What has changed since Buhari became President?

In about three weeks from now, precisely on
November 29, 2015, it would be six months since
Muhammadu Buhari, flag bearer of the All
Progressives Congress (APC) in the last presidential
election, assumed office as President.
The
fundamental slogan or catch phrase of his party
during the electioneering campaigns was “change.”
Now, APC’s noisy “gospel of change” was anchored
on relentless castigation of the administration of
former President Goodluck Jonathan, and on the
tantalising offer of positive change ifthe party was
voted into power at the federal level. On the other
hand, the campaign machinery of Peoples
Democratic Party (PDP), could not effectively repair
the serious damage done to Jonathan’s electability
arising from APC’s constant reminders of how
Jonathan and his team mismanaged the country.
Although in every serious electoral contest for high
political office contending parties try everything to
win, in the weeks and months leading up to the
March 28 presidential election the APC was more
successful than its rival in projecting the hyperbolic
narrative of a national partyfielding a tested and
trusted presidential candidate who is capable of
rescuing the country from sixteen years of PDP’s
unimpressive leadership.
Even so, Buhari’s electoral victory was partly due to
massive rigging in Northern Nigeria, a fact several
self-appointed pro-democracy activists and
champions of good governance conveniently ignore
or pretend to be unimportant both for assessing the
quality of the electoral process that led to Buhari’s
emergence as President and for the character of
governance that would emerge afterwards. Certainly,
not all votes credited to Jonathan, especially in the
South East and South South, were validly obtained.
However, to appreciate the level of rigging that led to
his defeat, consider the presidential election results
declared in Kano State, a state that is among the
educationally less developed states.
According to the results, out of 2.3 million votes cast,
Buhari had a whopping 1.9 million, whereas slightly
over 200,000 votes were credited to Jonathan.
Interestingly, the Returning Officer (a Professor) who
announced these apparently fictitious figures also
claimed there were no voided votes, no single
wrongly filled ballot paper! Only fanatic
Buharimaniacs and gullible Nigerians accept without
question the obviously manufactured results from
Kano state. In my view, exaggerated praises of the
Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC)
led by Professor Attahiru Jega are unwarranted given
the significant logistic problems that attended the
elections nationwide and numerous cases of
electoral malpractices perpetrated by the two
dominant parties in their areas of influence with the
connivance of INEC officials and security personnel.
Former President Jonathan had enough reasons to
contest Buhari’s victory at the courts. But he wisely
chose not to, unlike Buhari who, driven by a bloated
sense of self-righteous indignation and messianic
pretensions, refused to acknowledge his opponents’
victories on two different occasions even after the
Supreme Court had passed judgement on the matter.
Indeed, that singular action by Goodluck Jonathan
proved doubting Thomases wrong who thought that
incumbent Presidents of African countries are
temperamentally incapable of conceding electoral
defeat in the spirit of good sportsmanship devoid of
bitterness. Now that Jonathan is out of the picture,
President Buhari has been in charge for about six
months.
Nigerians who expected immediate radical departure
from “business as usual” if he won are gradually
coming to terms with the painful reality that they
might have been deceived by highfaluting fantastic
promises of the APC. Garba Shehu and some
kingpins of the new ruling party have disowned
certain campaign documents the party used in
soliciting for votes.

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