Making the Right Choice in APC: Buhari, Atiku & Kwankwaso
During the 2015 general election, it was clear that Nigeria needed both a moral and an economic messiah but because of the manner in which the ‘corruption’ propaganda sold, Nigerians became more interested in a moral messiah and paid little attention to the economic capability of their next leader. The picture was that once we find a moral messiah, the economy will be fixed. The claim was that in every moral messiah is an economic expert.
The APC had three leading interesting candidates during the 2015 APC presidential primary election. Atiku Abubakar, Rabiu Kwankwaso and Muhammadu Buhari.
Atiku was a former vice president who had turned out to become one of Africa’s most successful business men. He is one of the biggest employer in Adamawa state. His investments cut across trade, oil & gas, logistics, education, and manufacturing. He is one of Nigeria’s richest men who turned his political position into becoming one of Nigeria’s biggest employer. Atiku currently controls Onne Port in Rivers state and makes more money from the port than some Nigerian states put together. Atiku is a big beneficiary of corruption in Nigeria but he has turned his corruption proceeds into affecting the lives of Nigerians locally and positively. He had more experience and connection to reposition Nigeria back to the path of greatness but because Nigeria wanted an incorruptible person, APC rejected Atiku. Atiku could have been an economic messiah but probably not a moral messiah.
Kwankwaso was the former governor of Kano state. Within his last four year tenure period as governor, he had transformed Kano state from its ancient look into a modern state. Residents of Kano city can attest to the wonders of Kwakwanso’s leadership. He increased Kano’s monthly IGR from less than 200million Naira to over N2billion. The APC did not pick him to represent their party because Kwankwaso was not fit as the moral messiah even though he exhibited some level of economic capability.
Muhammadu Buhari is a retired military officer with little or no recent experience in public or private business management. His last appearance in public life was thirty years ago. His economic performance then was below average but because he was considered as a man of high moral standard and with a rigid mind and with good popularity among the people of Northern Nigeria. APC saw him as the most suitable candidate.
Buhari was a perfect tool for the APC to win control of the central command. He was the man that could defeat the PDP’s candidate. Even though he showed early signs of economic ignorance, the APC still considered him as the only way to get control of the central goverment. They were right anyway.
Today we have am acclaimed moral messiah in the name of Buhari who seem to have little knowledge of modern economics. His economic position are in constant opposition to the opinion of his own experts. His approach towards peace and conflict resolution is disastrous. He believes in individual self restraints rather than in institutional constraints. His several international goof is an indication that he is not in touch with recent world events. The recent revelation about Buhari’s assets and his selective handling of corruption cases puts a question on his acclaimed integrity. His handling of the Shiites and Biafran agitators also put a question on his integrity. In just one year Buhari has created several international enemies for Nigeria than Nigeria has had in more than a decade. Buhari is one of the few Nigerian politicians who is yet to see a fundamental flaw in the structure of Nigeria’s federalism. This also puts a question on his integrity. Buhari does not seem to be the moral messiah afterall, despite the fact that he seem to be an economic disaster.
I am hoping that in the future, when APC or any political party delegates will be faced between the likes of Atiku, Kwankaso and Buhari again, they will take a holistic view before making their choice.
So far, I consider Buhari’s moral and economic performance as far below average.
The messiah is in the structure and not in the person. Whoever sees the problem in the structure is the true messiah.