By Adeola Aderounmu
There is yet no hope that elections in Nigeria will bring changes in the nearest future. Our discussions are still about individuals and power blocs rather than manifestos, principles and party symbols.
There is hardly any Nigerian today who knows or talks about the principles / manifestos of each political party. Nigeria’s crazy electoral processes remained centred on individuals and personalities.
Nigerian politicians do not make efforts to engage the public and ordinary citizens on the principles that their parties radiate. The truth is Nigerian political parties have long lost the plots. Gone are the days of manifestos and principles. Politics is now about killing, assassination, arson, stealing, looting, forgery and all kinds of vices that are necessary to capture power at all cost.
The mentally deranged individuals who continue to seek political offices in Nigeria either do not know about party manifestos or do not give a “shit” about what it contains. The populace are so knowledge-deficient that all they see are personalities and all they argue about is who will loot less or more. It’s a tragic situation. This country is lost.
It is so because somewhere between 1959 and 1970 Nigerians lost the plot totally. They fought a bitter civil war after years of cold wars among the various tribes. They made the civil war sound like Biafra versus Nigeria whereas the war is actually between every community in Nigeria. The war persists today in our minds between every community and between every known tribe in Nigeria. The PDP power zoning system is a virtual extension of the Nigerian civil war.
The most devastating consequence is that Nigeria is no longer a country that any living soul is ready to defend. Nigeria is now like a geographical region where every now and then various groups of gangsters take over the reign of governance either in uniform or agabda and exhibit some of the crudest known human trait-acquisition of materials and wealth as a strategic form of the perpetration of the survival of the fittest.
In essence the structures left by the colonialists were destroyed. The promise made by the freedom fighters to build the nation became a pretence with which independence was proclaimed in 1960. Who has built Nigeria since 1960? Check out the value of the naira, the standard of living in Nigeria and the socio-economic conditions among 140m Nigerians and all you get are disasters made by man for his fellow man. What a tragedy! In my own world I have never seen any form of disaster greater that the consequences of the reign of evil in Nigeria.
I will continue to lament the tragedy of (probably) the most prosperous nation in the world harbouring some of the world’s poorest people.
Let me narrow down.
What I see today as the preparation for the forthcoming elections in Nigeria is a fellowship of thieves.
Let me state again before I continue that in Nigeria there are no heroes. I will stand alone rather than give any commendation or recommendation to any Nigerian ruler/ politician.
When my online friends went for Ribadu, I almost wept. It is a sign of decadence and lack of heroes that made them fell blindly to a man who deceived the world to acquire accolades.
Don’t get me wrong. I have stated that I am not a saint and I am not a righteous man. But my opinion about public service is simple-just do the right thing, always. When circumstances and situations prevent you then step aside and go in peace.
When Ribadu left those who use the presidential jet to carry dollars under Obasanjo I was left with no doubts that he is just one of them. I got tired of the arguments of the people he prosecuted. If he didn’t what then would his duties be? The things he didn’t do in no small way added to the piles of the rubbish that killed many innocent people and until this day continue to contribute to the spread of poverty and penury in motherland. Has anyone done an analysis of what the Nigerian state would look like today if Ribadu and Obasanjo had succeeded with their third-term plan/ agenda? I doubt. But what about using Zimbabwe as a yard stick or Idi Amin’s Uganda?
This essay is not about Ribadu. It is about how “hope has left Nigeria”. With the looters, thieves and lukewarm people parading the country and seeking presidential office, what I see is a fellowship of thieves playing on our “intelligence” and “myopic memories” once more. Each looter, thief and mentally deranged seeker has gathered his or her own supporters and the stupid game is rolling on.
Nigerians as a people have not sat down to ask themselves “why do we keep getting this combination of useless people and thieves as our representatives”? When Nigerians start to reason and think, they will reach an answer. If they don’t reach any answer, then there is no need for Nigeria any longer.
For instance why is no one asking Jonathan to open the books on Babangida? He is widely alleged to have stolen 12 billion dollars and to have murdered prominent people in Nigeria. Why do we have a police force in Nigeria? Why do we have lawyers and even the judicial arm of governance? The man Babangida challenged us to investigate him again and we did nothing. Seriously I don’t get it!
But I actually do. Jonathan will not dare Babangida or any other prominent thief or looter the same way that Ribadu and Obasanjo didn’t because they are all in the fellowship of thieves and looters. No one will cast the first stone because the criminal charges and prosecution will go round and they will all be caught by the same dragnet.
This is what Nigerians are not discussing. Our government is totally mafiac.
So Babangida will contest. Jonathan will do nothing because as a governor in Bayelsa and even in his present position his hands are not cleaned. He is afraid that if he opens the book on Babangida the same way Obasanjo dared Atiku, he will also have his books opened from A-Z.
My argument that Nigeria is not a country will therefore be true. There is the crude “survival of the fittest game” and the topical gangsters who win will cart away more money and plan their future self-preservations.
When Obasanjo exposed Atiku, Atiku exposed Obasanjo and the EFCC did nothing about all the corrupt practices flying it its face. That was EFCC’s way of fighting corruption- fighting the opposition and protecting the one who pays the piper. No greater hypocrisy.
These small vices add up to the decadence and nonsense in Nigeria. When I was in primary 6 attending Central Primary School in Festac Town my teacher Mrs Obi told me that what is worth doing at all is worth doing well. I will never forget that she also said that nearly does not catch a bird.
We have lowered the standard of public service in Nigeria to a ridiculous level. Nigeria needs people with principles and high standard of morals in public service. This may not be right but is there a chance that we have a civilian version of Idiagbon waiting to be elected?
Are my online friends still happy with their hero who will now contest the presidency with the money stolen from us? The same money he pretended to be recovering and from the same people he called looters just a little over 3 years ago. May I sound it clearer-In Nigeria there are no heroes. What we have is a fellowship of criminals who we worship differentially depending on how they impact our lives.
Ken Nnamani is fulfilling long know tradition. He will try to be a subordinate to Babangida. He eyes the vice-presidency. Who told him that he could not aim directly at the presidency? Oh I forgot, all they think about in Nigeria is the politics of big fat pockets of looted funds and yea he doesn’t have that kind of money yet. Therefore he will stoop low and believe the maradonic Babangida’s plan to make him president in 2015.
You have to love Nigeria somehow someway. Evil people make plan for Nigerians as if they are gods. I am not a student of politics or history but I will gladly recommend to Nnamani [to read about] the promises made by NPN in 1979 and 1983 and the outcomes. There is also a reason why someone will be called the Evil Genius. What a generation of myopics!
The arguments and stories about Nigerians are diverse and inexhaustible in any particular essay.
My argument today is that Nigerians are not yet ready for change. There is no hope yet when all we get is a bunch of looters, thieves and nonentities who have stolen our common wealth and they have the guts and urge to come back to the political scenes.
This is not about Babangida only. It is about all the candidates we have in Nigeria today.
They thrive because of the stupid and useless anticorruption agencies that they established for themselves. It’s like the devil’s pact. When I see people like Farida and Nuhu, all I think about is-what a bunch of jokes. Really it is not their faults.
If Nigerians want to continue as a country, they must define modes of their existence built on structures and not persons or individuals. Today’s INEC is about Jega unfortunately. It shouldn’t be. INEC should be about structures and equipment that can be used to deliver credible elections.
EFCC should not be about Waziri or Nuhu, it should be about principles that send every corrupt person to jail irrespective of their status in Nigeria.
Nigeria will become a country when the government becomes a democratic one. It is the path we chose but a road we have neglected. We must return. When we do, we will be able to elect leaders based on their plans for the country, based on their track records, based on free and fair elections.
The most difficult thing is how to negotiate the turning point because after 50 years the system is so rotten and bad that we don’t even know when or how to change the system.
We need leaders. We need heroes of democracy.
[The content of this essay does not change my views that the forthcoming elections in Nigeria are a waiting disaster. The elections will not succeed and it will not bring the changes that Nigerians desire.
Somehow there is a tradition of electoral madness and inefficiency around the machinery of electoral processes that ensure that traits of the olden days persist in Nigeria’s approaches to democracy. For as long as these traits and traditions persist and exist side-a-side there is yet no hope for decent democratic changes in Nigeria.
The discussion about the traits and traditions are beyond the scope of this particular essay.]