WHAT I TOLD JONATHAN AND BUHARI ABOUT THEMSELVES
“Don't ask the deaf man to beat a drum for you to dance”– Anonymous
Looking at the two most important men in Nigeria for the next few weeks sitting in front of me, was with mixed feelings, here was President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, and General Muhammadu Buhari…
I told them that whoever wins has a fight in his hands–as fellow politicians are doing anything to retain power and to remain relevant–The reason a supposed distinguished Senator wants to become an extinguished Governor irrespective of the seemingly demotion, could either men contain these men whose motto was “the power, the money, and the madness that comes with the office.”
Many had seen how Jonathan handled some–However one looks at it, whoever wins, will deal with persons that simply lack principles, lack will, lack morals and purpose and that remains the bane of Nigeria politics and politicians.
I asked Buhari if he was aware that this is not military and decrees, and that the Nigerian politician is on one hand wanting to serve his people, and to serve, he breaks the bank vault, borrows money at cut throat interest, sell his birthright to a godfather and promises heaven on the road to hell. Interestingly when the becoming becomes unbecoming we are witnesses of the end product and they successfully keep us busy with analysis, which do little in changing the fact on ground.
The General nodded…
I looked at Jonathan and told him, part of your failure was you refused to acknowledge that the Nigerian politician is a crook, and you allowed them play illusionary politics and political geometry and arithmetic beyond the ordinary man.
So to both men, I told them, change and transformation–you both may want it, but do the people want it, and does the political class want it.
I explained to them that the Nigeria politician is always looking for avenues to explore the masses, not that they have to look far because we give them quite a number of them and so they openly exhibit gross greed, use our collective sweat to secure the good life and not blink an eyelid. After all what can we do?
Be it APC or PDP, I was sure both men were aware that for the Nigerian politician every elective position is a chance to come and chop, that is why they move from one party to another, one ideological bloc to another, and mind you the ideology is nothing but where the money is.
While both men looked on, I them that the Nigerian politician is an expert in his own type of mathematics where 2 plus 2 never gives 4, on the contrary, it could yield as much as 6, 7 and 8, while in cases you may have a task in getting back 1.
I asked them how many times they had lied because; our politicians lie with straight faces and bother less about what the people think. And that they must learn the art of lying as a skill, they are required to lie as a principle and they must does it even to the admiration of the devil and without a heart.
I asked them to be prepared because we are not anywhere far away from the politics of the stomach, its all about what we will chop…so its a compromise, concession and still we do not get a consensus. Rancor reigns supreme, the voice of the nays are loud yet we say the yahs have it. Everybody is related one way or the other and hardly has anything different to offer. We cannot spot the difference because the difference is the same.
I told them that all Nigerians are politicians one way or the other–and that on an average Nigeria is good, her people are a bunch of good Bananas, only that a few rotten, gives the whole bunch a bad look and that particular rotten smell.
I made them understand that they are to govern, the land of delinquents, both the ruled and the rulers, a very special breed of delinquents, we have them from all social classes, the politicians, students, youths, and parents that aid and abet exam malpractice, we have them everywhere and the common thread is a high level of irresponsibility, recklessness and total disregard for the norms of society.
I asked if they knew that the Nigerian big man makes the law, those wanting to be Nigerian or already big men proceeds immediately to look for a way to break the law, they explore loopholes and escape clauses, like the Immunity clause used for stealing. Ordinary Citizens would do it their own way, they will jump queues on no excuse, they will do u-turns on an expressway, stop in the middle of the road to say hello to a long lost friend without parking…correct them, and they will abuse your dog.
I then wondered what they could do about, the gateman at the state secretariat to the corporal at the police desk, who are 'prayerfully' waiting for that promotion that will take them to the next level where one can demonstrate that inherent skill at greasing and lining our pockets.
I hoped they knew that everything was for sale, admission is sold, employment is sold, political office sold, awards are bought, from government, churches, traditional institutions, with our guiding philosophy being “what is in it for me”.
While they looked bemused I told them for sake of those Nigerians who are not easily understood because they will not give bribes, for the few whose actions are in line with tradition, society's good norms and rationality.
For the largely old now, and most times residing in rural areas, although a few still stay in urban areas. For the generally good and untribalized, who believe in the principles of live and let live. For these Nigerians who are neither the bottom power women nor the moneybag men. That strive daily to remain patriotic and committed to the Nigerian dream despite the reality, who are disciplined and are hardworking, that battle the stark reality that as patient dogs they may never have any bone left.
For these Nigerians I ask them to do it right, and get it right.
Because these set of Nigerians suffer the Nigerian experiment because of the larger majority's inability to curb greed, inability for us to be fair and rational towards other people's perspectives, opinions, positions and interest. The continuous inability to make sacrifices for the common good, an unwillingness to respect our institutions…
Dàda ò leè jà, ṣùgbọ́n ó lábùúrò tó gbójú meaning that Dada cannot fight, but he has a brave younger brother…will Nigeria change or transform, only time will tell
Written by Prince Charles Dickson.