Coincidentally, Nigeria’s 2019 elections are holding just 2 days after Valentine’s day, whether one takes Valentine’s day as St. Valentine’s commemorative day, or as a day of love for couples, not minding its history or origin. We had credible elections in 2015 and hopefully, this time will be no different, with the electoral body, INEC, funded and equipped with the necessary paraphernalia to conduct a free and fair exercise. It is the hope of all well-meaning Nigerians that the fire outbreaks in three states do not suggest that elections cannot be held in those places as INEC has assured that the burnt materials will be replaced immediately. One is the truck load of PVCs in Anambra state and the others are INEC offices in Plateau and Abia states. Those celebrating February 14 as lovers’ day have to quickly be done with their love life hangover and quickly face the activities they have to be involved in to show love for Nigeria; to vote in credible leaders.
Before the 2015 elections, General Muhammadu Buhari’s convoy was attacked and bombed in Kaduna, around the Alilu Akilu road of the Kawo area. His vehicle was thrown off balance and landed on the ground, tilting on the road. Buhari had to climb out from the window which was now facing up as the two other opposite doors were glued to the ground with the weight of the vehicle on them. All the glasses and mirrors of the SUV were shattered, and its entire body was sprayed with bullets. It was surely a miracle that he stepped out of that vehicle alive. His life was to be taken violently and it was merely labelled a Boko Haram attack. It is now more than apparent that it was meant to be a political assassination. Buhari made it to the polls through God’s mercy and made it at the polls through another miracle, beating incumbent President Jonathan, the first time in Nigeria’s history. Whether Jonathan readily accepted defeat, or there was some ‘Orubebeing’ in between, the rest is now history.
PMB fell sick and was rushed abroad for medical attention, and his condition was a highly kept secret while he was away. Opposition to his presidency were well sure that he was dead and swore that his dead body was all Nigerians were to wait for. Osinbajo held sway and did well. With government activities in full swing, Osinbajo was well credited for certain economic positives (of course, Nigerians forgetting that he is head of the economic management team). After the long medical sojourn of President Buhari, he came back and shortly after, all was well with him, despite assurances to the contrary by his opponents and their spokespersons. Curiously, he didn’t use his office for a long while and it was said that renovation was taking place at the Presidential Villa. This laid credence to the rumour that PMB was poisoned and that was why the renovation was being made to rid his residence of whatever poisonous material he was afflicted with. Luckily, Buhari made it alive and continued to promise Nigerians that his fight against corruption was going to continue, pointing out that corruption was fighting back vociferously. Whether the poison rumour was true or not, God saved PMB’s life twice in the space of two years, to trudge on as president.
Then again, our amiable Vice-President, Pastor Yemi Osinbajo, aka star boy (the youths call him star boy), was involved in a helicopter crash. He climbed out alive just the way Buhari climbed out of his wrecked SUV, miraculously our ‘star boy’ made it out alive. Not only did he make it alive, he continued with his campaign activities at Kabba, despite the crash. I was so worried that he needed to have immediate and proper medical examination in case he had any internal wounds, or if the crash had spiked his BP. Interestingly, Osinbajo was dancing like a true ‘star boy’ on Sunday at an RCCG service, giving praise to the Lord for such an unimaginable feat. Now, imagine what could have been the situation had Osinbajo died or was in critical condition in the hospital? The chaos and political confusion we could be thrown into would have been calamitous!
The duo of PMB and Osinbajo have done measurably well in spite of the scarce resources that their administration has earned at a time of dwindling oil prices and lesser oil revenues. The railway projects, the road projects dots of power projects, airport projects, and numerous others that have been commissioned are a testimony that infrastructure is getting a whole lot of deserved attention, which is necessary for proper growth. Industries cannot thrive when there is no power, coupled with the unavailability of proper roads and rail networks to make business cheaper and profitable.
There is the rejuvenation of farming activities that has drastically reduced our import bills by billions of dollars which is the best thing Nigeria has seen in years. There is also the ambitious social investment programme that is lifting thousands out of poverty. God saved PMB and Osinbajo for a definite and higher calling, which is to partner in making Nigeria great again. God has omnisciently directed the affairs of this country in the duo’s hands for the benefit of future generations. God’s providence has given Nigeria a Valentine’s gift this year.
Tahir is Talban Bauchi.