I am a realist though I like to see things done in the ideal way; I mean a manner that is logical and fits reasonable context. Where mathematical principles are easily understood and science is beyond fiction. Most times, as much as I crave for things to pan out in one way or the other, I can’t but try to understand the system.
If you follow political news in Nigeria, the sordid happenings around us at the moment won’t be news to you. It won’t also be new and that would mean, like many of us, you are not surprised. You will also know that it is stock in trade for some politicians – after all, leopards don’t change its spots.
While I am not troubled about the happenings, I have two concerns that I will try to take care of with this piece. Before I do that, I truly apologise to everyone who felt that I betrayed them by keeping silent in this time. I also appreciate every one of you who reached out to me to find out why.
THE 2015 SHIP HAS SAILED
If you are one of those who believe that the cross carpeting going in the political space at the moment is because a group of people truly wants a better Nigeria, then you are deceiving yourself or defending your pay check. Either way, you are doing it on purpose. My worry is that you won’t benefit from the bloom of these associations; only the gloom goes round like a wildfire.
While I find it heart breaking that it’s happening, I cannot deny that some of the moves have been interesting while many others weren’t as surprising as we are all acting. It was clear from the day the 8th senate came into being that Abubakar Bukola Saraki was not feeling at home and clearly didn’t know how to hide it. In the middle of it all, was a Dogara who kept his cards close to his chest and stole Buhari’s mantra of ‘I belong to nobody and I belong to everybody’. Unlike Buhari, Dogara didn’t have to say it to prove it.
My concern at this very time is the end result of these defections. In the build ups to the 2015 general election, the defectors had a hold on PDP’s jugular. They didn’t just move personnel; they also moved cash cows that were ready to spend all they have knowing that they had stolen more than they could spend in a life time. Beyond that, the defectors were joining a group of people who used the propaganda machine like its oxygen.
When the gladiators moved in 2014, they curried people’s sympathy and were truly seen as heroes by some people. Those who knew that the defections were all for personal gains were not carried away by the noise.
In contrast, the money bags haven’t added to their wealth because of the fight against corruption which plugged most leaks they all used in getting fat. I know you have a different argument about the corruption fight, so do I. But remember that Atiku Intel’s contract with the Nigerian Port Authority was terminated, Sule Lamido still has an October date with the court and many others have been held back from ‘adding more to their wealth’.
This means that these guys would not only have spending limits, they will be careful as to what they spend so the EFCC machinery is not unleashed on them. If this happens to anyone, it’s going to be a big blow in a bad way.
Some may argue that the financial limitation might not mean so much but I will warn you that the 2019 elections will be more expensive than the previous elections and I am not talking about the national budget for election. I am referring to what the electioneering process will gulp.
It is also interesting to know that these gladiators also have various battles they are fighting at the home front. These battles, win or lose will ensure that they don’t have full concentrations on the 2019 ‘electoral’ war. That being said, the ship of forming a new government with unholy alliances has sailed and it’s no longer available to carry people to their destination.
THE MASSES AS THE GRASS
In Nigeria, there’s a mystery that I don’t think anyone would be able to solve. As conscious as we’re or pretend to be, once it’s the time to vote in new leaders, we throw reasons to the bin, forget our throes and stick with our oppressors.
Even more mysterious is the way we act the grass on the turf where two elephants are fighting with joy and unending love. We continue to hail and wail in support of our favourite oppressor and perceived opponents respectively.
I was shocked how people who should know, called Saraki and his team unprintable names, but took to the dance floor to celebrate the proposed defection of Akpabio. It is not only worrisome but also heart wrenching. Yes, I understand that the politics is all about the numbers but why can’t we allow people take these decisions without insulting them? Yes, we can query their motives and can do this without calling them unprintable names.
Decamping shall continue to be a part of our politics and polity unless somebody takes a bold step to make it unlawful. Until then, people would jump ship for the sole purpose of remaining close to power.
For young Nigerians who wish to venture into mainstream politics but are scared of what will become of them with the myriad of problems in the political arena, I want to tell you that if you look around you very well, you’d see one or two that will help you keep your resolve to stay true to your party/alliance regardless the stake.
Nigeria needs every one of us and until the people realises the power they wield, so many things would remain unchanged
As I urge you to remember that you are the most powerful Nigerian on earth, I leave you with the words of Alice Walker – ‘The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don’t have any’.