Buhari won the battle but lost the war.

Author:Ogbonnia, S.K.C.
Position:Letters - Letter to the editor

I am happy that President Muhammadu Buhari of the All Progressives Congress (APC) won again in 2019, but equally, find it difficult to celebrate the victory.

While accurately predicting the outcome two weeks before the Presidential election, I remarked that many Nigerians were not in a hurry to bring back to power, so soon, the main opposition party, the People's Democratic Party (PDP), which squandered our overflowing oil wealth during its 16-year reign.

Moreover, its Presidential nominee, Atiku Abubakar, was fundamentally flawed and had no game-changing message. However, unlike in the 2015 exercise when both the loser, President Jonathan, and the winner, Buhari, emerged from the election as heroes, Buhari's victory in 2019 is plainly pyrrhic.

Any objective analysis of Nigeria's 2019 election ought to consider how President Muhammadu Buhari backpedalled the wheel of Nigeria's democratic journey by refusing to sign into law the reforms to the Nigeria's Electoral Act. This failure quickly gave rise to a perception of executive subterfuge, which tainted the 2019 electoral process from the get-go.

The embers of impunity grew into wildfire within the ruling party, led by Buhari's self-appointed national party chairman, Adams Oshiomhole, which has rubbished the concept of internal party democracy within its ranks.

This prompted the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Mahmood Yakubu, to lament that the primaries ahead of the 2019 elections were "some of the most acrimonious party primaries in our recent history" and a big blow "to our electoral progress".

Public trust in Nigeria may never recover from the conflicting sight of Muhammadu Buhari, of all people, campaigning across the country while standing shoulder-to-shoulder with some of the most corrupt kingpins in the land.

Nothing exposed the hypocrisy in Buhari's re-election campaign more than his brazen assault on public institutions. For instance, worried that the election could end up in the courts, Buhari removed a sitting Chief Justice of Nigeria, Walter Onnoghen, on account of corruption--with a few weeks to the election and without due process--while at the same time providing safe haven to some principal members of his party...

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