In Game theory class back then, my lecturer told us: ‘everything in life is a game’. In no sphere of life is this truer than politics. Politicians campaign for votes to get into office and make all kinds of promises, while the electorate just want their lives to be better. It’s a game. The key for voters is to elect someone who can do most of he says he will. Below are five reasons why I think Muhammadu Buhari will be the best president of the lot we have to choose from on Saturday.
- Buhari will be able to make decisions to benefit the country on a large scale because he has no ties to all the politicians and businessmen, (‘godfathers’), whose vested interests in our economy keep it from achieving its full potential. He can also pick the best people in his cabinet, because he has no one to pander to. The problem with Nigerian godfathers is that they have no scruples or conscience, and even if the relationship starts off on a good note, it most likely gets sour at some point costing the ‘godson’ valuable time that would have been used to govern.
- Corruption is Nigeria’s biggest problem, and a Buhari presidency will be able to fight it because he and his running mate Pastor Tunde Bakare will come to equity with clean hands. Corrupt leaders or leaders who have links to corrupt politicians cannot fight it. Corruption has become generational in this country and spread to all facets of society because those at the top continuously set a bad example. As a leader, those who follow you do not care what you say; they only care what you do. Under a Buhari presidency, we will finally have a person who shows good example in Aso Rock.
- He displayed very good management of our national resources when he was Petroleum Trust Fund (PTF) Chairman from 1995 until 1999, when it was dissolved by Olusegun Obasanjo. The PTF awarded contracts without the winners having to lobby, something that is unheard of in today’s Nigeria. The PTF was also in the forefront of promoting local manufacturing of everything from paints to medicine, which is a far cry from a country that issued a contract for the provision of dustbins in Abuja a few months ago to the tune of nearly a billion naira. Read more about his time at the PTF here.
- Since he started to run for the presidency in 2003, he has remained principled in his opposition stance. It would have been easy for him to join the ruling party but he didn’t. He has therefore remained free of any association with 12 years of poor governance at every level. A big problem a lot of people have with the candidates at all levels is that they are mostly disgruntled ex-PDP members. Buhari is not in that bracket.
- He has come a long way from the perceived high handedness of his time as military ruler in the 80s. Continued contact with democratic processes has mellowed him considerably. He recognises the need to build strong democratic institutions that will outlive individuals and resorted to the courts when he felt aggrieved over the outcome of the elections in 2007.
The aim on Saturday is not to elect someone who has never made a mistake in public life, as this is not possible. It is to elect someone who is in the best possible position to take the necessary action to improve Nigeria. Some may ask: why is Buhari suddenly an option at his third attempt? The answer is simple. Nigerians have been sleepwalking for the last 12 years. Some of us have only woken up after realizing where the continued abdication of our responsibility as an electorate has gotten us. Some of us have decided to actively find out about the candidates’ records and try to do better in selection this time. After much searching, I decided on Buhari for the above reasons. I hope you do the same.