a far cry from me four years ago when I was more confident to make a prediction, that fell totally flat to the eventual result, and led to the historic loss of a presidential election by the incumbent to the opposition.

 

 

I understand why many think that I may be wrong in thinking that it is too close to call at this time, and already gifting the incumbent with victory, and the truth is that I won't and can't totally disagree with them. This administration isn't anything like the one they ousted, and while you might be thinking about things like anti-corruption stance, integrity and other propaganda language they've regaled Nigerians with, it is with other things, and areas that make me think it different. For one, unlike President Goodluck Jonathan, who was squeamish about any Nigerian losing his/her blood by reason of his ambition, his successor is noted to have maintained an eerie silence when bloodshed followed his loss at the polls in the penultimate election before the one that brought him to power. Meaning that, he's the type that may not be unwilling to leave anything off the table, as options to ensuring he wins re-election into office for a second term.

 

 

Two, unlike his predecessor who treated the opposition with kids' gloves, President Muhammadu Buhari brooks no dissent, and does not stay his hand in pulling them down, either by roping them with corruption charges (guilty or not), or exhumation of old and cold cases, including that of murder (acquitted or not), illegal possession of arms 

or linking them with armed robberies just because the perpetrators are known to the politicians involved, as thugs and political enforcers (and it doesn't matter if the same tactics are employed by those on his side). This administration has shown it can be relentless in clamping down on perceived enemies, or those it thinks may be unyielding in towing it's desired path, should push come to shove, following a tightly contested race, which is the only way one can describe the ordeal of the present Chief Justice of Nigeria, Walter Onnoghen.

 

 

Three, President Buhari has never conceded defeat in the elections he'd lost before the last one, in which he emerged victorious. He never congratulated those he lost to, and as president, never congratulated candidates of the opposition who won governorship positions over his partys', like with Bayelsa and Anambra States. What a free and fair election must mean to him, would be such where he's victorious. Hence, when he says he will ensure that the next elections will be free and fair, one could easily conjecture what that implies, and fear that he may not relinquish power, even if he loses the coming presidential election.

 

 

Four, this President has no qualms filling sensitive positions with close family, friends and allies. From having no urge to have a close relative of his at the echelon of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC redeployed, even based on his much touted integrity; to his unwillingness to retire the Inspector General of Police who'd reached the mandatory age of retirement, maybe by reason of how that kind of change, so close to the General Elections can impact on things (even though going by his nature, a replacement will be a northerner, of which he seems to be comfortable), yet not feeling such when it felt trite to bring down a CJN (whom he dragged his feet to announce, until he fell ill and had to travel abroad for treatment, and the then Acting President Yemi Osinbajo, did the needful) for not fully disclosing his assets before the Code Of Conduct Tribunal, which if all goes according to plans, may also be replaced by a pliable northerner.

 

 

I could go on and on, but the above alone shows how difficult a task it is for former Vice President, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar to win the next elections. These are even beyond the politics, and the rigging, accompanied by federal might that usually accompanies such in Nigeria. Atiku's financial war chest which definitely isn't infinite cannot save him now, as the gale of high-profile defections from his camp to that of the ruling party have continued to show, and would take more than the release of embarrassing tapes, audio and video by self-exiled Reno Omokri to turn this tide around in his favour. This is because President Buhari doesn't have a following in the true sense of it, rather something in the likes of worshippers, who though they may not claim he's a god, relate to him as one. Mostly in the core north, and to a lesser extent fanatically by supporters elsewhere in Nigeria, while in the southwest it is more a political decision as they (Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu particularly) eye the presidency in 2023, without a care as to whether there'll still be a Nigeria to govern by then, should Buhari get a second chance at running Nigeria the way he'd so far done.

 

 

'kovich  

 

WITH A MONTH TO THE PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS https://madukovich.blogspot.com/2019/01/with-month-to-presidential-elections.html

Published by m'khail madukovich