Nigeria’s leaders mustn’t toy with her peace




May I use this medium to express my concern over the worrisome attitude of Nigerian rulers to issues about the peace of the nation. In 1999, the then leaders thought about Nigeria’s peace and proposed rotational presidency, consequent upon which all the major political parties chose their presidential candidates from the Southwest. When former President General Olusegun Obasanjo ended his second tenure in 2007, the pendulum shifted to the Northwest from where all the major political parties chose their candidates. That gave the impression that orderliness and peace had come.

When President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua died, President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan (GEJ) and OBJ denied the rotational agreement, that it was Jonathan’s turn. Some Nigerians argued that the agreement was unconstitutional or undemocratic. I argued that the constitution was made for Nigeria and not vice versa. To those who said rotational presidency was undemocratic, I replied that democracy is about political order, and it becomes democratic if we endorse it.

GEJ used his power of incumbency to set machinery in motion; depleted Nigeria’s foreign reserves and plunged the nation into bankruptcy. The debilitating campaigns necessitated fuel price increase from N65 to N97, soon after GEJ’s election in 2011, dressed as “fuel subsidy removal”. The same scenario is now playing out as GEJ is going from traditional rulers to religious leaders.

Therefore, I appeal to the All Progressives Congress (APC) to make amends where necessary for past mistakes. I beg Nigerians to resist GEJ’s bribery and corruption for the new Nigeria of our dream. Visiting leading Kings, Emirs, etc with brown envelopes will not sway people who are tired of political disorder, corruption and abject poverty. GEJ will only enrich the bribed and aggravate ordinary people’s penury.

Pius Oyeniran Abioje, Ph.D,
University of Ilorin, Iliorin

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