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Why I Voted for Buhari (Despite Voting Against Him in 3 Previous Elections), and Why I Believe He Has What it Takes to Reform Nigeria Now That He’s President

My attitude towards any personality – be s/he celebrity or public office holder – is that s/he could be my brother/sister/father or mother or even a good friend.

So, regarding the many unsavoury campaigns launched against Buhari during the countdown to the elections, I always asked myself:

How would I have felt – as Buhari’s son – when all those false claims were being made about his lack of results or original certificates to back up his claims of schooling?

And after he got into office, would I not want my “father” to be given a fair and impartial opportunity to SHOW what he can do…especially when his success would BENEFIT even his critics???

For each of us, it never feels as bad as when it’s happening to a loved one!

Those same considerations guided ALL I did and said even while GEJ was in office.

I carefully studied him over time. Especially what he said with his own mouth and what he DID – or said he did.

Most times I came away not very happy.

But it was his scandalous exchange with the CNN lady (Amanpour) in that January interview that finally did it for me. I arrived at my own assessment of him – and boldly stated it. For me, he simply could not meet the mark. He lacked the depth to do so – and, I believe it was not his fault. He simply got promoted beyond his level of competence without knowing it. Period.

As a result of the above observations, the last thing I expected GEJ to do was run for office again. But he apparently saw himself differently.

Still I did not “hate on him” for that. He had every right to contest again!

However I decided I would do my bit to ensure someone I considered better got in ahead of him.

So I chose Buhari…

What most people do NOT know is that I did NOT vote for Buhari on ALL his previous outings…!

If I recall correctly, I voted twice for Okotie (despite being a non-church-goer O!). Then I voted for Ribadu.

But after I saw how they ended up, and noticed how Buhari remained as constant as ever in his resolve, I realized he had a rare strength of character that had obviously made him immune to what I considered the chronically corrupting influences of Nigerian society.

It is my considered opinion that MANY who do not appreciate Buhari have NOT really experienced Nigeria the way I have as adults with family responsibilities outside paid employment.

Have you EVER had to function as an ADULT with dependants in THIS Nigerian society, outside of salaried employment for up to 5 years at stretch?

If YES, then – unless you had connections with crooked people making things happen for you – it is VERY likely you will have SEEN the naked evil that people do to others in such circumstances in Nigeria. They do it with impunity – even to relatives.

In my case, I’ve been functioning as an adult with wife and kids outside paid employment and NO CONNECTIONS now for 14 years

During that time, I have been to Nigeria’s hell on earth and back, more times than I care to count!

When you lack money in Nigeria as a self-employed person and are not lucky to hold salaried employment of any kind to guarantee some income to SUPPORT those that you are responsible for as spouse and parent, you will KNOW that there are multiple levels of suffering, humiliation and downright evil doing in Nigeria.

For Buhari to have been kicked out of public office when he was, and still remain without blemish till today, such that nothing could be found to use against him during the elections spoke VOLUMES to me.

I have been on the streets in Nigeria. I have SEEN/FELT suffering caused by corruption in this society as an entrepreneur trying to earn income the honest way.

And I can tell you that ANYONE who has tasted power in this society (like Buhari did), and can still RESIST corruption like Buhari has done – and is DOING – has what it takes to CHANGE this nation for the better.

Character and integrity are qualities that make it possible for any person to achieve ANY goals s/he sets his/her mind on – Buhari WEARS them like a cloth!

And that is why I am convinced Buhari is our best bet for reforming Nigeria.

We must not forget that we have MBA and PhD holders engaged in all sorts of fraudulent dealings in and out of the public as well as private sectors daily.

These are brilliant minds that have soiled their hands and compromised themselves, so that it’s now impossible for them to demand for others to do what is needed to change Nigeria.

Does it occur to us that Buhari has no PhD and yet no one has been able to pin any corrupt dealings on him?

Whether Buhari has intelligence or IQ or a wall covered with degrees and awards for leadership excellence, or not, is immaterial – because we have too many examples of people who boasted all those and still failed to deliver, and even stole out money!

I argue that even Obama, with all his distinguished accomplishments after running 2 terms in the USA would be made to look like the biggest FOOL on the planet, if by some strange miracle, he was allowed to contest for office in Nigeria and won the elections to lead us for 4 short years.

We all know what would have happened to Obama if when the republicans were trying so hard to discredit him in office, the country had been NIGERIA, with full blooded Nigerians in it, and NOT the HIGHLY discerning Americans that son of a Kenyan immigrant has had to preside over!

It would have been a mess and Obama would have been buried under it!

This is why I believe a man like Buhari who has successfully defied Nigeria’s corruption machine is the best bet we have.

But we don’t ALL have to agree on this. Each person has a right to his/her own opinions.

I AM a citizen of Nigeria and because I wanted Nigeria to succeed, I acknowledged the Good I saw done by GEJ while he was in office (my posts are still there on his Facebook page, and on my own wall). Same thing I did when OBJ was in power.

It is the same thing I do now. I refuse to sit back with a wait and see attitude. Instead I will hope and pray, and do what I can in my own little way (like I did all the time the other presidents were in office) to make Nigeria succeed with Buhari’s leadership.

By so doing, I believe I would be setting a good example for my kids to follow.

I hope others will do the same.

Related Article:

A People’s Ability to Disagree Without Being Disagreeable is Crucial for Societal Advancement [Hint: Why Too Many of Today’s Nigerians Are Often Too Angry to be Reasoned With!]

[IMPORTANT: This blog's contents are being updated following the transfer to www.tayosolagbade.com from my former domain - Spontaneousdevelopment.com. As a result, some parts of it may not work properly for now. Quick Tip: If a link contains "spontaneousdevelopment.com", simply change it to "tayosolagbade.com" - and it should work. This applies to article links as well as image links. Work continues to update the links(in over 500 articles). Tayo K. Solagbade.]

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