Date: 2018-10-13

Fellow Compatriots,

It is no longer news that the 2019 electioneering tussle is gathering momentum with high hopes and expectations that another messiah will soon emerge as Nigeria's President while some other insisted that the status quo should remain.

The contest is going to be between the All Progressives Congress, (APC) candidate, Muhammadu Buhari and his Peoples Democratic Party, (PDP) counterpart, Atiku Abubakar.

It would be recalled that Muhammadu Buhari is the Nigeria's incumbent President while Atiku Abubakar had served Nigeria as Vice President for two terms of eight years under former President Olusegun Obasanjo-led government from 1999 to 2007.

Although, there are other candidates who have emerged on the platforms of their respective political parties with daunting political sojourn owing to the nature of Nigeria’s political arrangement. However, after elections turbulences, factors that are supposed to be blessings to us as Nigerians usually wage war against us as patriotic citizens.

With the emergence of the two major candidates, political jobbers and money-bags have taken queue and aligned with personalities with whom their interests would be adequately protected with little or no attention to national interest. Cursory assessments of politicians' psyche will reflect just three languages of: 'I, Me and Myself' which is equal self-interest; except for few individuals who are genuine and it is obvious that they will find it very difficult to emerge.

The duo of Buhari and Atiku are products of history with so many strengths and weaknesses and it is therefore left for Nigerians to choose the path they desire to tour. Although, while Nigerians are anxious of exercising their franchise in 2019, some politicians have allegedly commenced ballot paper printing in the United Arab Emirate (UAE) preparing for rigging, subjecting the poor masses to pains under hot weather queuing for Voters' Card collection and Continuous Voter’s Registration (CVR).

Of what impact will the re-election of Buhari for second term be to Nigerians or of what purpose will Atiku’s emergence serve the interest of over 190 million Nigerians? Remember that at the heat of the PDP presidential primaries, Atiku spent billions of dollars for delegates in order to clinch the party’s ticket after huge investments during consultation tours across the country along with his team. The real political calculations will soon be unveiled leading to campaign proper which will also gulp multi-billion dollars.

As for Buhari, this is someone that has allowed impunity in his political party with no respect for merit or party’s guidelines especially in Kwara State where no official declaration was made except "we are asked to return the aspirant and declare him the winner based on order from above". In case Buhari wins in 2019 or if by chance Atiku emerge, 'can any of them make Nigeria a better place to live'?

I met a young Nigerian at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja on Wednesday 10th October 2018. We were on the same flight from Nigeria to Ethiopia and we had another three hours discussing about Nigeria at Addis Ababa International Airport. I was heading to Malaysia, (far East) while my friend was going to Belgium (Europe). As a journalist, I asked him so many questions on nation-building and its implications as well as his mission in Belgium, among others.

The young man who, a Bachama by tribe from Numa local government of Adamawa State shocked me when he replied: MY BROTHER, I CAN'T STAY IN THAT COUNTRY CALL NIGERIA AND BE WAITING FOR WHAT BUHARI OR ATIKU WILL DO FOR ME. I HAVE BEEN IN BELGIUM FOR 11 YEARS AND I GIVE GLORY TO GOD. I felt bad when I heard this bitter truth because prompt payments of salaries, gratuities and pension have long become privileges and no longer rights in Nigeria. No jobs for graduates despite huge debts incurred by parents, no regular salaries for parents, high bills on poor basic facilities such as electricity, road, water even the atmosphere itself is hot as orchestrated by poor leadership across board. In Nigeria, people in the working-class are not in anyway(s) better than the job seekers except for few who have access to the treasury.

Therefore, with the gathering of the 2019 political momentum, governance is on the standstill, policy implementation is receiving less attention and the future of youths remains uncertain. Many youths have been recruited across the country as political thugs while many others are still finding networks to linked up with candidates/politicians ahead of campaigns.

Dear Mr. Buhari and Mr. Atiku, in simple terms, what are your agendas for poor Nigeria masses? Life is really worthwhile in other countries of the world, even though, they also have their peculiarities, but they are much more and extremely better than us in the areas of welfare and genuine plans for their citizens.

It is high time Nigerians remain committed and not to be dogmatically carried away by the story tellers, historical narrators and future saboteurs. Let our leaders emerge based on the understanding and clear conscience of their ability to deliver us from the wilderness of poverty and not basically because of their money.

Abdulazeez Arowona, a journalist writes from Johor Bahru, Malaysia via



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