That the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has declared President Muhammadu Buhari of the All Progressives Congress (APC) winner of the February 23, 2019 Presidential election is no longer news.
Going by that declaration, unless there is divine ordinance to the contrary, President Buhari will continue to preside over the affairs of this country for the next four years.
Even though the President has already stated that the next four years was going to be tough, for us, we still ask whether President Buhari will, this time around, rise above partisanship?
Whether Buhari will see himself as father of all Nigerians irrespective of ethnic, religious or political affiliations, or whether he will still turn his back on those who did not belong to his ethnic or religious group, as well as those who did not who did not belong to his political party?
In other words, is President Buhari capable of being magnanimous in victory and treat everybody equally irrespective of those who voted for him in the last election, or is he still going to be partisan in picking those who will assist him run the affairs of the country?
What formula is President Buhari going to adopt in the sharing of the national cake, i.e., in appointments to key organs of government and in the citing of developmental projects? Will it still be based on 97% – 5% voter equation, or will the formula go even further down?
It is true that in his acceptance speech after being declared winner by INEC, President Buhari said that his victory belonged to all Nigerians, but didn’t he make such similar statement when he was being sworn in as President on May 29, 2015, when he categorically stated that “I belong to nobody, but belong to all”?
Yet, a little while later, he reneged and turned 360 degrees full circle, by concentrating all key government appointments in one particular area of the country?
Of course, this had reflected in the pattern of voting in the just concluded Presidential election, where Buhari garnered most of his winning votes from two out of the six geopolitical zones of the country, thus making him unpopular in the other four zones, which is not a good testimonial for the President of the giant of Africa.
At 76 years of age, we believe that it is time for President Muhammadu Buhari to begin to make amends, to begin to correct the long held view about him as an ethnic and religious jingoist.
He should begin to aim at writing his name in gold as father of the nation and a statesman, by extending his hands of fellowship to all Nigerians irrespective of ethnic, religious and political affiliation. He should start cultivating friendships, and stop making enemies right, left, and centre.
It’s time for the healing of wounds, time for national reconciliation, time for all hands to be on deck to help salvage the sinking ship of state. Those who are fanning the embers of discord, embers of hatred and acrimony, urging the President to take up the armour of war, are not doing the President any good, or even the country at large.