The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) began by saying Buhari was too old for the job, but backed down when the ploy did not appear to work. It was probably unknown to the arrow heads of this campaign that, in the United Kingdom for example, the retirement bar has been moved upwards as longevity improved to over 100 years and old people were found to be more mentally and physically astute than they were a few decades ago. Later, this age campaign was enlarged to capture his health. In one of such attacks, he was said to be suffering from cancer. Who would hear that a Presidential candidate was suffering from cancer and waste his vote on him? The campaigners diagnostic report produced a letter purported written by a medical doctor. But the campaign was botched by three different hand-writings. And, in any case, the hospital purported to have issued it said Gen. Buhari was never its patient. This campaign shows how empty the architect can be. Any one who has been close to a cancer sufferer would know Buhari doesn’t look like one. For the sake of argument, why make merry over an opponent health? Who from 40 or 50 doesn’t cover up one condition or other with clothes? Such conditions may range from hypertension and diabetes to drunkenness. President Bill Clinton had 95 percent blockage in his coronary (heart) arteries and had to have “coronary bypass” surgery to survive and carry on in office.
A well known former Nigerian President was diabetic. Another had a pace maker (battery) in his heart. Didn’t Ibrahim Babangida suffer from “radiculopathy” while in office? Ayo Fayose assault not to be left out of the Buhari bashing party, this Governor of Ekiti State who enjoys being described as a dirty fighter has just added a real dirty twist to this smear campaign. He caused to be published in the Punch, one of Nigeria’s integrity conscious newspapers, an advertisement which details Heads of State of Nigeria from the Northwest region who died in office and suggested that Buhari, like them, would die likewise.
The goal of the advertisement is to dissuade voters from investing their vote and hope on this man. It is an insult to all Nigerian people who come from the Northwest region, to say the least. And it has been roundly condemned nationwide. Even the PDP has condemned it. Fayose comes from the Southwest of Nigeria, a civilised, compassionate and justice seeking region. The forebears of this region have captured in proverbs the wisdom of the Ages for even generations unborn. One of these proverbs says: … ti a ba nja, bi ti kaku ko. This means “… when we quarrel or disagree, our differences are not to cause death.”
Thus, the opponent is not wished death, and we do not speak ill of the dead. The Southwest is well-known for maturity, civility, accommodation, respect for human life, pursuit of justice and fair play and robust condemnation of omo ita (street child) lifestyle. So, such an attack on Buhari’s person as Fayose, can only weird together Buhari’s supporters in the Southwest, his Northwest region and elsewhere. Such attacks as stated can only be born out of fear and desperation. Fayose suspects Buhari’s victory may see him out of office if the courts become free again to do their jobs unmolested. Some of the indicators of fear and desperation are to be found in the mathematics of the 2011 Presidential election, in which President Jonathan defeated Buhari by about 12 million clear votes, and the emerging shifting landscape.
- Jonathan 22 million
- Buhari 10 million
There were votes for other candidates, including that of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN). The bottom line was that President Jonathan beat Buhari by about 12 million votes. That was a whopping landslide which President Jonathan may have replicated on February 14, had the APC presented a candidate of lesser integrity than Buhari.
Between 2011 and 2015 the landscape 12 million winning or differential votes of President Jonathan may have become significantly fractured in many states, and this probably accounts for the fear and desperation in the PDP to destroy Buhari’s person at any cost. The south-west region voted overwhelmingly for President Jonathan in 2011.