After what seemed an interminable wait, the 2019 presidential election in Nigeria has finally reached touching distance. On Saturday, February 16, Nigerians will go to the polls to decide who presides over their affairs at the national level for the next four years. They will decide whether they accept the present leadership or whether there is need for a change. The big choice before Nigerians is whether to vote for President Muhammadu Buhari, the incumbent, who is of the All Progressives Congress, APC; or Alhaji Atiku Abubakar of the People’s Democratic Party, PDP.
In the run up to this momentous period in the country, many things had happened, things that nearly shook the foundations of the country. They included killing of innocent Nigerians by herdsmen, renewed attacks by Boko Haram, flagrant disregard to the laws of the land by the federal government, lopsided fighting of corruption, nepotism and division of the country along ethnic and religious lines by the same government.
Rather than progress as the current government had promised Nigerians while campaigning in 2015, the country had instead nosedived in fortunes, becoming one of the poorest countries in the world and the third most dangerous country Afghanistan and Iraq.
Perhaps the most worrisome thing is the federal government’s recourse to blaming the preceding government for everything, a development many Nigerians have described as an insult to their intelligence.
Rather than solve the problems they met, the Buhari Administration has added to them through what is clearly a lack of ideas on how to move the country forward.
However, of all the failings of the Buhari Government, it is its apparent refusal to deal with the bloodletting across the land that ranks as Number One. Life is sacred. That is what distinguishes man from animals. Countries elsewhere have been known to go to war in defence of just one of their citizens.
But in Nigeria, human life is treated as nothing. That is why despite the horrendous numbers of those killed by Fulani herdsmen, not one arrest or prosecution took place. The impression is that those killed deserved to die. The climax came when two Catholic priests were murdered in the church during mass in Benue State. This was one killing that shook the foundations of the country. But it apparently did not shake those in Aso Rock. Predictably, the killers are yet to be apprehended.
It is the attitude of the Buhari Government to these killings that has given many the impression that a silent religious war or jihad is in the offing; an impression that some people are trying to pursue the Islamisation of the country. When all the country’s sensitive positions in government are manned by people from same area and of same religion in a multi-ethnic and religious country like Nigeria, it certainly calls for great concern.
There, indeed, comes a time when the truth, no matter how brutal, must be told. That time is now. Consequently, we are calling on all Christians to rise and defend their faith; to rise and show their unhappiness with the state of affairs in their country; to show that their priests did not die in vain. They can only show it by voting out a government that has clearly shown them that they do not belong.
They should discountenance any fears about rigging and vote first and leave the fight to God who tells us in the Bible that when the righteous mounts the throne, people will rejoice. Let us therefore help the righteous to mount that throne.
The time to do that is NOW!