In what underscores the pathology of futurist poaching that shapes the contours of Nigerian democracy, someone has kick-started a campaign for President Muhammadu Buhari’s second term, five months into the four year-long play!
Buhari is still hamstrung by wonderment at the empty treasury he met upon entering Aso Rock. He has yet to initiate actions that would translate his campaign deliverables into reality. But a do-gooder is already trying to make Nigerians swoon over the next Buhari term.
Aliyu Magatakarda Wamakko, former two-term governor of Sokoto State and serving senator, is that man.
Last week, Wamakko told law students who had come to pay him a courtesy visit that Buhari cannot make a dent on the slate of national woes in a single term. Buhari needs two terms to acquit himself well. Four years is like the twinkling of an eye –it ends as soon as it begins!
In his own words, ‘’President Buhari must be allowed to rule beyond 2019 to address the numerous challenges bedeviling the country. Four years cannot be enough to address the rot done to the country in the last 30 years. We cannot expect miracle from the president in view of the enormous damage done to the country, he needs to be given opportunity to be around beyond 2019.’’
Wamakko’s message hews closely to the lore of past tenure elongation advocates: Dan Kanu of Youth Earnestly Ask for Abacha, Andy Uba of Olusegun Obasanjo’s Third Third bribe-giving vanguard, and Ifeanyi Uba of Transformation Ambassadors of Nigeria (TAN). They all retailed the idea that prolonging the stay of their favorite ruler in power would make Nigeria an earthly paradise.
But Wamakko wins the gold medal for starting time. He set a new record for the earliest a tenure elongation activist has ever jumped the gun. He started campaigning for a second term even before the administration he seeks to perpetuate has settled down in the business of its first term!
Wamakko has a stupefying sense of punctuality. He won’t wait for Buhari to register key achievements so that the talk of his second term would have a plausible basis. He won’t wait for Buhari to go midway into his tenure. He won’t wait for Buhari to exhaust the first year. He won’t let Buhari complete half of the first year of his four year term.
Wamakko is in a hurry to snatch the honor of being first to moot a Buhari second term. He wants to be recognized as the most ardent of all Buhari’s supporters. The pioneer of the Buhari second term movement. The one other prospective Second Termites would queue behind.
Wamakko magnifies Nigeria’s ‘’rot’’ and says that the brevity of four years constrains Buhari from doing anything. He writes off this running four year-long chance Buhari has sought for four consecutive times. Wamakko says Buhari cannot score quick wins in this first term. Time heals all the wounds: We need to stretch our hope for healing to the coming second term!
That’s nonsense! Buhari does not need four years in the presidency to study his script and another four years to interpret the role!
A single term does not choke the leader’s efficiency and a second term does not liberate it. A leader who was a first term disaster cannot automatically metamorphose into a wonder performer when thrust into a second term.
Leaders tend to perform according to their capacity to govern their environment. Except they are committed to improving their capacity, they cannot significantly rise above or drop below that threshold. The passage of time does not upgrade the leader’s capacity: it exposes the leader’s capacity.
A President with poor managerial capacity will be as a much a disaster in a single term of four years as he would be if he tarries for a second or third term. On the other hand, if the leader has a high capacity to perform, his tenure will reflect it –whether he is tested with four months or four years.
One can even argue that a long term erodes the leader’s zeal. It can induce complacency in the incumbent. It can afflict him with the disease of ease.
The minimization of the opportunity of the first term offers and the magnification of the prospect of the second term constitute a snapshot of procrastination feeding on the present. It is ventilating the lie that Buhari has no agency to effect a change now. He is doomed to hibernate in Aso Rock… until a favorable season, four years ahead, rejuvenates him!
Wamakko is close to the presidency. He ought to be transmitting to President Buhari’s orbit the groundswell of public despair that is growing among citizens as they watch months go by without seeing tokens of the change in their affairs. Wamakko is supposed to be helping Buhari understand the feeling of frustration that is rising in the fold of Buhari’s staunch supporters.
Buhari has squandered half of the first year of his presidency wrestling with the task of articulating the direction of his presidency. He has been railing against his successor and calling a pity party. He has been whining that the presidency is not fun job he had imagined it was. He has not owned the demands of the job yet. His hands have not engaged the plough.
And, this is where he needs the most help. He is stuck in the beginning. He is intimidated by the steep mountain of national problems before him. He looks dispirited and lacking in the will and motivation to attack his job. He is second-guessing himself and feeling sorry for himself. He wants to be comforted and told that Nigerians appreciate his helplessness!
Buhari has to do himself the favor of disowning Wamakko straight away. If Buhari permits Wamako to hawk Buhari’s name in this premature second term campaign, it would cost Buhari. Though Wamakko is a lone wolf prosecuting an unsolicited errand, it is only a matter of time before he entrenches himself in public consciousness as Buhari’s courier. As people see him promoting a bid that will benefit Buhari, their minds begins to form an illusion of Buhari’s sponsorship of the plot.
Without doubt, this will define Buhari as a power-hungry man. It will fit into the narrative of his four times bid for the presidency. It will seem to explain he ran again after he wept publicly on his third failure.
This campaign speaks disrespect to the people. It suggests to Nigerians that they are mere electoral entities. They are beings whose thumbprints become important once every four years. They are fingers you use to fetch yourself another term.
Of course, the insult will steel Nigerians against the consideration of any rationale for Buhari’s second term in the future. It will inoculate them against any future message emphasizing Buhari’s qualification for a second term.
Wamakko bares the mindset of a futurist scavenger. I suppose that Wamakko -the deputy governor turned governor, the governor turned a second term governor and second term governor turned senator -started his own second term senatorial campaign before he began broaching Buhari’ second term. It is inconceivable that Wamakko would be canvassing for Buhari’s second term before laying the groundwork for his own second senatorial bid.
Wamakko is a specimen of the Nigerian political class. Those folks are less interested in doing their present job as they are in bargainning for relevance in the next election cycle. They do not have peace tackling today’s assignment. They are anxiously leapfrogging from election to election, from one election year to another election year.
2019, 2023, 2027…
They are not focused on their present task. They are runners in an inexhaustible race. They are running to remain in their position. They are running for a higher position. They are running to an appointed minister or ambassador. They are running to be recycled by any means. They never breast the tape. They are always running!
It is remarkable that Wamakko said ‘’Buhari must be allowed to be around beyond 2019…’’
Wamakko thinks of a second term as a debt Nigerians owe Buhari. Wamakko doesn’t believe that Buhari’s first term performance should recommend Buhari for a second term. Even if Buhari succeeds in wasting this term, he must be allowed to continue in office. Buhari must hang around the Villa, for better or for worse.
2015 presidential election was not perfect. But it empowered the voters to choose the winner. And Nigerians reviewed the impact of Jonathan regime on their wellbeing and voted for self-love. TAN and over 8,000 pro-Jonathan support groups, touted to be 80 million member-strong, proved useless.
Godsday Orubebe, Jonathan’s loyalist, was so shocked he ran mad on national television!
That election restored the dignity of Nigerian voters. It gave them the power to hire and fire. They don’t have to tolerate incompetence. They don’t have to endure a failed leadership.
So, Wamakko need not invest himself in a futile cause. No Second Termite can win Buhari another term. Buhari must personally earn his second term: Or CHANGE will happen to him!
Emmanuel Uchenna Ugwu
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