OUR INFATUATION WITH KNOWN DEMAGOGUES FOR PRESIDENT
Nigeria has gone through a great deal in terms of either revolution or evolution for political and economic renaissance but the evil doers always survive. They want to be relevant and so refuse to die, quit or stay out of politics. Their blood has never flowed in spite of the amount of blood lost in war, ethnic pogrom and religious riots. Since they instigated many of these, they point accusing fingers to rivals as the perpetrators and feign ignorance for what they engineered.
It is repulsive that the members of the House that challenged the Speaker are seen in worse light than the corrupt system they challenged because they broke decorum and became violent. The appearance of impropriety in most African villages as in most civilized world will disqualify any candidate from running even for majamaja or dog catcher, but not in our politics.
Before you can marry anyone in the community, people would trace the history of your family to find out if a vagabond was your father or your great grandmother. These investigations are so diligent, it penalizes anyone that has a grandfather or mother that had turned their lives around. In many cases, those found wanting have to go outside that community to marry, preferably oyinbo. When it is time to elect a President, many of us couldn't care more!
Niger-For-Life is what many of us desire but may not achieve. No leader or astute politician in sensitive positions in China, Russia or United States would surrender their lives to alien doctors. We do not know the cost in terms of national secret, national security or demands made on our moneybags. Even our militants cannot trust their lives to Nigeria as they run abroad as soon as they collect ransom for medical checkups and treatment while our hospitals shelves are empty. If we cannot marry a man or woman with alien intelligence, we are happy to elect alien contact.
Yet, some of the candidates running for the highest office in Nigeria that stand a good chance of rallying the masses behind them are the notorious chronic looters with foreign ties, foreign convicts, drug dealers, and born again devoted preachers of democracy on how to move the Country out of where they plunged us. Some are in restitution from foreign judicial system in return for good behavior. Most of us know and agree on these shady characters until a name is put on these demagogues. Then, supporters are ready to go wild and fight to death. There is a missing link between known foreign currencies looters and tolerance of those from our villages.
You don't get it? Oh yes we do, fine fine. Our hero is your demagogue and our demagogue is your hero. Indeed, agreements amongst the demagogues to share loot, positions and power are better than amongst poor folks like us. As they wine and dine on our ignorance, we kill one another for them; sometimes over a bag of rice. This is not a case of what is wrong with us but sincerely what is the matter with me. It is that me, myself and I in more places that become us.
The solution is not in our stars but on earth right in our hands. If we look into the mirrors we may see that our tolerance rob us more than mere inconvenience but rob of our very existence. When we think we can build an island around us without caring about what surround us at home, or live in any foreign land whenever we want, we have lost our conscience at home and lost our pride abroad because nobody sees us any differently from what Africa reflects on TV.
When you see a frog in broad day light on dry land, you know there is sometime after its life. What is after our very way of existence in Africa? Those of us that run away after protests, torture and ridicule claim that we only fight and run only to fight another day. Yet there are those of us at home that are struggling, suffering and when we hear about the hard time faced by poor souls without visas in foreign lands shout: Niger-For –Life!
Politicians keep us hungry and poor so that they can satisfy our basic needs with very little and keep our lion share of income. Those in need are desperate for campaign bag of beans, bikes, cars, brown envelops and promises of jobs to propagate their influence as public relations officers in the newspapers, bus stops, staged rallies, on university campuses and even abroad. It takes a lot of loot, so an average Bobo struggling to feed his family cannot compete.
Moreover lawyers and judges in courts and election tribunals are blessed if appointed to hear one of the cases of election in dispute. The honest ones may step down from these cases citing unusual and unexpected pressures from unbelievable quarters. In order to get our due process, you must be loaded, no pro bono. If a prominent lawyer or member of the local human right groups speaks up, he is given a wound to nurse. This is why our finest stay away from politics.
Consequently, the finest amongst us that shy away from politics hate being confused with others' penchant with soiled sticky black golden fingers in money to horde overseas. Some dedicated souls that venture into politics, have to close their eyes to where their sponsors accumulate their money with the rationale that the end justifies the means. Their best answers have always been that they have to get the opportunity to rule before they can clean up the mess. But we know that when you ride on the back of a tiger, it consumes you before you land.
We may have killed the ambition of those dedicated individuals that are willing to sacrifice it all so that our Country can move forward. They do not stand a chance. We do have a few of our politicians that are dedicated but at the mercies of vultures amongst them that are waiting to collect their returns. If a single individual can hold a whole state to ransom in the full view of the judiciary, EFCC, ICPC and while predicting who will be replaced on the mark, there is little comfort if that type of authority exists in many states.