Dada Olusegun is a writer turned social change advocate. He is a political columnist and contributor on numerous online blogs and newspapers; a motivational speaker who is also involved in youth empowerment and enlightenment programs nationwide. Here are presented his thoughts on why General Muhamadu Buhari being president would have been the best thing to happen in Nigeria.
"He cried so we could understand what he saw and wanted to change. We laughed at him. We scoffed at his pain and today we cry? Who is laughing last?
"In my lifetime, I have taken certain decisions. One of the biggest and most thoughtful however, was voting the Congress for Progressive Change in the 2011 elections. I remember arguing with most of my friends during his campaign trail on why GMB [General Muhamadu Buhari] being president would have been the best thing to happen to our country’s already diminishing state. I made a case for how GMB would have liberated our country from the shackles of corruption and corrupt elements parading themselves at the time as leaders.
"Say what you will about the man, he remains, till date, the only individual we tested with the keys to our treasury and our funds didn’t disappear into thin air. Like any other world class leader, GMB isn’t perfect. He was alleged to have abused human rights while he was military head of state but he was never accused of stealing or overseeing the looting of government funds. He remains till date the only Nigerian head of state who never stole a kobo of government money. He remains the only Nigerian leader till date to have never condoned acts of corruption or corrupt elements while he was in the corridors of power. He proved this beyond reasonable doubt as Federal Commissioner for Petroleum and Energy, 1976-78, Chairman, Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation and Head of State and Commander in Chief, Nigerian Armed Forces, 1984-85.
"The purpose of this write-up is not to present GMB as a magician or a superhuman who could have waved the magic wand and made all our country’s problems go away in two years. But I am certain that under GMB as president, we wouldn’t have had;
1. A president who is not remotely in connection with the sufferings of the masses.
2. A president who would have been globe-trotting the world while the citizens of his country are driven out of their homes by flood.
3. N5,000,000,000,000 wouldn’t have disappeared under his watch within two years of his administration without a single conviction.
4. GMB wouldn’t have boasted on national TV that he didn’t give a damn about citizens asking him to declare his assets
5. A terrorist sect that has taken responsibility for murdering thousands of Nigerians wouldn’t have held the nation to ransom under GMB
6. N2,100,000,000 wouldn’t have put on shoes and disappeared from the Nigerian minting and printing company without people whose sole responsibility was safeguarding these funds answering for it.
7. Fuel subsidy thieves would have been answering seriously for the crimes of stealing from the Nigerian people.
8. GMB as president wouldn’t be spending N1,000,000,000 as feeding allowance.
9. He wouldn’t be leaving our unborn grandchildren with scores of debts that even their generations can’t ever repay.
10. Nigeria won’t be in so much mess both locally and internationally as it is today.
11. We wouldn’t be spending N2,000,000,000 on a banquet hall we don’t need when we have 112,000,000 out of a population of 167,000,000,000 who live on $2 a day.
12. We won’t be inside IMF’s back pockets right now with our neck deep in debt.
"You may wonder if am psychic for pre-empting what Buhari would have done differently if he was Nigerian president today. His antecedents as a leader have brought me to this conclusions. He was a man who during his campaign, advised all criminal elements to flee the country or face prosecution if he became president. He attended every presidential debate to let his voice be heard. He didn’t abscond from confrontation and didn’t shy away from fielding questions.
"Some days to the 2011 elections, GMB wept before a press conference. People claimed it was a political stunt to garner sympathy votes. He was a man who saw tomorrow. He cried so we could understand what he saw and wanted to change. We laughed at him. We scoffed at his pain and today we cry? Who is laughing last? We wail at the spate at which the man we elected as leader (God knows I never voted for him) rape the country dry. Today at least, some of us know better. Buhari was everything, but he was not a thief. He wasn’t a man to tolerate thieves either. He is a man who was willing to liberate the nation from the shackles of oppression and criminality. In my humble opinion, he is a living legend.
"If he contests in 2015, I will do more than just vote. And that is a promise."