Rewind fast to 2015 when everyone just wanted President Goodluck Jonathan out of Aso Rock and we needed a superhero-president to fix the messes Goodluck and his administration caused Nigerians and Nigeria, and just because of our desperate need for a superhero-president we got vulnerable believing a particular man should finally be given the chance to have the Aso Rock after trying a couple of times, so that he could be the superhero-president needed–talking about the now President Buhari. The cunning part of how the man Buhari was sold to Nigerians is in how they made himself and his running mate Professor Osinbajo look really poor and unable to even buy their own candidacy form, this was so serious that they even made the poor Nigerians contribute their hard-earned money to the make-Buhari-president project. Selling Buhari to Nigerians using the hero-syndrome and the poverty-syndrome worked so well, and that’s because the masterminds did their homework in studying what gets Nigerians into giving their loyalty and faith; Nigerians want you to look vulnerable, they want you to look like you have experienced what they are experiencing or you are still experiencing it, they want to feel like you are a messiah coming to rescue them. Once you’ve ticked these boxes, you would have people who can die or kill for you… this is not a figurative expression.
Alas! Buhari in the presidency got Nigerians into realizing they got played, and the hero they were made to believe Buhari would be is near-impossible to find in most Nigerians. Now that Buhari’s time is rounding up and it is almost another time for another president to get in, another spot of vulnerability about Nigerians is showing up—the need for “technocratic” and “young” people in government (whatever criteria would be used to define being a technocrat and being young). These are good things to look for at this time when looking at the history of the makeup of the Nigerian government since 1999 we can’t point at a particular administration containing a lot young and technocratic people. The political godfathers and political actors know this is what they can use to sell a candidate to Nigerians now (just as being poor and being a potential hero worked 7 years ago), now they are using these things on Nigerians and we are seriously buying what they are selling. But should we not ask some serious questions? Questions like: the technocrat and young people presented to the people to choose from, who are the hidden people behind them and they owe their allegiances to? What exactly can they offer and how do they plan to achieve these things? What’s their résumé on the social, economic or political activity they have engaged in? We are not used to asking these questions during campaigns, and that is why we bought Buhari and Osinbajo easily, and we may buy another set of worst people in the coming elections if care is not taken.
We are in so daring a time that Nigerians must not buy anyone based on these unmeasurable sentiments we are looking to have for them—the stakeholders selling them know these sentiments and they can package anyone to look that way; we rather should buy someone based on their measurable résumé; this has a better chance of giving a better outcome than “he was poor” or “he is poor too” or “he is the hero we need” or “he is our own”. Everyone is bringing their best marketing game at this time, we will definitely buy, but let’s know who and what we are buying; another administration causing a large margin between bad to worse like the Goodluck Administration was bad and the Buhari Administration is worse would just finally finish Nigeria and Nigerians. Right now, we should have at least an Administration that can do some restorations instead of worsening things. Also, we do not need a “Yoruba president”, or an “Igbo president”, or an “Hausa president”, or an “Ijaw president, etc., we need a Nigerian president that would really be there and really function at their best and for the best of Nigeria and Nigerians. May the right person for this mission win.