By Kariba Nwodo
In some ways, the current political situation in Nigeria is like a love story. Nigeria (the woman) has two men vying for her attention: her old boo, Maj. Gen. Muhammadu Buhari (retd.) and her current Jonny mo, President Goodluck Jonathan. They have both brought forth plans and ideas, withstood intense public scrutiny as well as verbal attacks from each other in efforts to convince Nigeria and her children (the population) that they are the better man to look after her (govern the country). And on election day (March 28), Nigeria’s children will help her choose the one that would take her metaphorical hand in political marriage. The End? Alas, if it only were that simple. Nonetheless, for the purpose of this article, let’s imagine if such a scenario were possible. What would be the outcome? To answer this question, I wrote a short piece called Torn between two lovers which explores this idea further. It was written primarily for those who might be still be unaware of the current political situation in Nigeria but want to get up to speed. Now brace yourself because it will probably be one of the most surreal takes on the elections that you’ll ever encounter.
Torn between two lovers
Jonathan is getting ready to take Nigeria out to his party. However, Buhari is already at her doorstep, trying to woo her again with an election bouquet of pledges, agendas and promises.
B: Nigeria, please put on that white and green dress that I love and let me take you to my party, the All Progressives Congress (APC).
N: I can’t. My Jonny mo is taking me to his party, the People’s Democratic Party (PDP). Besides, what can you and your party offer me that my Jonny mo and his party have not already offered me?
B: Well, you’ve been going to the same party since 1999, don’t you want to try something different? Look, I know that I made mistakes in the past but I’m dedicated to looking after (governing) you in a manner that adheres to your principles and morals (constitution and rule of law) as well as solving the main problems that your Jonny mo has failed to in the past five years. If you pick me to be your man, I’ll create 720,000 jobs for all of your children by creating initiatives concerning road construction and agriculture; reviving the textile and coal industries; reforming the power sector and improving education by investing in equipment, teachers and infrastructure. I promise to tackle poverty, corruption and terrorism. I know the issue of terrorism has been worrying you but you don’t have to worry because I will keep you and your children safe from Boko Haram and bring an end to the terror.
Jonathan quickly rushes over to see Nigeria with his own election bouquet after hearing from his friend (Special Assistant on New media) Reno Omokri that Buhari is with Nigeria and is succeeding in his efforts to woo her.
B: Oh, look who it is, it’s Dr Badluck Jonathan!
J: Hey Major Generator of fake certificates. Why don’t you just give up already? You tried to win Nigeria’s heart three times and you failed. Nigeria my dear, don’t listen to him! Have you forgotten that he abused your children’s human rights? If they were not jailed, they were disciplined harshly and/or repressed. I know that you don’t want to go back to the old ways of dictatorship.
N: No I don’t but you haven’t given me the things that you promised. You and your party promised me stable power years ago and you haven’t been able to do it. What about my Chibok girls eh? I don’t feel safe anymore in my own home because you and your boys (military) have been too slow in responding to Boko Haram. And don’t think that I’ve forgotten about corruption. I’m tired of (some) of your associates taking advantage of me and my resources at the expense of my children.
J: Nigeria, I promise to do everything humanely possible to combat Boko Haram by getting help from my friends abroad (USA) because we can’t do this alone. I pledge to revive the textile industries and generate two million jobs annually. Moreover, I would like to continue implementing the plans, policies and projects of my transformation agenda (2011-2015) including schemes such as YouWin and Sure-P which have helped thousands of your children who are aspiring entrepreneurs and graduates find jobs so far. With regards to power, I’m currently working on privatising the power generation and distribution companies and once that is completed, it will ensure that you and your children get stable power in the near future. And don’t worry about corruption. I’ve got plans to create anti-corruption systems that will fight it and nip it in the bud. Come with me my love so we can go back to the days when we had vision. You and I had plans and we should revisit them and make them a reality.
So, who will/should Nigeria choose?