I was in my aunt’s house last year during Eid-al-fitr “Ileya Festival” (one of the Muslim festive periods). A lad from the northern part of Nigeria was employed to slaughter the ram. We got talking in Hausa language and he bluntly told me that “There is nothing like Boko Haram anywhere; the president is behind Boko Haram!” In similar vein, as an ordained pastor I categorically told him that “There is a strong fear amongst the clergy that Buhari is a sympathizer with Boko Haram and that he wants to Islamize Nigeria!”
Various allegations are flying here and there, and I think these political candidates need to clearly address these issues; if they really want to win this election rather than sweeping it under the carpet! Thus, this article seeks to share few ideas that will be useful for each of these two presidential candidates to implement and improve their chances of winning this election.
This 2015 Election is the most keenly contested election and the most closely monitored/followed by me; and this is the one I have actively participated from the PR perspective for various clients. I strongly believe this election is very open and can be won by either of the two candidates GMB or GEJ.
It is important to state here that this article seeks to extracts the weaknesses of both candidates that they need to work on; so as to stand a better chance of winning the election.
Religious Factors and GMB
This is one of the biggest issues for GMB due to his past statements. Though many of such statements can be denied by his campaign team but The General himself has to come out publicly to deny these allegations and hold a meeting with clergy, particularly the Pentecostal to assure them that the interest of the Gospel will be protected if he wins the presidential election.
The Northern Issue and GEJ
Personally, I am Yoruba by blood but Hausa by Heart and will stand for the interest of The Northern any day any time; as I have spent the most crucial parts of my life there (childhood and adolescent period). I must say this that The North has been under developed in terms of Education and Mental Empowerment! Though it is clear that the fault is not from GEJ; he needs to strongly address the issue of poverty as it is the platform for breathing religious extremist! My experience with Almajiri children as a growing child, led me to start Infinity Foundation (caring for the orphanage and the vulnerable). The president must also serve the interest of the northern… not just by political appointments but the underlying socio-cultural issues. Get to be the friends of the Northern Masses and not the elite. Do everything to stop Boko haram now indefatigably!
Military Tendencies and GMB
GMB is an ex-military general that has done little or nothing to prove to Nigerians that he has shed his dictatorial tendencies, and that he regrets some of those obnoxious decisions made in the past… rather in a recent Aljazeera interview; he unequivocally said that those that are displeased with his past should vote him out, instead of whining about him! General Buhari has not personally tried to push his personality to be amiable these years which goes a long way to determine his winning this election! If he really wants to win this election then he needs to change his approach! He must remember that if one desires a change in a system, then such person must be the change or rather starts the change!
Corruption Issues and GEJ Administration
One of the major issues against the president is the claim that his administration is the most corruption tolerance! This is a huge perception that even the market woman that doesn’t read the papers is very conscious of. I have this old woman who is a member of my chapel. This woman sells ‘fufu’ and I remembered I once mentioned about the need to support Jonathan’s candidacy and reaction I got was “that corrupt man!” “What!” I was shocked because this woman is unlearned. This story just further pushes how powerful this perception about GEJ administration is. The Presidential campaign team must work hard to change this perception, if not they won’t go far!
Support for Women and GMB
In my previous articles, a lot was said about how general Buhari Military regime was perceive to be hostile to women. I want to believe, it was when IBB opened the office of the First Lady that women were doing exploits in business and career. It is important to note that it is not mitosis to say that; the role of women cannot be overemphasized in nation building! Hence, the General’s past has not been palatable with women. However, it is an oxymoron to mention is how Mrs. Aisha Buhari has combed major part to campaign for her husband! This still boils down to the fact the women are key part of our day to day living…they could be vulnerable but invincible!
Chibok Girls, Boko Haram and GEJ
From marketing perspective, the kidnap of chibok girls is one the worst PR night mare the Goodluck Jonathan administration has ever suffered. And for the seating President to win this election; he needs to do some damage control by either bring back to girls alive even if it means at the eve of the election! This, will still do some magic for his reelection bid. The capturing of shekarau is also a very important issue in this election. Personally, the only major accusation the opposition party has against the Goodluck Jonathan administration his security! And if Mr. President can clean this slate, it will do him good in this election and for posterity.
Election Violence and GMB
Post-election violence associated with GMB supporters is a disturbing occurrence for everyone in Nigeria and this election is very sensitive as we need to Preach Peace particularly because we are at a strong cross road in our nation’s history. GMB must now, more than ever before advocate for peace as this will help him win those at the cross road and are not sure if they can stand with the general in this election.
Askari Dokubo and GEJ
Words they say are very powerful. One of the major issues against GMB is his former statement which was videoed live and now use against him. In the same vein, President Jonathan has individual who claimed to be supporting him but their words are not winning any electorate to his side. Nigeria is at a point that any careless statement can break this nation into two. Hence, the president must talk to his people to be very careful of what they say as well as what they do that stand the chance of affecting his reelection bid; even though some of these people may be doing it in clear conscience in favor of the president but such statement are not good for the unity of this nation.
Old Age, Certificate and GMB
The underlying disadvantage of General Buhari is his age which made his election debatable, which is an issue to be addressed with a sincere heart and not with sentiment… particularly as to how healthy and physically fit the presidential candidate is drawing wisdom from the late President Yar’dua whose health issue held this nation captive for months until protest were made to appoint an acting president, which has now been termed the doctrine of necessity! If this issue is addressed by GBB; then it is not too late for him clear the issue surrounding his certificate as this is available to INEC to avoid court disqualification even if he wins the presidential election.
A lot of issues must be addressed by these politicians and we must make them give us assurance of call to duty, since many of them have shy away from the main issues…. They must give us assurance of a better future and not stomach Infrastructure politics. Nigerians must know that this election is not about General Muhamodu Buhari or President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan but about the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
God bless Nigeria and may the best for the job wins!