Teach Us These Days,The Professional Politics!
Before the 2015 presidential election, 'Sai Baba' rented the air. Everybody wanted a change. Although the then incumbent president pleaded for more time to consolidate his achievements in all sectors of the economy, having gathered most of the sought-after experts as his team, Nigerians seemed to be tired of the gradual transformation; they needed a drastic change, hence Goodluck Ebele Jonathan was kicked out of Aso Rock.
Immediately the current ruling party won the election, they started pleading that more time should be giving to them and that nobody should expect miracles from them, the same time the immediate former president pleaded.Where are those trekking from one part of the country to another to celebrate APC victory at the national level,this is the opportune time to do so since there is fuel scarcity now? They trekked when there was abundant fuel in the country but refused to trek when fuel scarcity pervades the entire country,what a self deceit?
Jobless youths were promised N5000 per month before the election, thereafter it was turned to indigent citizens and finally aged citizens and about one year of this current administration the money is yet to be paid. The media team is always ready to defend all actions and in most cases blame the past administration for anything that goes awry in the country.
Just recently it was rumoured that the federal ministry of Agriculture wanted to import air, water and sand, though a reliable source said it was grass that the ministry wanted to import from Brazil and when that fails, past administration will expectedly be blamed. Even the global climate change was once blamed on the past administration.
In January 2012, there was a nationwide protest because of government's proposed increment on the petrol pump price. Some Nigerians lost their lives in that protest organised by the Nigerian Labour Congress and her sister organisations but today Nigerians are comfortably buying fuel between N150 and N300 per litre from private petrol stations and most of the time the commodity will not be available.
The late Fela Kuti called such an ugly situation 'Suffering and Smiling' . We have a president, who doubles as the president and at the same time the Minister of Petroleum, and yet Nigerians are happy with the situation and expectedly their ever-ready media team is ready to link the current fuel scarcity to the past administration. Remember Nigerians almost did not encounter any fuel scarcity when the alleged corrupt past minister superintended the ministry.
Everything today in Nigeria is blamed on the falling oil price in the international market. The disparity between naira and dollar has widened marginally but Ghana and other countries are having their currencies appreciating. Why should they always blame the past administration when an economic Juggernaut, in the person of Dr Okonjo Iweala, was willing to offer them advice when she was leaving her office, they shouted her down, cast aspersions on her, called her names and bluntly told her that they needed not her advice but now all their failures are linked to the past administrations. Even if the past administration made several mistakes, Nigerians voted the current administration to bring the change they promised, were Nigerians expecting a change if the past administration were perfect? They should forget this gimmick of blaming the past administration and give us the change they promised us.
During the last Ekiti State governorship election, APC decried the use of military in that election and now with APC as the ruling party, Nigerians expect them to demilitarise our elections but that is not true given the show of shame that was displayed at mile one police station Port Harcourt, where a mere civilian commandeered about 600 soldiers to the police station simply because he is closer to the seat of power. Under the current administration, elections no matter the size of the constituency are always declared inconclusive.
I now ask if it takes about a month to conclude an election in a state, will it not be logical to envisage that 2019 general elections may take up to 37 months (one month for each of the 36 states and FCT). I do not want to talk about the free meal promised our school children. The same fuel subsidy they claimed did not exist during the last administration is what they are telling us they now want to remove, who is really fooling who?
The most worrisome is the fact that suspects are being investigated, tried and convicted on the pages of our newspapers. At my level, I do not accept all allegations against a person unless I hear the person's defence as it is enshrined in section 36(5) of the Constitution of Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended).
In stable democracies, suspects are charged to the law courts and their conviction will depend on the evidence and witnesses that are brought against them but in current administration every suspect is as guilty as charged hence the suspect must be kept in custody to psychologically bring him down before the court hearing begins. I do not believe in mental torture and anybody who wins me in a contest after mentally torturing me can never be regarded as my winner. All suspects should be presumed innocent until proven by a competent law court.
When the citizens are no longer sure of the power of our judiciary, they will definitely not honour invitation by our security agents. The case of Tompolo is still fresh in our memory. Our people say that it is only a tree that hears of its death and stands still. I am aware that Tompolo might have been following the different court injunctions/orders for the release of Nnamdi Kanu and Sambo Dasuki.
When an arrest by our security agencies means life jail for the suspect, then citizens will be wary when invited. Anyway, I will only believe that the fight against corruption has started when the scope of the investigation and arrest extends to APC members because if PDP is corrupt( as they want us to believe ) then majority of the current APC members were once in PDP and they must be probed too. Anything outside that to me amounts to vendetta.
Where are the organised labour unions? I thought they once protested against the proposed hike in electricity bills? What has happened? Why have they suddenly crawled back to their shell because my electricity bills have since increased and I have been paying that? Were the labour Unions deceiving us then? Just recently I laughed excessively when Bola Tinubu came out to reprimand the Minister of State for Petroleum.
I told myself 'na the same people', these guys are professionals in politics, they know how to divert public attention, the minister of state came out to say the gospel truth based on what was on ground and he was asked to come and apologise to Nigerians.
My question is why must he apologise for saying the truth? If Tinubu is not happy with the petroleum sector,he should talk to the minister of petroleum himself and not the minister of state who technically deputises for the main minister . While in a joint discussing the recent happenings in our country, we did not know a mad man was eavesdropping what we were saying, we took to our heels when he said, 'shebi una wan change.'
In conclusion, for those blaming the past administration, Steven Graham said that excuses are the tools with which persons with no purpose in view build for themselves great monuments of nothing. For those who are on a revenge mission, Francis Bacon stated that a man that studies revenge keeps his own wounds green. In the same vein, Frank Sinatra stated that the best revenge is massive success. We, the objective political analysts, cannot easily be hoodwinked along with the citizenry since we know that most politicians follow the Napoleon's principle of placing their iron hands inside a velvet gloves
Dr Paul John
Port Harcourt,Rivers state,[email protected],