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NIGERIA'S POLITICAL APOCALYPSE (JUDGEMENT DAY)

SUPPORTERS OF CPC PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE GATHER DURING A RALLY FOR GENERAL MUHAMMADU BUHARI IN KATSINA A FEW DAYS AGO.
SUPPORTERS OF CPC PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE GATHER DURING A RALLY FOR GENERAL MUHAMMADU BUHARI IN KATSINA A FEW DAYS AGO.
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In some hour’s time, Nigerians, in millions will queue to perform their legitimate civic duty to choose who would, for another One Thousand Four hundred and Sixty-one days (1461 days), to be precise 4 years, direct the affairs of the country and thus their life’s. Although I’m not around to vote, but as a Nigerian I have the right to voice my opinion on any thing that is Nigeria. So says the statement of the Nigeria born philosopher-politician Chief Obafemi Awolowo that "The glory of Nigeria connotes the glory of Nigerians: the well-being, prosperity and happiness of Nigerians. My sole and ardent aspiration is to see advent of that glory, at the same time, if it pleases God, to be an active participant in bringing about that glory" - Chief Obafemi Awolowo. Therefore, I hope I would not be crucified for airing my views that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) does not have the baton to leader the country again this time around. The country had witnessed retrogressive twelve years governance under their administration. The PDP administration could be described as “the triumph of style over substance.” In other words, they lack good governance and as such don’t deserve any sympathy to rule again.

Much as I would love to expatiate more on my understanding of what should be regarded as good governance; I would also like to list a few of the daunting challenges facing Nigeria today to include poor infrastructure, weak government institutions and structures, resulting from economic and political mis-governance, mindless corruption, ethnicity, self-service, politics of intolerance, and a lack of commitment to national ideals. This is the state of the nation today as it has always been since our independence in 1960.

Although, I have great confidence in man's ability to ultimately overcome even the most extreme of challenges, but at this juncture, Nigeria has yet to begin that arduous process. We live an unrealistic lifestyle on borrowed life and borrowed time. From all indications since the 2011 political campaigns to those honourable positions started, we have witnessed series of horrible incidences between parties; the most from the ruling party PDP unleashed to the oppositions.

That's why Nigerians have been clamouring for legitimate way through the ballot boxes to crush the present ineptness of the Peoples Democratic Party, (which I call Peoples Destruction Party) PDP. Unless Nigerians makes a 180-degree turn and vote out these party with bereft of new ideas, we face a catastrophe that could end our way of life as we know it; and possibly divide the country into bits and pieces.

Now, just as I predicted, Nigeria's political crisis is exploding into the headlines. My warnings — the same ones for which some political mediocre in the PDP have scoffed at — are now being echoed by many among the world’s political elite. The spade at which life and properties are been destroyed is at alarming rate that calls for perpetrators of such act should check their conscience, provided they have one; because I see no justification for killing, maiming or destroying peoples life for the sake of others who at the end of the day are not there to assist or bail you out of your predicaments. Their children are living or studying overseas. They are at the upper houses to line their pockets with our nation’s wealth that is meant for you and me.

Some agitators are putting the blame on our colonial masters, Britain. But rather than put the blame on colonial rule and the unstructured partitioning from which emerged a number of poor and fragile states, there is no escaping the fact that much of Nigeria’s woes have been either self-inflicted or self-perpetuated. Nigeria’s regeneration must be championed by Nigerians. “No one from outside our border is coming to face up to our developmental challenges on our behalf. We must evolve a crop of focused, committed, service-oriented, and God-fearing leaders imbued with the requisite courage, focus, dedication, clear vision, and patriotism to drive the nation’s transformation. But from all indications, I cannot see any change if this present government under Peoples Destruction Party (PDP) is at the centre again, because 12 years of their rule had been a waste. To continue again would be a disaster.

Let all of us consider Senator Barack Obama’s historic nomination as the first Black-American to qualify for the last leg of the race to the White House of the United State of America, and eventually become the President of the great nation, two centuries after blacks in America had been subjected to slavery and decades after they had suffered unwarranted racial discrimination, class segregation and disenfranchisement is certainly a part-realisation of Martin Luther King’s dream of ‘a nation where minority groups would share equal rights with the whites.’

Can’t we see the chains of events as it unfolds? With the current wind of change blowing from across the Sahara to the whole of Arab world, Africa and Nigeria in particular, the notion of politicised society had been created by sudden shift in people’s political thinking. The desire for freedom is a global accolade and Nigeria is no exemption. What we are praying for is to do it in a more dignified way through the ballot box, and our nation would become one of the best in Africa if not in the world, whereby Nigeria would occupy her rightful place among committee of nations.’ But don’t forget that only free men can make free choices,'' What we are witnessing in the Arab World is what --Thomas Jefferson refers to as "Rebellion to tyrants is obedience to God." But Nigerians don’t want to go that lane.

It would sound preposterous to insinuate that the cantankerous PDP politicians are pushing us that way by intimidating the opposition parties; but that is the truth. And as a Nigerian I am angry and I cannot stand by any longer where naked ambition and mind-boggling political cowardice have engulfed the whole country.

The "Political Armageddon" that would "dwarf Nigeria civility" would be intensely delicate that millions of Nigerians will face the spectre of lost liberty and identity. The great American President Abraham Lincoln once says about power that; “Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power”. And this is exactly what the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is doing right now, holding on to power at all cost.

What the PDP fails to appreciate is that they are the problems with Nigeria and that they are the ones who need reforms rather than the country. The party forget that ‘States are no moral agents, powers are also not; but people are and can impose moral standards on a poor political institution, as it is happening in Tunisia, Egypt, Yemen and Libya, to mention few.’

The PDP are leaving a bad legacy, and my understanding of a legacy is that “leaving a legacy isn’t the end; it’s just the beginning.” Most of them call themselves patriotic leaders and statesmen in Nigeria, but they are no more than glorified plunderers men and women, who in saner climes cannot, but be candidates for the guillotine. Those that I regard as patriotic Nigeria are Herbert Macauley, Micheal Imodu, Aminu Kano, Joseph Taka, Nnamdi Azikiwe, Michael Opara and Chief Obafemi Awolowo, to mention few. It was Chief Awolowo who says; ‘There was never a time I regarded myself having monopoly of ideas; the trouble is that, when some men and women in position of ruler-ship and leadership are carousing themselves in the streets and pubs with men and women of less virtues; I, like every other persons, always busy at our duty posts, looking at the country’s problems and ways of solving them. Only the deep, can call to the deep.’

And also the great African leader - Nelson Mandela, after spending 27 years breaking stone in prison, fighting a just course to liberate his people, came out of prison to rule his country, South Africa, for only one term of four years and vacate the position for others. He says; ‘A patriot is one whose heart bleeds at the sight of millions of people starving to death, or living under the bridge in a land literally flowing with milk and honey; A patriot is one who holds that torch of truth at all times and all circumstances; is one who declares war against oppression, and the abuse of human rights in his or her motherland; True patriot is one who fans the flame of justice, equity and fair-play; He or she is the one who is driven by a just anger over what may be perceived as systematic subjugation and pauperization of the multitude.’ All these qualities eluded all the PDP leaders from top to bottom.

Their pretentiousness belied their public resilience and calm in the face of the storm they suspected would engulf them in this April 2011 elections, else they are intimidating, harassing and putting into prison their political opponents.’ What they lack is the idea that ‘is a game of number and in politics, you have to win the battle of ideas; this involves a fundamental policy review, and putting forward an intellectually coherent case for your party.

At this juncture, I would like to close this message with my voice echoing these warnings of a looming political catastrophe. To capture the scenario in totality, I would like to warn leaders in the country of the fallout of the elections, as subjugation of the electoral process would generate disenchantment in the country and only worsens that already existing bitterness’. Therefore, I will much vividly captioned thus; “The times in which we live are very difficult and most trying. There is disaffection everywhere in the country and in most parts, there is pronounced bitterness.”

Such seems to be the prevailing situation in the country the 60’s as it is today. That time, the sage (Chief Awolowo) believes in peaceful solution to political crises. In his address to Western Leaders of thought in Ibadan on May 1, 1967, he emphasized, among other things, that “only a peaceful solution must be found to arrest the present worsening situation and restore normalcy”. This was in the heat of the crisis that rocked different parts of the country at that time. The crises were generated by controversies that trailed the 1964 elections and the subsequent military putsch that followed. In the wake of the 1962 crisis, the astute politician had observed that “the political crisis which started in Western Nigeria in May 1962, has acted on the entire Nigeria like a fairly big stone dropped in big calm water.” Indeed, the sage is an epitome of peace whose fundamental ideals of peaceful co-existence transcend the boundaries of ethnicity. At the height of ethnic tension and sectional agitations which culminated in the civil war, Chief Awolowo had advised that those who advocate the use of force for the settlement of our present problems should stop.”

This advice equally goes for aggrieved politicians in the present political scenario who may want to unleash tension on the polity just to show their discontentment with the state of affairs. Though the late philosopher, condemned connivance among electoral commission, the police and the ruling party National Party of Nigeria (NPN) in the 1979 and 1983 elections as it is now with Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the 1999, 2003 and 2007 elections. He was an advocate of the firm belief in the law courts as always being there to help the cheated. More importantly, Awo’s thought on succession also helps understand the status quo in many African countries. He expressed the strong opinion that “the trouble with Africa is that there is the disease often that once you are in office, you want to remain there until you die; an act of self-perpetuation in office.” When this is viewed in the light of the dead third term agenda, its salience becomes more vivid.

In one of his evergreen master pieces, Chief Obafemi Awolowo gave an advice that will forever remain potent and relevant, not only in Africa, but in the whole universe saying; “A government should be changed quite peacefully and the whole game of politics should be a game where the loser shakes hands with the winner. If politicians in Nigeria can adopt the spirit of sportsmanship as espoused by Chief Awolowo then, our polity would set for a new era in which elections would not be taken as a do-or-die affair. Nigerians should learn from the labour of our heroes past, as exemplified by the philosopher-politician who was once described as the best president Nigeria never had, in order words, made lofty national dreams and aspirations realisable.

Conclusively, My Believe is that, our political leaders are knowingly sentencing our once-great nation to an economic and political Armageddon of biblical proportions. (The biblical battle between good and evil, a final and decisive war. {In the Bible, the battle between the forces of good and evil that is predicted to mark the end of the world and precede the Day of Judgment}. Revelation 16:16.) Unless we Nigerians make an abrupt, 180-degree turn, the Nigerian way of life will end. Nothing will ever be the same again. And that is what I call Nigerian Apocalypse (i.e. Judgement Day). Every Nigerian should vote according to their conscience. If anybody offers you money to buy your votes and or your conscience, think twice and ask yourself whether you are doing the right thing or mortgaging your future and that of our children and those on born. You should understand that the money offered to you is for personal emolument.

Prince Adebisi Olukoga ([email protected]).

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