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2019: The Choice Before Us

Source: Mike Akpati, Ph.D
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I am in a hurry to announce that there will remain no more political earthquake in Nigeria as we march towards 2019. All major moves to be expected have come to pass within these few weeks of July and August 2018. If you are in doubt check all that will happen from now on. It will be only actions and reactions based on the earlier actions of the major contenders and it has started happening already. But how I wish that the electorates would be as smart as the political gladiators in deciding which way to go based on these fallouts.

Atiku saw the hand writing on the walls and parked his bag and baggage long ago out of APC. He knew that there remains no hope for him to actualize his dream in the party. But that singular act made his defection one too many and so the question is must he contest only in any of the two parties that have failed to rule?

Obasanjo’s followed with his kind of trade mark - letter writing and once he discovered that people don’t read, but receive cash in Nigeria, he immediately started singing. Needless to say that the man who tore his PDP membership card in the public after his vituperations, ate his words. First he showed up at a PDP gathering in Ogun State. Don’t ask me why, they always have something shameful to say to justify their stance. And the battle began, this time from APC, and I am not surprised. I have already known and written that the first litmus test for APC is for them to convey the National Congress of the party which will spell doom for them. I was not wrong because it has come to pass. It began like a fire from a diminishing match stick only to gather momentum upon contact with fuel and from there everyone lost control. Even as am writing most party leaders in APC are wishing that they are dreaming and don’t wish to come out of the slumber.

The congress came and immediately swallowed up Odigie Oyegun as the single major culprit and Tinubu smiled. But that caused the arrival of R-APC (Reformed All Progressive Congress), from the kitchen of Buhari’s best friends. And Oshomole who was thrown up in the controversial only 'YEE' vote at the congress immediately began to think that politics is like labour union where they have code of conduct, hence in just a few days after his appointment he started failing the litmus bragging, to all asundry about his capacity to succeed single handedly. The Ekiti election showed up and true, the APC confirmed it is a failing team. How can 3,000 police men not mentioning the immigration, soldiers and other security apparatus including Air Force converge in Ekiti State for mare governorship election? The shock would have been if they didn’t win the election with all the resources put together and that can be done only by a ruling party. Even then, the show was poorly completed as the figures shown are still contestable given what the public now know. The international observers are not helping matters and should shut up and stop observing our elections if they are not able to speak the truth in times of need what did they observe? Did they not see the sales and purchase of PVC from the advantaged groups from the electorate? Did they not see that the election was conducted at gun point? Did they not see anxieties in the face of everybody that was at the election in Ekiti state? At what point did they miss the counting. Joseph Stalin said: “The people who cast the votes decide nothing. The people who count the votes decide everything”. Any surprised then that at the counting error they made that they were more voters than registered. Am sorry am talking about 2019 and us.

Suddenly, from no where the National Assembly quaked and in split seconds the majority in both houses became the minority, even as the Assembly proceeded on long vacation. The mouth of everybody remain aghast at all that was happening even as die hard party supporters where dazed at it all. By the last count the governor of Benue State as relocated same as the Senate President, Governor of Sokoto State, and the Speaker, House of Representative and even as am writing many more are leaving to the PDP and the worst of the criminals is the former minority leader in the Senate, Former Governor Godswill Akpado! But not to worry, all of them departed wherever they were to where they now stand for personal gain. The only man standing is Senator Sheu Sani of Kaduna State who is confused, he is too straight forward to believe the lies of APC and unyielding to the fraud of PDP.

So where does all these lead us to as the electorate? It is a shame that while the music play, we have remain at the receiving end and instead of mourning we are clapping hands in support for them. Nigeria voting public when will you ever learn? What must be done to you to wake you up from slumber? Your vote is your voice but you have accepted that to be bought for a plate of Garri.

It is only in Nigeria that you can see vibrant youth begging to be relevant in politics. What stop youths from taking their money and voting them out? Only last year, the price of fuel was increased by a few kobo in Germany. What happened in the next one minute shocked the world. Because everybody upon hearing the announcement stopped their vehicles wherever they were and started trekking home the government was forced few hours later to reverse their statement. But here in Nigeria you beg for your right and even wash their undies but the thieves will bluff you, splash water on you and reduce you to nothingness for as long as it is not election year even at that he knows that he can buy you and you conscience with less to nothing.

Now all the parties are counting their cost and the victors and the vanquished are being identified all in the political game of shame before Nigerians and the international community just as the camps of hatred are increasing. The permutations are appearing and looking real and I bet that we will soon see the fall guys. With the massive support Oshomole enjoyed from Tinubu it would have been fair to have an Oshomole consult Tinubu on National issue at this early stage of his tenure as the Chairman of APC. But no, Adams Oshomole is arrogant and feels that now, even the president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria should be at his beck and call, that is why he could even threaten sitting ministers with sack without consultation and without a thought to the injury he is causing his own party! With the act at the Senate on the 7th, August 2018 the stage is now set for another hate speech all over the country especially from the top. How would the party leader Sen Bola Tinubu, support Oshomole instead of his stooge in the face of current scenarios? Did Osibanjo have the nod of the ever slippery president? I mean approving the sacking and immediate replacement of the Director of DSS Mr Daura, or is the President pretending not to have heard or known too, any which way, it smells danger for Osibanjo and Oshomole. If yes, then the South West will be expecting a pay back. If No, the President will get a show down from his remaining force. He loses the already frailed South East and the support base of the remaining North. The game is on.

Oshomole Adams sorry. How I wish it was not happening so soon and so sudden, he had talked himself to hate. Can he mend the fence between him and Buhari on his failed coup? How about meeting with Tinubu and Osibanjo considering his statement “All those visiting Obasanjo are thieves” ‘Another good description of the APC coming from the Horse’s mouth’. Come on, Chairmanship of the party is only for four years. In Imo State, Delta and Rivers Oshomole has been throwing jabs. He has no hope. Up in the north stones are waiting for him especially in Benue and Plateau not to talk of Ngige and others threatening to leave the party on account of his unguarded statements. As if these are not enough problem, the Tsunami of all the decamping has broken up in Oshomole’s own Edo State where the Chairman of the party and all his followers have moved into the PDP. In all these, Odigie Oyegun and his clouts are smiling and watching Oshomole and are certainly looking forward to fire in his home state.

Flip the other side, there is mixed blessing in the hands of PDP and this blessing calls for great caution. Saraki is back and so too are many other returnees, what will the party make of this? Old friends and new enemies are regrouping to give the PDP leadership at the National Assembly. Come next month there will be cross fire but I see stability since the plans of whosoever have been trying to hijack the National Assembly has failed three times now. But internally what is the deal? The lists of Presidential aspirants are increasing so too are internally change of battens. First, Akpabio has to be replaced so are all other offices and committee leadership. The cookies are crumbling, patience is a virtue. How I wish Akpabio and Oshomole were patient! Atiku is consulting so too are Saraki, Makarifi, Turaki, Kwakwanso and others even me! All are running for the Presidency. I have just one word for them, Patience will win the way.

In all these, it would be fool hardy to expect anyone to believe that all the games are been played without the approval/consent of the President and the Commander of in Chief of Arm Forces in Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari. Now is the time for him to speak or keep quiet but either way there are grave consequences. What is the reaction of the president on the sacking of his cousin the Director of DSS? What is his reaction to Saraki Dogara at the National Assembly, will he choose to speak? Or keep quiet. Is this an awesome time to proceed on leave while the country is burning? If he chooses to be silent it will be mean consent. Here lies another bad angle. Well the deed is done and like late K. O Mbadiwe will say “The happen has happen!” the house is on fire and president Buhari must take executive actions. But for who and against who? Either side he shoots himself in the leg. A president who does not hear anything from his subordinate and those not ask anything nor does it receive report is better described as none existing. The focus is not on the killings all over the country now, for which One Billion Naira is expended daily to kill more instead of resolving issues. It is an established truth that the President and all his Hench men are his relations, so the Director of DSS Mr. Daura is not an exception. Sacked for incompetence during the failed special task at the National Assembly for breach of protocols leaves the President aghast. Shall we be expecting exchange of fire between the President and the Vice? Or Oshomole and the President or all of them together?

Our elites are quiet, the concerned professionals and the civil right group are docile and the youths what is to be expected? They have been set up against themselves so they have no mind of their own. Where is our Mandela? Who shall pay the supreme price of speaking the truth not dying this time? We are in a democracy and even the president enjoyed freedom of speech better than those he classifies as hate speech today, let the prison be filled with truth talkers, but let us remember that they was a Ruwanda and Sobibor. We don’t have all the time anymore, yes certainly there is no time so the time to act is now.

Back to us the electorate. Who among the defectors called us for a town hall meeting to inform us of their desire to cross carpet? Because who sent them? Money crossed their hands we did not know, we did not see nor were we given, yet we sent them there to represent us. They are finally coming again to tell us stories with cup of rice and magi cube. The youth are seeking permission, what stops them from changing the status quo until their needs are met.

Finally, I am disappointed at the quietness of those who should speak because silence means consent that is why I will withdrew from being a silence observer to a talking analyst. The choice before us is to define and take our stand! Enough of these role over rulers and their stooges. The struggle continues.

Dr. Mike Akaptiis a public affair analyst based in Port-Harcourt.