That phrase “the lesser of two evils” has been basterdized and clichéd in my opinion and as such should be relegated into the annals of verbiage, evil is neither less nor more. It is what it is: “Plain and Simple evil”. What is evil? Anyone or anything that is bad, sinful, morally reprehensible, and of the devil, yet we sometimes allude to wanting or choosing the lesser of two evils.
Evil is utterly corruptible, and that is the same evil that is less today, be rest assured it will be more tomorrow. So what is there to choose from: less or more? Daunting undertaking eh?
Haven burdened you with my parody of a sermon, I beg to digress.
So, Nigeria, land of my birth will in a couple of weeks embark on a journey into a terrain which under “normal” circumstances is wrought with all sorts of intrigues, debauchery, and grandiose machinations – more so in that part of the world.
Nigeria will be attempting to elect its next president and as we fondly say “no stones will be left unturned” to ensure that there will be a “free and fair” electoral process, of the 64 +years of Nigeria’s independence, 28 of those years have been under military rule and a precedence of freedom and fairness is yet to be alluded to her political aspirations.
According to the pundits at freedomhouse.org “Nigeria is enjoying the longest stretch of civilian rule since its independence from Britain in 1960”, well I am not sure what has been enjoyed or who has enjoyed what in the country since 1999, yes there have been some semblance of progress here and there, but according to Fela Anikulapo-Kuti we are sadly still “suffering and smiling”, adapting to the same old routines under different schematic tags and being “managers” on different tiers and strata of the somewhat burgeoning society.
The impending elections presents the country with a very interesting conundrum of choice, this is because the two candidates on the ballot bring with them well laden baggage of deficiencies and precedence that is obviously not good copy as pressmen will categorize it. President Goodluck Jonathan the incumbent who has had so much “good luck” tracking his history of succession and accession to the seat of power, but unfortunately has been a harbinger of ill luck and embarrassment to the office he has occupied and to the nation as a whole, under Jonathan’s watch there have been an upsurge in terrorist orchestrated bombings, abductions, and the obvious misappropriation of funds at all levels of government and the ever deteriorating conditions of infrastructure.
Jonathan has vociferously portrayed himself as peaceful, yet Nigeria cannot even boast of the peace of the grave yard since he took over the reins of power. He has also made known that if not reelected he will spill some sleaze regardless of whose ox is gored, come on Mr. President what’s new, please spill and include your name and that of your family members on the list of your expose.
General Muhmmadu Buhari is well-known in the annals of Nigeria’s jaded military and political history, he was the appointed military administrator of Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation during General Obasnjo’s military tenure as Military Head of State when the proverbial 2.8 billion (USD) disappeared into thin air. He also seized power from the Shehu Shagari government in 1983 when reports into the investigation of the missing funds was set to be unveiled. Buhari it was also under whose watch Nigeria recorded one of her worst human rights reports to date, from the incarceration of politicians (crooks in their own rights), to a clamp down on press freedom resulting in the arrest and detention of journalists and exponents of social injustice without trial.
To call his regime draconian is to put it very lightly. Also lest we forget Buhari was also the head of the Petroleum Trust Fund of which approximately 2.5 billion (USD), was inaccurately accounted for after Obasanjo was elected as president in 1999, go figure. Any way Nigeria has consistently proved to be the best at playing the game of political and power musical chairs anywhere south of the Sahara. To date the Nigerian judicial system is yet to at least give our leaders that have been purported to have embezzled funds in their care a fair chance to prove to the nation that these funds were not misappropriated, as they have said.
General Buhari has vehemently made it known to the Nigerian populace that he has been rehabilitated and that he is asking for votes not attempting buy or steal the conscience of the populace as he does not have a fist full of Dollars to spread around. Seriously?
President Jonathan is an indigene of the South-south a region that has been plagued with insurgence and terrorist attacks based on its marginalization regardless of the fact that it is Nigeria’s major oil hub. Although some sense of peace and normalcy returned to the region when a son of the soil became President by proxy after the demise of President Umaru Musa Yar’ Adua. Recently, there have been reports of the acquisition of military and/or combat equipment by prominent indigenes of the South-south for reasons yet to be divulged, they have also vowed that heads will roll if Jonathan is not reelected to the seat of power.
Buhari on the other hand, is from the North where Boko Haram has been terrorizing innocent citizens to the point that it has become the norm as nothing has been done to curb the activities of these tyrants, although Buhari says as a former military officer he will eradicate Boko Haram and its activities. Please can he tell us what has stopped him all this time from rendering his military expertise?
After all is said and done I am not actually sure which is the lesser of two evils here and I am very much aware how daunting a task it is to find a Nigerian with sterling qualities and integrity to bring us to the promised land, although I do believe that he or she is out there somewhere.
Nigerians have a very difficult decision to make and precarious situation looms before and after the presidential elections this March. We are a prayerful people but I m not sure we have ever thanked the Almighty enough for the bountiful gifts he has bestowed on our nation. We need to rethink a lot of things and discard the notion of business as usual and the culture of accepting whatever we are served by our so-called leaders some of whom we elected ourselves.
As Nigerians get set to go to the polls I have one question: Which way Nigeria? And as our “leaders” always say when they come in to steal and plunder, “Long live the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
Written by: Folarin Lawrence