1. Muhammad Buhari
The country remembers him as a straight, strict man that ran a very disciplined regime earlier in our history. By virtue of this very tight style, his government was unpopular. Granted that it was also a military government at the time with little or no democratic restrictions, some of his policies then appear to have been observatory. However, in all the leaders who have governed this country, nobody is regarded as having more integrity. Even his enemies refuse to take that from him. As if to buttress this point, he was partly responsible for the appointment of the most celebrated public servant - the late Dora Akunyuli of the NAFDAC fame who went on to be a shining star even in the worst administrations. If we go by the "show me who your friends are" saying, then he stands in good stead.
His only offence, going by opponents of his presidential bid, is that he is from the northern part of the country (most of the past rulers have been), he is Muslim (more than half the past leaders have been) and that he has an Islamist agenda in a world where isis is making it clear that islamization is indeed a real concept. For a key country like Nigeria, these are heavy concerns. He had tried to allay some of these fears by picking a Christian running mate from the western side of the country.
2. Goodluck Jonathan
Today as he stands for re-election, his legacy is of a seemingly clueless individual surrounding himself with the most detested political characters in the country and driven by the sole desire to maintain power at whatever cost. He has released convicted corrupt ex public officers, appointed questionable advisers who have zero credibility by the nigerian people and other than the routine mundane workings of government, has left nothing significant behind. The country is again indebted, scandalized over and over by publicly noted official corruption that has largely gone unpunished and in its most insecure state in my lifetime. For context, Nigeria was debt free and had an "excess crude account" just before he took over. This is equivalent to going from being millionaires to filing for bankruptcy in 6 short years.
These two men have divided the country along ethno religious lines. While most of those from the south part of Nigeria would prefer to maintain the status quo, those from the north are driving the chant for change. While buhari only offers integrity and a no-nonsense government, Jonathan is having closed door meetings with anyone that has a door to close. The soul of the country clearly remains for sale to the highest bidder, and this, dear readers is my ultimate fear. Nigerians love themselves more than anything else, even more than the country. We are not like Americans who prioritise the common good over Self preservation and value patriotism. "All man for himself, God for us all" is more like it here. And against that mindset, only the man with the most money or control thereof, stands a true chance.
I'd like to know if I've not captured the situation correctly. Love to hear your comments.