Recently I was pondering over this popular proverb that states that “A devil you know is better than an angel you don’t know”. Personally, I do not agree completely with the saying, it sounds ironical because a devil is known for evil and an angel for righteous acts.
This saying might not be the perfect superlative to describe the political atmosphere in the country at the moment but it somehow relates to the situation of the nation right now.
There is no doubt the race to the Presidency is now between two men, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan; the incumbent president and C in C of the nation and General Muhammadu Buhari ;the tireless general, the general of the people as some address him.
Other presidential candidates exist according to INEC, the nation’s electoral body. It is extremely obvious that these candidates would become spectators come March 28 or probably they just want to add the title “2015 presidential aspirant” to their profile.
Firstly, let us take a look at the “devil we know” as stated in the first paragraph and of course it’s no other person than President Goodluck Jonathan. Though he didn’t spend much time as president after the demise of his late boss, Yar’Adua but a year and few months was not enough to boost his scorecard. We couldn’t differentiate the projects his boss initiated from his, that’s if there was any.
Hence, he won the hearts of the voters, some out of sympathy for the man who had no shoes. I still wonder if the “no shoes” theory is a real story or a kind of fable. Whichever it is, trust me Nigerians like such stories, they are mostly moved by the Grass to Grace ones, afterall that’s the storyline we see in nollywood movies almost every week and maybe that’s the kind of story that gives an average Nigerian a glimmer of hope that truly there is light at the end of every dark tunnel.
Also, some voted him based on his academic achievements. We have that belief that a doctorate degree holder; the highest academic degree would be able to provide profound solutions to the nation’s recurring problems. Most of us failed to acknowledge that academics and politics are two different things.
We were overwhelmed with the honour attributed to academics that we couldn’t notice the enormous differences between ideal paper work and real life situations. For example in ideal economics, purchasing fertilizers for farmers in large quatities should be at a lower cost than purchasing it individually but calculating from the real Nigerian situations and considering some factors an average reader should know the reverse is the case. The remaining votes were low for his main opponent then, this same General Muhammadu Buhari.
The last four years of president Jonathan’s tenure has arguably not been good enough probably because our expectations were high or probably because he didn’t gain enough experience while moving up the hierarchy of political power.
His acceleration to the apex was of high magnitude. Although top political analysts didn’t expect much from him, they predicted a government that would be directed by different forces. The President even at sometime admitted that he was confused by so many suggestions and pieces of advices from his cabinet.
Let us now move to the man who is the unknown angel for today; General Muhammadu Buhari. There isn’t much to say about him maybe because I wasn’t born during his era as military head of state but thank God for history books.
According to history, the General’s administration was quite controversial, while some stated that he only strict others said he excessively used the military power in the process of ensuring a disciplined and corruption free nation and some said he ruled with high level of integrity but I never heard of him being corrupt during his administration.
Finally, you’ll agree with me that the saying “it is better to deal with a known devil than to deal with an unknown angel” can’t be applied here because we might end up shooting ourselves in the foot. But it will surely be a factor we’ll consider before voting our choice candidate come march 28.