What if PMB had not run for President in 2015?, by Aliyu Ammani Junior

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What if PMB had not run for President in 2015?, by Aliyu Ammani Junior

Aliyu Ammani Junior

Thinking in counterfactuals requires imagining a hypothetical reality that contradicts the observed facts. Like in many absorbing series, counterfactuals involve finding a critical failure or fluke and imagining what the circumstances could have been had it been the moment swung differently. What if there was no military intervention in Nigeria’s politics? What if there was no civil war? And so on.

It isn’t history, actually because history accounts for things that happened. On the contrary, counterfactuals require imagining a speculative picture contradicting the observed reality.

Let’s try. What if Muhammadu Buhari, a retired military general, former Head of State and Chairman of the Petroleum Trust Fund, who suffered three consecutive defeats; 2003, 2007 and 2011, had resisted persuasions and stuck to his word of never running for president again in 2015?

The pro-masses General Buhari, whose incorruptible image had reached every locus and beyond accompanied with his exemplary military background, would have become an “emergency medicine” for known and unknown problems of a country suffering from corruption, insecurity and a bad economy!

Now, what if Buhari had not run and subsequently won the presidential election in 2015, and somebody else had substituted his place?

Who? I don’t know. How? Party? Region or religion? Let’s assume that “somebody” is whoever is in your mind now. Anyway, for the purpose of this piece let’s refer to him as “Mr X” And our “Mr X” should replicate Buhari’s administration: failures, achievements and everything.

Meanwhile, skip me. But if you assume that our “Mr X’s failure will be criticised and his achievements under-acknowledged more than Buhari’s, I’ll not dare to disagree, even in my sleep.

And had it been “Mr X” that spent six months without forming a cabinet after the inauguration, what is to be that counterfactual? As it is, “had it been Buhari, he would have hit the ground running with a fully equipped team of experts.” Oh, really? Maybe Prof Kperogi would have argued earlier.

Hundreds of school children were kidnapped in Kagara, Funtua, Kujama, Birnin Yauri and other places too numerous to list. Certainly, my honest position would have been “Nigeria made a suicidal move in failing to persuade our experienced Super Integrity General in 2015.” Yes! I’ll even add, “I’m certain Chibok girls’ abductors would have released them even before he was inaugurated; who will dare engage the almighty ‘thousand-in-one general’?”

Boom! Our “Mr X” is still going on foreign medical check-ups after six-years and counting. Is this making sense? What is happening in the National Hospital, Aso Rock’s clinic and other over-hyped local hospitals? This Mr X is worse than Jonathan. Wait! What if he was Jonathan then? On second thought, we would have seen somebody emphasising, “Had it been Buhari contested and won in 2015, without an element of doubt, Nigeria’s health sector would have been competing with that of advanced countries like the UK, India and Germany.” Maybe the even USA will be added to the list. I’m not sure who he would have been, maybe Mr Lai Muhammed but only if he is not dining with our very own Mr X.

ASUU and ASUP are trying to cross my mind, Oh no! The pressure is going high.

Yes! Counterfactuals are pressure calling; maybe our Mr X could have been worse. Whatever the circumstances are or could have been, in as much as there’s failure and fluke, we’ll always ask: “What if?”

Aliyu Ammani Junior writes from Kaduna, Nigeria. aaammani01@gmail.com

What if PMB had not run for President in 2015?, by Aliyu Ammani Junior

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