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Buhari And The Steps Of Singapore’s Lee Kuan Yew

Bobson Gbinije

“There is nothing more touching than the sight of a Nation In search of its great men, nothing more beautiful Than its readiness to accept a hero on trust” -James Russell Lowell (1819-1891) In Egyptological metempsychosis and buttressed by the Holy Bible, it is stated with unequivocal clarity, that, “there is a time for everything.”

Hence, the English playwright William Shakespeare posited that “there is a tide in the affairs of men, which when taken at the floods leads on to fortune. Omitted, all the voyages in their lives are bound in tempestuous waves.” Indeed, the political tidal surge in Nigeria has lifted Major General Mohammadu Buhari to the zenith of its mountainous height when Buhari won the presidential election conducted on the 28th March, 2015.

He won with his APC by scoring a total vote of 15,424,921 as against President Jonathan’s PDP’s 12,853,162. This was a glorious victory indeed. It will be recalled that like Abraham Lincoln, Mohammadu Buhari contested for the presidency in 2003, 2007 and 2011. But the long awaited victory after some many years of his political marathon race came to fruition in the 2015 Presidential election. We commend his Spartan and Trojan courage and patience.

We must also commend the patriotic, statesmanlike, iconic and gracious conceding of defeat and subsequent congratulatory benediction and love sent to the new President. The Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Professor Attahiru Jega, must be commended also, for doing a yeoman’s job for the way and manner in which he conducted the 2011 and the 2015 elections in the face of political Lilliputians and constitutional dwarf’s provocations. Indeed, he remains one of Africa’s Heroes of the 21st century.

The essayist Henri Frederic Amiel (1828-1881) said that “Heroism is the brilliant triumph of the soul over the flesh – that is to say, over fear… Heroism is the dazzling and glorious concentration of courage.” He must be commended. De s e r v i n g of the greatest commendation is the Nigerian electorate. They stood under the sun, rain and other inclement weather including crass insecurity to forestall the pauperization of their franchise by voting in an orderly manner for the candidate of their choice.

They were the quintessential exemplification of the Pulchritude of Democracy. We commend their courage, integrity and honour. We take solace in the words of William Shakespeare that “Mine honour is my life; both grow in one; Take honour from me and my life is done.” Indeed, we commend all the electoral umpires, observers from the United Nations, African Union, Ecow as, Nigeria and the Media in its entirety etc.

To God Almighty (Jehovah Elohim) be all the glory in Jesus Name, Amen. After all the splendiferous political theatrics and social brouhaha, we now come to call a spade a spade and not a mere gardening tool. We must set forth at dawn. Nigeria is a country that   has been wallowing in the labyrinth and oubliette of political, socio-economic manacles, gyves and erebus for over 53 years. The march to nationhood has been straddling between and betwixt psychotic corruption and arrested development. We have seen all types of military regimes and so called democratic governments to no avail. We are still cocooned in the throes of crass underdevelopment.

Nigeria bears the similitude of an experimental guinea pig subjected to all types of laboratory surgeonisation to no avail. This is mainly due to the domineering prevalence of mundane and moribund leadership sunken in solipsistic gratification and the metastatic malady of prebendalistic graft, ethno-bigotry, religious extremism, nihilistic tribalism, political intolerance, nepotistic chauvinism redounding to grandiloquent poverty, no water, no roads, no houses, no light, no fuel, no sound education, no industries, massive unemployment and overwhelming crime rates etc.

We need no ghost to tell us that to clear this Augean stable requires the stout guts of Herculean proportion. We call on President Mohammadu Buhari to rise to the occasion by confronting these problems head-on. We admonish him and his APC Team to remember, amongst others, the unblemished immaculacy and the perfect example in nation building set by Lee Kuan Yew, the late president of Singapore. Singapore was a trading centre until destroyed by the Javanesse in the 14th century.

The city was revived by Sir Stamford Raffles for the British East India Company (1819), and developed rapidly as a port for shipping Malaya’s tin and rubber. It acquired a cosmopolitan population and became a strategic British base. Occupied by the Japanese (1942-45), it achieved self-government (1959) and joined (1963) and left (1965) the Federation of Malaysia. Since independence it has become wealthy under the strong rule of late Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew (1923-2015). Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew is gone, but his all-embracing developmental strides will remain etched in the walls, chiseled on the iron and the sands of time in Singapore. Is Buhari and his APC ready to interrogate developmental indices in Nigeria? Time Will Tell!

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