By Uzoma Ahamefule
“Throughout history it has been the inaction of those who could have acted, the indifference of those who should have known better, the silence of the voice of justice when it mattered most, that has made it possible for evil to triumph,” said Emperor Haile Selassie of Ethiopia.
My attention was drawn last week to a statement credited to one Alhaji Hassan Ibrahim Oshafo, published by the “National Mirror” on 20.02.2015 in an article titled “Nigerians in Austria declare support for General Mohammadu Buhari, Al-Makura”.
That grievous announcement was a very careless propaganda for personal aggrandizement that was taken too far. I ought not to react to such inconsequential statement, but it would amount to great disservice and injustice to humanity and a slap to dignity. Owing to the fact that sometimes silence is not golden - and also for the sake of posterity – especially having gotten protests from many Nigerians in Austria over the misguided declaration, it became a necessity that facts should correctly and unequivocally affirmed. As a matter of consequence, I will not fail to state the obvious and the conspicuous reality that that testimony was not only misleading but a mischievous assertion, regrettably concocted for political relevance.
As a social justice crusader and a human rights promoter, truth is my standard. I accommodate and respect contrary views, but vehemently disagree when these our rights to views are aired not based on facts and reasons, but on selfish interests. It is hypocritical, incredibly naive and parochial for anybody to think that intolerant and undemocratic Gen. Muhammadu Buhari is a better candidate than President Goodluck Jonathan. Frankly there is no political basis for comparison between these two personalities, for the difference between lizard and alligator would never be ambiguous to adults with morality.
The injuries and havoc Buhari inflicted and caused in Nigeria were hugely devastating, and people with memory and integrity would never forget those horrific pains and hot tears. After over 31 years of these sorrows and anguish under Buhari’s ruthlessness, his era and time for God’s sake is over. A vote to a coupist like Buhari who overthrew a democratically elected government is a vote backward. Irrespective of how hard cynics and hypocrites have tried over the years to dress the rotten fact of military venture into power, till date, no reason has ever been justified by democrats for such a crime against humankind, whether in the north, west, east or south.
I feel ashamed that somebody who claimed to live in a civilized and well-organized society like Austria where freedom of speech and association reigns supreme could be bold to make a general reckless statement that Nigerians in Austria support unrepentant human rights violator like Buhari. Without sounding arrogant, I am well informed and full of presence in the midst of Nigerian communities in every part of Austria. That statement was not only untrue but a blackmailing proclamation meant to serve the personal interest of the announcer.
From the standard of what is obtainable where I live in Austria, President Jonathan did not live up to my personal expectations, especially with the way the issue of terrorism was handled – though he had recently explained why and reacted accordingly. But comparatively, judging with what was on ground when he came into power, what Nigerian past leaders had as achievements and what he has accomplished, in fairness and honesty, he remains the best president Nigeria has ever had since its independence – proofs I will detail in my subsequent articles.
I cannot be cajoled or be intimidated with fabricated lies by cabals to submission, and let nobody with self-brain be. Here is a very important factor that must not be ignored by those with conscience and morality before they vote in the up-coming presidential election. Buhari is not the change we want, because apart from the well-known fact that he destroyed democracy, many faces surrounding him and championing his election have questionable characters. And it will be too suicidal to let power into the hands of these people who are desperately playing “do or die” politics. Perhaps, that could be why Nigerian political “Maradona”, Gen. Ibrahim Babangida, a fellow dictator like Buhari who was nicknamed, “The evil genius”, said, “Nigeria is save in the hands of Jonathan”.
According to Frederick William Robertson there are “threethings in the world that deserve no mercy, hypocrisy, fraud, and tyranny.” Those Nigerians who are well informed about the antecedents of Buhari and the gravity of his sin against Nigeria but yet still re-packaged the same Buhari they told us that was expired in 2011 for 2015 have no moral conscience, and they cannot fool all of us at the same time.
The choice between our personal pockets or political appointments and the progress of Nigeria for the good of all and generations unborn, is the choice we have between a democrat and dictator and a human rights abuser.
I think that President Jonathan is the best option for Nigeria right now, and wish that he is re-elected. But if your doings and stands for contrary actions are based on personal convictions, then vote according to your conscience. Vote wisely, for the choice we make today is the Nigeria we will see tomorrow. Remember, “Once a General is always a General, and once a dictator is always a dictator”.
Nigerians in Diaspora will not be voting in these coming elections, so the hoopla and the ceremony of somebody rushing to the press without research or any base to make false claims against over five to eight thousand Nigerians ought not to have risen. President Jonathan remains the toast of the majority of Nigerians living in Austria, and their chorus is, “Please Nigerians, give us Jonathan.”
(Ahamefule, a concerned Nigerian patriotic citizen, writes from Vienna Austria. He can be reached via: email@example.com, +436604659620)