Buhari is a clever man for insisting free, fair, credible general elections – Dogara declares

Nigeria’s President, Muhammadu Buhari has been described as a clever man by insisting that he will ensure that the forthcoming general elections in the country are free, fair and transparent.

The assertion was made by the immediate past Speaker of the House of Representatives, Barr Yakubu Dogara who said that the decision by the President to remain neutral is an open invitation to Nigerians to mirror themselves to him and the World about their true selves in the leadership they will freely put in place.

The former Speaker gave a Keynote address at the ACIPA Day of Prayers, Awards and Book Dedication/Launching held at ECWA Headquarters, Jos, Plateau State.

Yakubu Dogara said that, “The forthcoming election is not about any candidate, it is about us. It is about who we are and the values we want to project to the world. Herein lies the role of the Church – to serve as our moral compass and to warn us about the choices that confront us.”

According to him, “The questions on our lips must be, where has the candidate you want to vote for, ever been, because he can only lead us to where he has been and who is the candidate because he can only reproduce what he is, not what he wants to be. We all have the duty to point to the truth no matter who is for or against it. Let’s do it for Nigeria and for posterity.”

“I understand the theme for today’s event is: ‘The past, present and future role of Northern Christians in the development of Nigeria’. You will all agree with me that this is a very broad topic with abounding literature that have effectively covered the field,” he said.

He added that “I dare say in summary and without fear of any contradictions, that without the heroic roles played by some of our brothers and sisters in moments of National peril in Nigeria, Nigeria may not have been in existence the way we know it today.”

He also said that, “There is hardly any Northern Christian family that does not bear the scars of the war to keep Nigeria one. It is equally gratifying that our father who superintended over Nigeria in those darkest moments still leads national efforts in prayers for repentance, national healing and unity.”

Yakubu Dogara stressed that “Clearly, therefore, the fact can not be overstated that we are equal stakeholders in the Nigeria project that is why we must strive as never before to ensure this country live to its true potentials so that the sacrifices of our heroes past do not waste.”

According to him, “It is on account of this that I intend to dwell on the forthcoming general elections in regards to what we must do now, during and after the elections to advance the work for which so many of our relations paid the supreme price.”

He also said that “undoubtedly, Nigeria’s only problem is that of leadership. For in the absence of leadership, we can not fix the economy, infrastructural decay, security and chart the path to national prosperity. It is said that, “everything rises and falls on leadership”. No society throughout history has ever risen above the level of its leadership.”

“Unfortunately, we don’t care about substance anymore, it is all tribalism. Is he in our team and are we going to get what we want? These are the questions that keep agitating our minds when electing leaders. With this inverted value system, if you have ever wondered how the bottom looks like in terms of leadership recruitment in Nigeria, this is it,”, he added.

He however said that “But for Nigeria to rise, we must refuse to compromise on the competence and character of anyone who wants to be president of this country. I am yet to meet a farmer who sows chaff and expects a bountiful harvest,”.

Yakubu Dogara cautioned that “I must not be understood to be advocating for perfection, as I know enough to know that throughout history the job of building any civilization has always fallen on the shoulders of imperfect men and women.”

He stressed further that, “For none of us, not even Angels are perfect. As Christians, we know that Lucifer was once an Archangel before he fell from grace. But we have the duty to interrogate the character of those seeking office, most especially the highest office just to ensure that the worst of us do not rule over the best of us.”

According to him, “In the coming elections, who we elect as President has nothing to do with the candidate, it will be all about who we are. Like it or hate it, the narratives that dominate global media space about Nigeria is about the “Nigerian Prince”.

He further said that, “An average Nigerian is seen as a con artist with foreign leaders throwing diplomacy into the winds and calling Nigeria fantastically corrupt.”

“In conclusion, what I have said is that, our leadership when it is freely and transparently elected, is a clear statement about who we truly are,” he concluded.

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