Immediately after I finished writing this piece, I went online to check the trending news - that was some weeks ago. To my greatest excitement, I saw that a peace accord was to be signed by Gen. Buhari and Dr. Jonathan towards ensuring that there would be no instigation of election violence. I just dropped the piece as there was no need for it since the major contenders to the presidency have agreed that there wouldn’t be any election violence. Unfortunately, that agreement only existed on paper and between the two parties alone, as their supporters are claiming ignorance of such accord. I got to know about this some few days ago when I went to eat in a restaurant, and I met supporters of Buhari in a fierce argument with some of Jonathan’s supporters. The guys supporting General Buhari were very mean in their arguments as they threatened fire and brimstone if the former General should lose, or as they put it; “if the election were rigged”. Well, I always like it when someone talks out of provocation, because it is only in such circumstances that his true intentions can unconsciously be vomited. Psychologists believe that there is no such thing as slippery of tongue, and that all statements made when the “tongue slips” are the real intentions of the maker which is been suppressed. So what if General Muhammadu Buhari loses the election in reality?

To understand the present, we must look into the past. History has it that soon after the announcement of the 2011 presidential election, which Gen. Buhari lost to Dr. Jonathan, many lives and properties were destroyed. It was a very serious religious crisis, not a political one. I remember a friend who narrated to me how he escaped through the fence when he saw from afar that their house was pointed at, as another Christian house. It is unimaginable how a political event could give rise to a religious mayhem, but that was exactly what happened in 2011. That was not all; Gen. Buhari was at the center of the then mayhem. By saying this, I should not be taken to mean that he incited or initiated the crises, but that the only succour his followers could get for his electoral misfortune was the blood of innocent Christians - a trend Gen. Buhari did not openly and swiftly rebuke, not until pressure was all over him. Silence in most civilized societies is often interpreted as acquiescence. I’m not sure about the reasons for his silence anyway.

But whatever his reasons are, they should not be unconnected with the subsequent open statement attributed to him in May 2012, wherein he reportedly unleashed doom upon Nigeria should the subsequent election (2015) be rigged. His very words were that: “God willing, by 2015, something will happen. They either conduct a free and fair election or they go a very disgraceful way. If what happened in 2011 (alleged rigging) should again happen in 2015, by the grace of God, the dog and the baboon would all be soaked in blood”. In this part of the world, the most euphemistic term for admitting defeat at the polls is to use the term “rigged”.

In the light of the foregoing, we discover that basing our conclusion on past antecedents and statements, we can only make a plea to the General to spare our lives if he loses this presidential election. In the course of his political career, Gen. Buhari has never come close to victory, as he is now. In other words, his expectations are high and his hopes are alive that he will become the president of Nigeria this year. When his chances were slim, he was indifferent at our slaughter, what becomes of us now?

I must also confess that I am scared of the parallel government that the APC has threatened to run should they lose this election. I do not know why PDP did not issue a similar threat. A parallel government, if I were to add flesh to the statement, is a confrontational government run by the use of force and arms - more of a militia. That sounds like a civil war, doesn’t it?

It is in the light of this that we call on our highly respected General to prepare the minds of his followers against violence before, during and after the election. This is because of our firm belief as northerners that it is only God that gives power to whomsoever he deems fit. It therefore follows that candidates can only do their homework but leave their victory at the polls in the hands of God. Buhari need not to incite any further violence, it is already embedded in his followers. He only needs to, as a matter of urgency, persistently preach the message of acceptance and peace to them, should he lose this election.

About the Author:
 Author Photo Bandawa writes from Abuja, Nigeria. You can follow on twitter @NBandawa

E-mail: ntayibandawa@gmail.com