2015 election: Is any regret for Nigeria’s change advocates? By Izuchukwu Aniagu

2015 election: Is any regret for Nigeria’s change advocates? By Izuchukwu Aniagu

Editor's note: Less than one year to the 2019 general elections, there have been mixed reactions among Nigerians concerning the performance of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and President Buhari's resolve to seek re-election in 2019.

In this article sent to NAIJ.com, Izuchukwu Aniagu, x-rays the events that led to the emergence of President Muhammadu Buhari in 2015 and the APC's alleged failure of its electoral promises.

This year March 28 makes it three years that Nigerians gave their mandate to President Muhammadu Buhari. As expected, not everybody who voted for Mr President and his party three years ago is happy with the way things have gone down so far.

Even the most vocal supporters of this administration have developed shriveled voices at some point. Only few have managed to remain completely positive. But let us examine the journey so far to see if it has been full of funs or total regrets, especially for those who voted for change.

The 2015 election was both a change election and a vote for a continuation of a depressive status quo and Nigerians had the choice of choosing either of the two. Both candidates who stood for that election weren't the most credible Nigerians at that instance.

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However, for a nation that boasts of few electable candidates at any given electioneering period, the current President was contemplated as a better, more suitable and manageable choice.

But today, apparently due to his inadequacies, it appears that the president is losing the huge support that helped ushered him into power. The situation has gone so bad that even those who voted him into power are now seen as traitors and guilty of wasteful voting. They are now made to appear foolish and sometimes singled out for round of annoying teasing and jibes.

On their own part, while trying to play off the accusations and narratives of the oppositions, the advocate of change usually come up with something positive which they think the Buhari government has been able to accomplish. Nevertheless, it is becoming an increasingly difficult task for anybody to make excuses for this government without sounding foolish.

Amongst others, President Buhari has been adjudged guilty of mediocrity. Even where he managed a good outing, he has failed to show tact. He has been coarse and uncoordinated in his governance.

He is guilty of biases in handling sensitive national issues: the reckless killings of Nigerians by herdsmen across all 36 states and perceived ethic marginalisation in his government. Like his predecessor, his inadequacies has lowered the morale of the nation and further waned any trace of self confidence that existed among the people.

The opposition is confident and warming up to take back power - an indication that Mr President has failed. Two days ago, the national chairman of the opposition party apologized for his Party's past misdeeds.

Whether Nigerians accept the apology or not is not important. What is important is that though they may be far from getting back to power, we cannot deny the fact that they're succeeding at getting Nigerians to introspect on this administration.

The people's President, Buhari, has dashed all hopes. He has looked the other way despite public outcries and seems to have a different agenda. The people have lost touch and no longer feel the aura that surrounded his resumption of office. He has failed to show leadership and willpower as they had anticipated.

Notwithstanding the above, an average Nigerian who supported and voted for Change is not lost as to why he made that choice. Give and take, he is ready to make similar choice in 2019 and no amount of blackmail can cower him.

If the present government fails to shift or distinguish itself from the previous government, as it is doing now, of course, an average Nigerian will not hesitate to call for another change. Already, we are beginning to hear such calls.

Meanwhile, to think that 2015 was a mistake is to make a greater mistake. Humanity is in constant struggle to completely cut loose from mediocrity. The former President's performance was poor and the prevailed voting logic was to reject him and vote for anything else that wasn't him. The author of this work is of the opinion that Nigerians, despite the discouraging performance of this administration, will still vote against the former President if he turns up again.

President Buhari wasn't an unquestionable choice either. But in any elections when the main candidate is not exactly a perfect choice and the electorates feel they have two bad options, it usually adopt a 'rejection' rather than a 'choice' strategy. In essence they go for the alternative candidate in protest against the main candidate. That was the case in 2015 and also in America presidential election of 2016.

Julian Asange of the Wikileaks had vividly described the candidacy of Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump as cholera and typhoid. The same applied to Presidents Jonathan and Buhari. To benefit from a sweeping patriotic and populist movement at time doesn't make one a seasoned choice.

The rise of the patriotic and populist movement that swept Trump and Buhari into offices was a backlash of accumulated angst in their respective societies. The movement was championed by Change Advocates who used the opportunity as a vent.

They were optimistic and brave against all political odds to thrust a nation's future into an unknown hand. While their critics gripped with morbid fear resisted change, they grabbed a lifetime opportunity to rewrite an unpleasant history.

There is no better way to run democracy than this. The citizens must always be willing to ask for change and demand improvement on the existing situations. Anyone who opposed such attempt should be viewed as enemy of a progressive culture.

It doesn't matter that the Nigeria system still stinks under Buhari as ever before or that Nigerians are yet to see a radical change they advocated for 3 years ago. What should really matter is that Nigerians have demonstrated the capability to size up a sitting government and demand for change. They can and are still doing so.

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For that, no sane person should think that Nigerians had made a mistake by voting in the present government and therefore full of regrets. No. There's no regrets because there was no better alternative.

Insisting on the former president is like saying that Nigerians should continue snacking on moi moi in stead of a honey pie in other not to attract the bees.

Meanwhile, NAIJ.com had previously reported that President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday, April 9, in Abuja declared his intention to seek re-election in 2019. Malam Garba Shehu, the president’s senior special assistant on media and Publicity confirmed this development in a statement in Abuja on Monday.

The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent the editorial policy of NAIJ.com.

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