Fellow Nigerians, let me say without any equivocation, or fear of contradiction, that these are perilous times. But, sadly and unfortunately, Nigerian politicians don’t seem to have eyes to see, nose to smell, ears to listen and mouth to say the right things, in the midst of the monumental calamities staring us in the faces.
One would have expected our politicians to learn some didactic lessons from our contemporary history but, hell, no! Nigerian political leaders are too self-conceited, egocentric and definitely incapable of being sober no matter how dastardly our situation gets.
A few examples should suffice. One of the reasons Major General Muhammadu Buhari was elected and supported by many of us, ab initio, was because of the hoopla and hullabaloo of the breakdown of Law and order in several parts of the country. The last straw that broke the camel’s back was the devastating abduction of the Chibok School girls in Borno State which drew worldwide attention and reprobation. This singular incident probably sent the government of President Goodluck Jonathan packing. No government could have survived the plethora of attacks that came flying from every direction. But seven years after, the situation is far worse but our politicians are still carrying on as if everyday is Christmas.
I watch the parents of the latest abductees in the seemingly intractable Kaduna fiasco on regular basis and my heart bleeds everytime. It would appear like our Federal and State governments have abdicated responsibilities and everyone is now for himself while only God is for us all. The pain, the anguish, the gnashing of teeth cannot be described. He who feels it knows it. And worse still, no sign of sympathy and empathy on the side of our political leaders. And no daily briefings and updates like you would have seen in saner climes. Our President is still ensconced within the gilded cage of Aso Rock Presidential villa, and as taciturn and tongue-tied as ever, far removed from the madding crowd.
Our political leaders are too myopic to see the dangers, landmines and boobytraps ahead. It is reasonably obvious to discerning minds that someone is already setting up Nigeria for a cataclysmic fall and a fatal collapse. But the dog that must get lost will never hear the hunter’s whistle. The telltale signs are dangling over our nation like the sword of Damocles. And we’ve passed this way and route in the past and we should already be familiar with its undulating landscapes.
A situation where so many ill-assorted bunch of politicians assemble to seek Presidential power next year should be a signal and send a submarine signal to us that something odoriferous is about to hit the roof. If I’m not sure of anything, it is certain that the APC is up to something that may be too hot to handle. How can so many Governors, Ministers, even a serving Governor of the Central Bank, sit pretty in their offices and continue to play politics without any fear of consequences and repercussions!!! We all know what it costs to run Presidential contests, so the monies meant for developments are now to be squandered on politics. And a government that raced to power on the crest and fame of anti-corruption, in its twilight days, will watch helplessly as politicians desecrate whatever is left of our country.
Where then do we go from here? Everywhere I have been in recent times, everyone seems to have given up on Nigeria. Foreigners who worked in our country and still has some faith remaining are barely breathing. Most people are hinging their hopes on miracles. This is how low we’ve sunk. According to one theory, as President Muhammadu Buhari prepares to retire next year, if that’s the plan, since no one is certain anymore, everyone of his acolytes expects to inherit what legacy he’s able to bequeath to the next generation.
In our own party, PDP, the situation is getting combustive. The principal gladiators, in about three or more groups, are determined to go all the way to cancel out one another, while the party members who have become spectators are watching with bated breathes. The first group is the Atiku Abubakar Group. Their determination which others call desperation is based on the age of the leader whose age is nearer 80 than 70. He’s been contesting for three decades. His first known foray was in 1993 when he attempted to view on the platform of SDP. He and his team understand that this is his last chance. Let me predict that no soul can persuade him not to run in 2023.
The second group is that of some Northern aspirants led by former Governor and immediate past President of the Senate, Dr Abubakar Bukola Saraki who ostensibly remains the spokesman and Public Relations officer of two serving Governors Aminu Tambuwal and Bala Mohammed and former Banker and businessman, Alhaji Mohammed Hayatu-deen. The quartets are pushing for a concensus candidate in the party but those close them believe none is willing to step down even within their group. Otherwise, they shouldn’t have all obtained the nomination forms.
The third group is the pro-zoning group led by PDP’s most influential Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, who seems absolutely determined to have the party ticket zoned to the South and automatically to himself. How the party handles this group of Wike and company may be the biggest challenge and test of conflict resolution by our party.
The fourth is the pro-Igbo group that unapologetically believes power must shift to the South East. This sentiment has gained momentum in recent times but keen observers are watching to see how soon the Igbo people can produce a concensus candidate to make their case stronger. This would be very interesting to watch.
The fifth group would be that of relatively fresh aspirants Dele Momodu, Peter Obi and Sam Ohuabunwa, who seem ready to contest no matter the final decision of the party which is most likely to throw the race open in order not to seem the party has been compromised by any of the blocks.
The last group believes politicians cannot continue to hold the parties and Nigeria to ransom. The hard-core politicians are only interested in power than in tackling the challenges of nation-building. The two mainstream political parties will ultimately realise that only technocrats and self-made men and women can ignite the much needed passion in the electorates and galvanise new voters to go out to vote. Any party that relies heavily on party members for its success may have itself to blame…