About twelve years since Muhammadu Buhari has been hankering after a second opportunity to rule this country, Nigeria again, he has finally, trully and openly returned him to power.
The first opportunity was through the barrel of gun. He became Head of State in military uniform. And the second opportunity was through the democratic processes. He campaigned vigorously and sought the vote of Nigerians across the country, in civilian dress. And he subsequently became a popular choice of the majority of Nigerians.
Before the April 28, 2015 presidential election, not many people thought that the election would be held, but it held eventually. When the election was held, not many people thought that anyone other than Goodluck Jonathan would win it, considering all the brouhaha, but Buhari won it. Even when it was obvious, as in the case of late MKO Abiola, that Buhari was comfortably leading, not many people thought that he would be allowed to enjoy the fruit of the victory, but before you could say Buha…, the reigning President, Jonathan conceded defeat via a phone call to Buhari.
And even after that, not many people thought that Jonathan, and or, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) would allow today to come, but here we are with Buhari formally being inaugurated and taking over the mantle of leadership.
It was enthralling to here Buhari speak, expressing his immense gratitude to God for preserving his life and the lives of Nigerians to witness this day and the occasion. As he admitted, today marks a triumph for Nigeria and an occasion to celebrate its freedom and cherish its democracy.
Buhari recalled that the journey to today has not been easy but that with the determination of the people and strong support from friends abroad “we have today a truly democratically elected government in place.”
In landing on the rooftop of power, Buhari acknowledged the immediate past President Jonathan for his display of statesmanship in setting a precedent that has now made Nigerians to be proud to be Nigerians wherever they are.
“With the support and cooperation he has given to the transition process, he has made it possible for us to show the world that despite the perceived tension in the land, we can be a united people capable of doing what is right for our nation. Together we co-operated to surprise the world that had come to expect only the worst from Nigeria. I hope this act of graciously accepting defeat by the outgoing President will become the standard of political conduct in the country.”
With his ascension to power today, the worse fear that has permeated the polity in the last three or four months is over. It is now for Buhari to get down to work, having landed.