Passionate letter to undecided Nigerian voters
There’s been a lot of talk about you folks in the news lately. The whole country is suddenly fawning over your opinions. You’re the subject of unrelenting analysis by every pundit, pollster and political hack with airtime to fill.
It seems to happen like this every four years, as if you were Olympic athletes going for the gold in cluelessness. Every national election cycle, it all comes down to a massive shrug-fest from a bunch of mealy-mouthed swing-state hand-wringers. The fate of the free world is decided by the baffled half-wits who hold up the morning coffee line.
Meanwhile, the rest of us are bombarded with billions of naira worth of political advertising as punishment for your collective decision making disorder.
I have to say, I’m really starting to resent you people. Grow a backbone, already. I can handle the honest anger that comes from political disagreement, but what’s unforgivably frustrating is apathy and hesitation in the face of something that really is important. It’s also a choice between two men of inherently different character, one of whom will likely decide on the future of our dear Nigeria in the upcoming term. That fact alone should sway your decision one way or the other.I’m disappointed by the tone of the political conversation this year, which is too rarely about policy and too often mean-spirited. Nobody running for President wants to destroy Nigeria. Nobody is evil.Rather than direct verbal attack, it would have been preferably rewarding if party spokesmen educate the undecided voters about the capabilities of their party's candidate, a duty they unfortunately neglect.Being a concerned Nigerian, dedicated to uplifting the integrity of my fatherland, I took it upon myself to make comparison between the past records and manifesto of the two leading candidates, this I believe will aid the undecided voters to make the right and just decision on who deserves their vote.Here is my report;
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Yes, this election actually matters. Those of you on the cynical fringe can save your silly rants about how the PDP and APC leaders are all the same. They’re not. It's absurd to think that there’s no significant difference between the two major parties. This isn’t a choice between Olamide and Davido. Choosing between President Jonathan and Gen Buhari is choosing between a fundamentally competing set of social values and economic policies.
Major initiative of Goodluck Jonathan, PDP candidate:
• Roadmap for Power Sector Reform
On 2 August 2010 Jonathan launched his 'Roadmap for Power Sector Reform‘. Its primary goal was to achieve stable electricity in Nigeria.
• Youth Enterprise with Innovation in Nigeria
On 11 October 2011, President Jonathan launched the Youth Enterprise with Innovation in Nigeria (YOUWIN) Initiative which he stated was an innovative business plan competition that harnesses the creative energies of young people between the ages of 18 and 35. The YOUWIN Initiative is expected to create between 40,000 to 50,000 sustainable jobs by 2014.
In 2011, President Jonathan launched the Transformation Agenda. The Transformation Agenda is based on a summary of how the Federal Government hopes to deliver projects, programmes, and key priority policies, from 2011 to 2015 coordinated by the National
Planning Commission (NPC)
• Foreign policy
According to President Jonathan, Nigeria's foreign policy was reviewed to reflect a “citizen-focused” foreign policy designed to “accord this vision of defending the dignity of humanity the highest priority" and connect foreign policy to domestic policy while placing a greater emphasis on economic diplomacy.
Major initiative of Muhammadu Buhari, APC candidate:
• Economic policy
In order to reform the economy, as Head of State, Buhari started to rebuild the nation's social-political and economic systems, along the realities of Nigeria's austere economic conditions. The rebuilding included removing or cutting back the excesses in national expenditure, obliterate or remove completely corruption from the nation's social ethics, shifting from mainly public sector employment to self-employment. Buhari also encouraged import
substitution industrialisation based to a great extent on the use of local materials and he tightened importation. However, Buhari's bid to re-balance public finances by curbing imports led to many job losses and the closure of businesses.
Buhari broke ties with the International Monetary Fund, when the fund asked the government to devalue the naira by 60%. However, the reforms that Buhari instigated on his own were as or more rigorous as those required by the IMF.
On 7 May 1984, Buhari announced the country's 1984 National Budget. The budget came with a series of complementary measures:
*A temporary ban on recruiting federal public sector workers
*Raising of Interest rates
*Halting Capital Projects
*Prohibition of borrowing by State governments
*15 percent cut from Shagari's 1983 Budget
*Realignment of import duties
*Reducing the balance of payment deficit by cutting imports
*It also gave priority to the importation of raw materials and spare parts that were needed for agriculture and industry.
Other economic measures by Buhari took the form of counter trade, currency change, price reduction of goods and services.
•War against Indiscipline.
Buhari's military government continued largely with the foreign policy it inherited from Shehu Shagari . In January 1984, in his new year broadcast speech, Buhari stated that he would maintain and
enhance diplomatic relations with all countries and international organisations such as the OAU, UN, OPEC, ECOWAS and the Commonwealth of Nations. He also stated that he would honour all treaty obligations entered into by previous governments, which he did.
Buhari's foreign policy also focused on Africa, mostly Nigeria's neighbours due to financial commitments.
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Controversies of Goodluck Jonathan, PDP candidate:
• Malabu Oil Deal Corruption
•Undeclared Monies Flown on Private Jet to South Africa
•Removal of fuel subsidy
•1 October 2010 Independence Day bomb
•Same Sex Marriage Prohibition Act
Controversies of Muhammadu Buhari, APC candidate:
•53 suitcase saga
•Human right abuse
•Security challenges; rumoured link to BokoHaram
•Freedom of religion
•Missing $2.8billion NNPC funds in Midlands Bank, UK
•2011 post election violence
•1983 Military coup
•1983 Chadian military affair.
My research made me realise Jonathan would be a better President at this historical and sensitive moments. That's my stand. A lot of people are going to choose differently, and that’s okay. I think President Jonathan is a better but I don’t think Gen Buhari is evil or even that he’d be a bad President. In short, I don’t blame you for being undecided. Thanks for reading.
It’s your job as a citizen to be informed, to understand the basic policy positions of both candidates, and to extrapolate how those policies might affect you over the next four years, so take a hot minute and do your homework.
If you have the wherewithal to call yourself a voter in the first place, then it’s damn well time for you to pony up and decide. It really is the least you can do.
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