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General Muhammadu Buhari should contest the 2015 general elections because all those calling on him not to, have failed to convince us in a reasonable and rational way. I am not believe age should become paramount over credibility and virtue. The so called young generation of politicians we have produced have not proved that their strength and vigour is something to rely on, we have seen the Alamiesieghas, the Iboris, the Saminu Turakis and a host of others who seem to send a signal that being younger is being hopeless at least in our midst.
The fact that Buhari is older than other ccontestants does not discredit him from exercising the moral duty and constitutional right he has in Nigeria and it is not enough in any advanced thinking to blacklist someone simply for having more years; more ironic is the fact that in Africa we see age as a blessing but some morons have decided to turn wisdom up side down for their own interests to prosper more than that of the ordinary Nigerian.
Nelson Mandela, one of the greatest leaders Africa has produced became the president of South Africa at the age of 76 neither was Ronald Reagan a young man when he ruled a much bigger and stronger nation: the United States?
If for the sake of promoting others we use some clumsy excuses to brush aside competent people like the former head of state and bring sentiments in the polity, the desired change may occur but the people’s will cannot be suppressed,Nigerians from the east, West and the North have voted for Buhari in the past without him giving them bags of rice, or sending them recharge cards because well meaning people know who he is and what he can do.
Some envious among the perpetrators of progress even go to the extent of condemning the effort of the general in bringing the opposition on a united stand, if I humbly ask who went to the courts consistently to challenge irregularities in the past election and for the sake of unity and the rule of law publicly accepted the verdicts of the courts at various times from 2003 to date?
An irrational argument postulated by enemies of real change is that new crops of politicians with records of embezzlement and misappropriation are better sold to Nigerians than honest and sincere citizens simply because our electoral system has become hopeless and our electorates are mockingly used to justifying failures in the past. Buhari cannot be the scapegoat others will use to say the opposition cannot bring down PDP when late Umaru Musa Yar adua admitted that the 2007 elections were marred by irregularities.
A more licentious and self centred thought by such kind of unpatriotic citizens is the belief that the PDP led government would easily suppress a Buhari candidature when in reality the General has always been its nightmare and many who took to the press to challenge the wish of the down trodden are mere boot lickers eager to impress masters they hope will give them tickets without really getting the views from the grassroot.
If Buhari or any other person feels he is eligible to contest and his or her supporters want that, why should another person or some sponsored groups try and suppress that wish or is it that fear which unnecessarily keeps lingering in some minds that his presidency would oppress some? This wont stop the quest for better leadership from Nigerians from all walks of life even as the disgruntled politicians insist on having their own way.
As a democrat who contested election for three consecutive times and having the faith in a country which had been passing through turbulent times characterized by insecurity, corruption we cannot afford to allow sentiments over ride patriotism.
Many in the past have used Buhari’s popularity in achieving selfish goals but the populace have watched and bear witness to the fact that if such a personality can be used to attain goals , why wont he be given the chance to prove his worth, certainly we await Buhari’s critics to deny all facts about him.
Buhari should contest and still win the election if APC as a party wants to get it right for the first time and any attempt to forcefully sideline Buhari will render the merger of the opposition a fruitless and a wasted effort , let me say if the opposition is all about new breeds then the merger is of no use, Goodluck Jonathan is from the new breeds!
Article written By Hisham Habib
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