Inaugurating his Presidential Campaign Council in Abuja on Thursday, President Muhammadu Buhari arrogantly boasted that “there is no doubt that victory is with us, it is ours, but that shouldn’t mean we should rest even for a moment.

“Even though we are confident of winning, I urge you to work so hard as you can so that we can maximize the scale and extent of our victory”.

If we are to critically examine Buhari’s words, there is no doubt that his concern is not necessarily winning the election, which he saw as a done deal, but how to “maximize the scale and extent of our victory “.

It is good for one to exude some level of confidence when going to battle and not be pessimistic, for that will help to encourage your supporters, but it should not be to the extent of arrogantly boasting that the battle was already won, even when the first shot was yet to be fired.

We have been looking at President Buhari’s record of achievements since he came to power to see how they could lead him to victory, but did not see any. Both the empirical evidence and facts on ground do not convince us that the man has what it takes to win the election, unless he has some other plans beyond what happens in the ballot box.

When Buhari was campaigning to be President in 2015, he came with the gospel of “change”. He told us that he would create one million jobs every year, make our Naira at par with one United States dollar, end oil subsidy and make petrol sell at N40 a litre. He equally promised to end Boko Haram insurgency in a jiffy, and make Nigeria a corrupt free society.

Ever since President Buhari came to power about four years ago, we have seen this “change” translate virtually into a curse. For instance, instead of the creation of one million jobs yearly, what we witness is the continuous loss of jobs on daily basis, which at the last count, stood at about 20.9 million unemployed Nigerians.

How therefore can one convince these 20.9 million Nigerians whose lives have been rendered hopeless to cast their votes for the regime? It will be extremely difficult.

Since the primary role of government is the protection of lives and property, can we honestly say that the present administration has faired well in that direction? If you do not know what to answer, visit states like Benue, Taraba, Plateau, Nasarawa, Zamfara, Katsina, etc, and ask the people how they had faired. They will relate how security agents had stood akimbo while bandits battered their lives. How will our President campaign or solicit for votes in these states?

Today, insecurity is no longer limited to Boko Haram insurgency in the North East where many lives were lost and several towns razed, but also to herdsmen attacks, cattle rustling, banditry and kidnapping, which had made life miserable for people in North Central and North West states.

If you travel down to the South East and the South South, the people will tell you that Buhari administration does not even know that they exist. They will reel out several appointments made by the President where they were excluded.

It is not just the issue of 97% versus 5% voting (wrong mathematics), but that the man did not fancy them from Adam. When he was military head of state, he made only one Igbo man Minister in his nineteen-member cabinet and asked him to be rolling out the draconian laws for his administration.

Similarly, when he was in charge of PTF (Petroleum Trust Fund), most of the projects executed by the scheme were skewed against the South East. So, the people have decided to take their destiny into their own hands, knowing that the man has no love for them. (Onye ajulu, o na aju onwe ya? Mba).

So, it will be an uphill task for Buhari to turn the table in the area this time around. Forget about the noise by some self-serving apologists of the regime who delude themselves that the man will give them Igbo President in 2023, when he has already conceded that position to Tinibu.

The South West is one of the most sophisticated zones in the country. In spite of having one of their own as Vice President, and the ubiquitous presence of Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the people have come to believe that the present regime has nothing to offer. In fact, most of the criticisms against the regime in terms of nepotism, incompetence, hypocrisy, selective fight against corruption, disregard for rule of law, etc., emanate from the zone. So, what gives Buhari the confidence that he is going to win this year’s election?

In 2015, when Buhari was hero worshipped, when everybody thought he was a saint, that he possessed the magic wand to cure Nigeria of all her illnesses, and when the sentiment in the North was too much in his favour, Buhari could beat Jonathan with only three million votes.

Now that President Buhari has been “de-masked”, people knowing that he is not who he claimed to be, his weaknesses exposed, and his main challenger also a Northern Fulani, it will not be all that easy for him to win with the ballot box.

If however Buhari thinks that he is the incumbent, that he will rig or manipulate the poll in his favour, he should also remember that Jonathan was an incumbent, but did not succeed in changing the outcome of 2015 election.

Besides, many people have become wiser and are now waiting for him in the Boardroom of the Independent National Electoral Commission where they suspect that strange things would happen.

In the same vein, if Buhari thinks that he is charge of security apparatuses, and as such, could railroad himself back to power, he should also not forget about the “Arab Spring” of 2010 that changed the course of events in the Middle East. In other words, Nigerians will not allow anybody to thwart their will, but are poised to reclaim their country.

Besides, these security men are equally suffering the effects of the maladministration of the present regime and will be glad to quickly see their backs.

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