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Sunday, 12 May 2013

An Open Letter To Gen. Muhammadu Buhari

By: Abubakar Alkali

Sir, I salute your commitment, steadfastness and resilience in your efforts spanning over 30 years to bring about good leadership and by implication a desirable change in Nigeria. It could be said without any reservations that you are the shining star of Nigeria’s latest adventure as a democracy since 1999. My dear general, you stood out as the last man standing against corruption in Nigeria. Indeed you are an inspiration to me and all progressive youths in this great country Nigeria.
As one of your political adherents and a firm believer in your political philosophy, your recent remarks regarding your candidacy in the upcoming 2015 general elections aroused my curiosity and prompted me to write this open letter to you. At the maiden edition of the Sam Nda Isaiah lecture series in Minna in an answer to a question from a journalist, you were quoted to have said that you will be ready to step down if a better candidate emerges within the All progressive congress (APC), the yet to be registered coalition of political parties. Indeed this is a very smart answer to the question even if to bring home the point that Gen Buhari doesn’t regard the presidency as the beginning and the end of the world. That question is very instructive and it may have been yet another unsuccessful decoy by the PDP to score some cheap political points and discredit your well established political profile. The answer that your political adversaries in the PDP wanted was for you to insist publicly that you MUST contest and be president. Then they (the PDP and its agents) will go to town and tell everyone that cares to listen that Gen Buhari is a do-or-die politician. That infamous and sinister political game plan that is the hallmark of former president Obasanjo and the PDP. In the run up to the 2015 elections where you will be contesting and winning Insha Allah, the PDP is ready to use everything in order to stop you because it has long been established that the only candidate that stands between the PDP and the presidency in 2015 is Gen Buhari.
Indeed Nigerians are tired of being tired of the contraption of political beneficiaries called PDP (Papa – Deceive- Pikin) – (Shegiyar Uwa) and all Nigerians are hungry for a desirable change and cannot wait to see Gen Buhari sworn in as president on 29th May 2015 to restore the Nigerian dream, fight corruption and poverty to a standstill and ensure fair distribution of the country’s enormous resources. The PDP has established a culture in Nigeria whereby the enormous resources are concentrated in the hands of a select few who constitute just about 1% of our population while the rest 99% swim in abject poverty, hunger and deprivation. Gen Buhari will change all that and ensure that democracy serves the people and democracy is not used by those in government to enrich themselves as is the case under PDP. Asari Dokubo earns N1.44 billion monthly from a phony contract to oversee ‘security’ in Nigeria’s waters while 86% of Nigerians live on less than one dollar per day. Asari Dokubo should be in jail but under the culture of chop-i- chop PDP politics, this rag tag political thug and economic terrorist cum militant has the audacity to insult Nigerians and threaten to make Nigeria ungovernable if his paymaster president Jonathan is not returned in 2015. Asari Dokubo is no different from an armed robber because he carries gun to make money yet he is a prominent member of the Jonathan cabinet. Asari Dokubo has the courage to insult Nigerians because he is sitting on blood money. Asari even added that the Northern Oligarchy is trying to smuggle Gen Buhari into the presidency in 2015. The import of Asari Dokubo’s statement lies in his reference to Gen Buhari. Asari Dokubo is scared stiff of a Buhari presidency because he thinks Buhari will probe the socalled ‘security’ contract that he and his fellow militants and political thugs are making ridiculous amount of money from and which they share with their masters. Asari and his co travellers should know that the incoming APC government in 2015 has no choice than to probe this security contract that President Jonathan awarded to Asari and Co. Asari Dokubo takes N1.44 billion per month, Government Tompolo takes N3.5 billion per month, Ateke Tom takes N2.5 billion per month. Who are they taking their returns to? Who is the pay master? Nigerians need to know who is involved in this contract, who gets what, when and how? Asari Dokubo and all PDP riggers should note that all Nigerian youths are saying is that if the PDP rigs the 2015 presidential elections, the projection by the U.S that Nigeria will cease to exist in 2015 will come to pass.
Plot to stop Gen Buhari from contesting in 2015
Much as we know that you gave the right answer to that PDP-sponsored question, some of us your ardent supporters had our stomach turn when you mention the word ‘STEP DOWN. This is moreso when juxtaposed with the fact that to my knowledge, this is the first time that Gen Buhari is using the word ‘STEP DOWN. In the other previous cases where the PDP has sponsored this type of question to Gen Buhari, he simply says ‘Let’s allow the people to decide because this is democracy. It is no longer news that the PDP has voted billions of Naira to stop Gen Buhari from contesting the 2015 elections. What is news is that the PDP is inducing some prominent leaders of the APC with money and promises of juicy appointments to prevail on them to stop Gen Buhari from contesting in 2015. Quite unfortunately, there are leaders of the Action congress of Nigeria (ACN) that are being used by the PDP to stop Gen Buhari. There is now a big project sponsored by the PDP tagged ‘STOP BUHARI FROM CONTESTING IN 2015 AT ALL COSTS’. If the APC stops Gen Buhari from contesting in 2015, then they should forget the block votes from the North and by implication, the presidency. Then the APC will only make an impact in the south west states and the whole efforts will only turn to change of name from ACN and the APC will continue another round of opposition politics. All this will definitely happen if the APC excludes Gen Buhari from contesting the 2015 general elections. Anybody who is working to stop Gen Buhari from contesting the 2015 presidential elections is in effect giving a straight jacket victory to the PDP.
For those who feel that Gen Buhari can anoint a candidate, that option will just be giving the PDP victory on a platter of gold because it is too late to present another less popular candidate with less than 2 years before the elections. Any new candidate cannot galvanise the required political support within 2 years to beat the PDP. There are even reports that the PDP sponsored a top leader in the ACN who led a delegation of ACN leaders and met Gen Buhari and tried in vain to persuade him to drop his 2015 presidential ambitions. The insinuation within the APC is that the ACN is using its position as the largest party in the coalition to ally with the PDP to stop Gen Buhari from contesting in 2015. Although the ACN is the largest party in terms of number of states it controls, actually the largest factor in the APC is Gen Buhari. Gen Buhari is the soul of the mega party the APC and it is his struggles and determination against the PDP since 1999 that brought up the sentiments on the need to form the APC in the first place. It was Buhari’s 14 years of hard work that exposed the destructive tendencies of the PDP for all Nigerians to see. The PDP is indeed scared stiff of Buharimania which is the new political philosophy that is the nemesis of the PDP and will surely get the PDP out of circulation in 2015. If indeed the ACN is serious with this merger as we all believe, now is the time for the ACN to come out and publicly announce its support for Gen Muhammadu Buhari as the presidential candidate of the APC. There is no more time to waste; the ACN should start selling Gen Buhari to its supporters in the south west.
To beat the PDP, the ACN has to avoid a repeat of the 2011 elections when the ACN secured all its seats in the south west ODUA states at the state, local government and ward levels BUT voted for PDP at the presidential elections. The ACN abandoned even its own presidential candidate Nuhu Ribadu and voted for President Jonathan in 2011. The ACN should immediately start spreading Buharimania in all ODUA states and beyond. The North is already secured by the CPC and ANPP for Gen Buhari. Buharimania is the political hurricane that will sweep across Nigeria like wild fire in the 2015 elections.
Sir, I am sure that you will understand my apprehensions about the word ‘STEP DOWN’ as you will for that lady in Kaduna who was in labour on the day of the last presidential elections in 2011 but summoned courage to ask her midwife for permission to enable her go to the polling booth and cast her vote for Gen Buhari. That lady by the will of Allah (s.w.a) delivered a bouncing baby boy whom she affectionately named Buhari (after you). Dear general you will easily recall speaking on phone with that lady to congratulate her on her safe delivery after obtaining permission from her husband. Although that child is just about 2 years old, Baby Buhari is looking forward to his invite from you after 29th may 2015 as Mr president Insha Allah to come to Aso rock with his parents and congratulate you and the new first lady. That child and many more like him want to see you not only on the ballot in the 2015 general elections but also want to witness your swearing in at that well attended ceremony on 29th may 2015 at the Eagle square when president Jonathan will hand over to Gen Buhari and relocate to his Otuoke country home. Stopping Gen Buhari from contesting by the APC for any reason will mean disenfranchising the almost 15,000,000.00 voters who voted for him in the last presidential elections in 2011. And remember none of these voters collected a kobo for his/her votes. The PDP uses state funds to rig elections in Nigeria. It was alleged that about N1.5 trillion of Nigeria’s cash was used by the Jonathan administration to rig the 2011 elections.
With all the billions they spent and the effective use of their rigging machine, the PDP was only able to garner a little over 20,000,000 votes in the 2011 presidential elections. These genuine voters who voted for Buhari in 2011 are still singing their slogan ‘Nigeria sai mai gaskiya’ and ready to come out enmasse and vote again for Gen Buhari.  The army of supporters of Gen Buhari know very well that as a deserving general who led his troops to victory during the civil war in 1966, Gen Buhari will not abandon his troops this time round and will lead all of us to victory again in 2015 to save Nigeria as he did during the civil war. The PDP is hell bent on breaking up Nigeria and we must all stand up to defend our country and ensure that Nigeria remains one corporate indivisible entity. Several analysts believe and rightly too that Nigeria is too big for President Jonathan to handle. The high level of insecurity and corruption in the last 2 years has given credence to this school of thought. President Jonathan himself has also admitted that he cannot transform Nigeria. So what is he doing in Aso rock?
Gen Buhari as the right presidential candidate for the APC
Gen Buhari is the best candidate to soundly and squarely beat the PDP in 2015. The strongest political asset of the APC is Gen Buhari’s political value and support base which spans across the length and breadth of Nigeria. At the last presidential elections in 2011. Gen Buhari as the CPC flag bearer beat the PDP in 12 of the 19 states in the North (that is 2 of the 3 political zones in the north). In the elections, Gen Buhari scored a total of 11,914,953 votes fair and square while President Jonathan scored 22,350,242 votes. In the 2003 presidential elections which Gen Buhari contested under the ANPP, he scored a total of 12, 216, 171 (32.82% of the votes cast) votes to PDP’s 22, 809, 446 (61.27%). And remember that none of these voters who voted for Buhari received even a dime for his/her votes while almost all of the PDP votes were either bought or rigged.
Gen Buhari defeated President Jonathan in Bauchi, Gombe, Jigawa, Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, Kebbi, Niger, Borno, Sokoto, Yobe and Zamfara. So Buhari’s electoral value makes it easy to beat the PDP in 2015 because these votes and even more are there ready for him if he contests in 2015. The political arithmetic clearly points to victory for the APC in 2015 if it presents Gen Buhari as its candidate. The calculation is very clear: Buhari will deliver at least 15 states in the North (3 more from the 12 he won in 2011), the ACN will deliver 7 states in the south west and Edo which will give the APC 22 states in total. Apart from defeating the PDP in 22 states for sure, the APC will certainly gain 25% in few other states.
The PDP can only claim votes in the south south and south east geopolitical zones. That means Buhari will deliver 2 and a half geopolitical zones, the North West and the North East and part of the North central. The ACN will deliver the south west and add up with Edo state. With Buhari as its candidate, the APC will garner the required 25% of the votes cast in at least 2 third (24 states) of all the states of the Nigeria including the federal capital territory Abuja to win the presidency. Section 134 (1) (b) of the 1999 constitution of Nigeria was clear on this requirement and states that ‘A candidate for the office of the President shall be deemed to have been duly elected, where, there being only two candidates for the election, has not less than one-quarter of the votes cast at the election in each of at least two-thirds of all the states in the federation and the federal capital territory, Abuja.
Gen Buhari’s political value transcends that of any politician today in Nigeria. He is one man terminator squad that has stood against the PDP for 14 years. Many politicians who claim to be leaders of the APC today have collected either cash or contracts or both from the PDP but not Gen Buhari. After the 2003 elections which Gen Buhari is widely believed to have won, former president Obasanjo had sent a delegation to Gen Buhari to persuade him to forward names of ministerial nominees but Gen Buhari told them that he is not in politics to make money or for appointments. The APC has to bear in mind that money cannot defeat the PDP in 2015. The PDP has access to the nation’s treasury and can out money anybody. What can beat the PDP is a candidate who can get the votes without having to pay for them. That candidate is Gen Buhari. Gen Buhari will institute discipline in the Nigerian system because Nigeria needs a paradigm shift. This man will institute the rule of law and make everyone alive to our responsibilities and we all know that the level of corruption without borders going on in Nigeria today under President Jonathan is because there is no deterrent. There is no leader to provide an example for everyone to follow. People turn to corruption because there is no price to pay and even the leaders at the very top are also corrupt.
Gen Buhari: Man above board
Gen Buhari is one man who has lived above board. People freely call him and deservedly too, THE INCORRUPTIBLE. Gen Buhari has held virtually every juicy position in Nigeria at the very top but till today even his worst enemies couldn’t pinpoint even one kobo against him. Nobody has yet come out to accuse Buhari of taking even a kobo that doesn’t belong to him. Buhari was head of state, minister of petroleum resources, governor of Borno state and more recently, the chair of the petroleum trust fund (PTF) which was then the cash pot of the nation. However, there has not been even an allegation of Buhari taking even a dime that is not his. This is remarkable. The Moto of Gen Buhari which he stated was that anything that doesn’t belong to him, he doesn’t need it. This is the man to lead us in the fight against corruption and clear the Aegean stable of corruption created by the PDP in Nigeria. Jonathan is sitting pretty as president while corruption without borders takes over every fabric of Nigeria. PDP has unofficially inserted corruption as a provision of the Nigerian constitution. The fuel subsidy scam involving sons of ex and serving PDP chairmen is a PDP creation to loot the treasury, the Halliburton scam involved PDP chieftains and members/former chair of the PDP BOT. The pension scam is running into several billions of Naira, the national I.D card scam was created by the PDP, the electricity regulation scam was a PDP affair. The NPA corruption scandal inspired by Bode George was a PDP family affair. Former president Obasanjo during his 8 years misrule (1999 – 2007) has turned the PDP into a high frequency stealing machine yet this shameless man gallivants around the world delivering cynical lectures against corruption. The PDP is using corruption to destroy Nigeria and one man that can fight corruption sincerely, honestly and without fair or favour is Gen Buhari.
Age and religion
Agents of retrogression in Nigeria who foisted bad leadership on all of us have tried albeit unsuccessfully for more than 30 years to portray Gen Buhari in several images to Nigerians. However, the blackmail against Buhari has only added value to him and strengthen his political profile. The most prominent tool that these agents have tried to use against Buhari is that of branding him a religious fanatic. They even said Buhari will Islamise Nigeria whilst they forget that Nigeria is a secular state. These macabre dancers have imported Islamophobia into Nigeria. Gen Buhari will not attempt to islamise Nigeria and has never said he will islamise Nigeria. Anyone who wants to confirm what Gen Buhari said on this issue can search in Youtube. Gen Buhari will only fight for the less privileged and downtrodden citizesn who have been shortchanged by our socalled leaders. The claim that Buhari is a hardline Muslim has only galvanised more support for him across the length and breadth of Nigeria not only amongst Muslims but Christians as well. Afterall what is wrong with being a good Muslim? Personally, my deep rooted commitment to Buhari is more because he is a committed and practising Muslim. Is it not people with the fear of God that we are interested in to lead us to the Promised Land? The level of corruption foisted on the nation by PDP wouldn’t have been the case if people with the fear of God are leading us.
After using religion and failed, the agents of retrogression trying to stop Buhari from being president in 2015 are now using age. They said Buhari will be 73 years old in 2015 and hence too old to be president. But they forgot that age is a state of the mind. Age is just a number. Buhari is as strong and agile as a 40 year old man. I had the rare privilege of meeting this man and I could recall vividly that when he shook my hands, I felt like a 35 year old man has grabbed my hand. I didn’t feel 70 years on that hand. Gen Buhari is athletic and very strong. While we were all sitting down and waiting for him, the agility and sportsmanlike nature with which he came into the room were outstanding. He breathed in with such comportment and courage that you will think this man is another 100 meters champion in the making. I may be in my 30’s but from what I see in Gen Buhari’s body physique and physical ability, if I was to square him up in a boxing contest, I do not think that I will survive the first round.
Who is afraid of a Buhari presidency?
There are insinuations and sentiments being peddled around that the Nigerian elite is afraid of a Buhari presidency because they will all be made to account for the various atrocities that they visited on the nation. Particularly, people feel that Gen Buhari is going to massively arrest those who stole the nation’s common wealth and put them perpetually in jail. Something that was done when he was head of state in 1983 when some politicians who corruptly enriched themselves with public funds were arrested and jailed for as many as 150 years. People feel that the powers brokers and money bags that control corruption in Nigeria are very uncomfortable with Buhari as president and will do everything possible to stop him. But all these are part of the tools of blackmail that are being used against Buhari as he has never said he will arrest anybody this time round. Times have changed albeit Buhari’s anti corruption stand has not and will never change. We should remember that 1983 is 32 years apart from 2015. Gen Buhari was very clear on the issue of backdating corruption trials and revisiting the old book of corruption and corrupt leaders.
What he said was that as a democratically elected president, he is never going to apply the big stick retrogressively. He is never going to go on a spree of arrests and detentions but that anybody who has an ongoing/pending case with the judiciary will have to answer his/her case. This is fair enough. Impliedly, Gen Buhari is not going to do a Jonathan by giving state pardon to convicted criminals who have looted our treasury.
DSP Alamieyesegha was arrested, charged by a competent court of law, found guilty and convicted of looting and corruption but President Jonathan pardoned him. Whoever pardons a convicted criminal or looter is not ready to fight corruption and may well be guilty of looting the treasury himself.  Gen Buhari cannot start arresting everybody on sight. We should remember that this is democracy not a military regime where there are checks and balances. The doctrine of separation of powers is firmly entrenched in our constitution and all arms of government have a role to play. The executive, legislature and judiciary work together towards a common objective: service to the people. None of these 3 arms of government has the monopoly of power. The legislature makes the laws, the executive puts the laws into practice and the judiciary interprets the laws. Government doesn’t mean only the president as President Jonathan thinks. And come to think of it, Gen Buhari arrested people in 1983 because most of them deserve to be arrested as they have corruptly enriched themselves and turn public funds into their personal property.
A Buhari presidency will help the socalled power brokers and money bags because if the level of poverty, deprivation and corruption continues, then the masses will one day rise in full force against these power brokers and leaders which will result in a revolution and anarchy. Gen Buhari can douse that tension by providing good leadership which will give everyone a sense of belonging.

My dear Gen Buhari, you are in demand in Nigeria. Nigeria needs you at this time to take us away from the path of disintegration which the PDP has placed us. To fight corruption, ensure economic prosperity, social justice and fair politics for all. Nigeria is today on a free fall under President Jonathan. The average Nigerian lives on less than one dollar per day, Poverty is 86% and rising, infant and maternal mortality rates are rising. Unemployment figures are about 35% and rising and insecurity is everywhere with thousands of innocent lives being killed in Nigeria such that some people are asking the question: Do we REALLY have a government in Nigeria?  From Sokoto to Port Harcourt, Maiduguri to Lagos, Adamawa to Abeokuta, Katsina to Umuahia, Kebbi to Yenagoa, every Nigerian is calling for you to contest and win the 2015 presidential election under the APC. All Nigerians call on you to contest and win the 2015 presidential elections. Indeed it is only your candidature that could defeat the PDP in 2015. No retreat, no surrender, no blinking, no turning back until Nigeria is free.

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