Pulse Blogger Ezrel Tabiowo discusses General Buhari's recent win at the 2015 Presidential polls and what the All Progressive Congress's reign for the next four years could mean for Nigeria.
Over the last 16 years of its reign as Nigeria's ruling party since 1999, the Peoples Democratic Party, though besieged with several intra-political shortcomings, has as a matter of fact established a reputation for being truly nationalist amidst fostering unity amongst Nigerians; one largely devoid of ethnic, parochial and regional sentiments.
Determined not to lose such nationalist outlook to the self-serving bickering of some of its disgruntled members consumed by the need to dominate Nigeria's political space on the basis of an ethic-religious agenda, it became imperative on the party to alter the schematic workings within that gave staying power to what gradually was gaining grounds as Status quo.
Clearly outwitted by the resilient nationalist posture of politicians belonging to the new block, these aggrieved ethnic-jingoists found home with splinter political parties riding on the back of tribal-religious sentiments and launched a joint offensive against the ruling party in an unholy merger that birthed the monstrous entity called the All Progressive Congress. This flagged the war between Nationalism and fundamental extremism; it made for a vicious tussle between those who fought to protect the sanctity of Nigeria's unity and the bunch determined to tear the nation apart along religious and regional lines.
Then came the year 2015; a defining moment which will go down Nigeria's history as perhaps a period of 'Great Decline' responsible rather for way more grief than good, given the hand writing on the wall that bears evident signs of what the future holds.
Many had assumed that the outcome of elections if not favourable to the northern candidate, President-elect Muhammadu Buhari, or incumbent President Goodluck Jonathan, may both ways have resulted in a blood bath. Recall that even the United States of America had earlier predicted doom on the entity called Nigeria, insinuating that the country will disintegrate in the year 2015.
But with the outcome of the March 28, 2015 presidential elections, and without missing, the nationalist conduct of President Goodluck Jonathan, the Peoples Democratic Party averted a looming catastrophe waiting to happen.
Though, while at the moment it may seem that the country has escaped the prediction of the United States on one count - speaking of outcome of the 2015 election - same cannot be entirely ruled out particularly against the backdrop of recent events which have stirred various interests along regional and religious lines. Perhaps this could be the beginning of the dooms prophesy Nigerians so much dread.
Despite still waiting on the flank to officially assume its position as Nigeria's ruling party on May 29, the conduct of members and supporters of the All Progressive Congress across the country leaves one worried as to the quality of leadership the party hopes to deliver in the next four years.
Just yesterday, an audio recording which surfaced in the media had the Oba of Lagos, Rilwan Akiolu, issuing death threats to the Igbos in Lagos, directing them to vote for the All Progressive Congress governorship candidate, Akinwunmi Ambode, or perish in the lagoon. The Oba's comments is a clear indication of what is to be expected from the ruling party in waiting after May 29, 2015. This would not be the first time death threats are issued against Nigerians by leaders and members of the All Progressive Congress in a bid to realize a form of ambition, or force their political ideology on others.
Similarly, since the emergence of the new President elect, General Muhammadu Buhari, the atmosphere in the country has become saturated with ethnic-religious sentiments like never before. Muslims have become pitched against Christians; Northerners against Nigerians from the South-South and South-East; the South-West calling the North a reliable political ally; the North vowing use their new found leadership to frustrate the South-South, and all sort of gibberish.
Nigeria has never before now witnessed the sort of division and hatred amongst citizens as recorded with the emergence of APC. Even negotiations for political offices are being considered primarily on the basis of ethnic affiliation. This is the face of the new Nigeria and much desired 'change'. How shameful!
Let it be stated for the records though, that should the conduct of the All Progressive Congress not be resisted by Nigerians who believe in the spirit of true nationalism, the country might as well be prepared for another civil war, as it has been stirred on the brink of one.
The statesman conduct of President Goodluck Jonathan by conceding defeat at the 2015 presidential elections only shifted the goal post further. His action merely bought the country and Nigerians some time to determine whether it continues as a united entity or not.
For now, it will be hallucinatory to think Nigeria is past the radar of disintegration as predicted by some experts in the United States. As a matter of fact, the country is presently sitting on a ticking time bomb waiting to explode. The misapplication of the term 'might is right' by APC and its supporters in the acquisition of power, while likely to lead to the party's undoing in the end, will also invariably come at the expense of a united Nigeria.
Ezrel Tabiowo is a Public Affairs Analyst in Abuja.