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2011: PUTTING NIGERIA'S BEST FOOT FORWARD

By NBF NEWS
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Although much difference may not be said to have occurred in Nigerian politics yet, what is happening in the politics of this country today, especially in the ruling Peoples' Democratic Party stands to confirm that The Almighty truly reigns in the kingdom of men.

It is not that our leaders have finally learnt their lessons and now abstain from pilfering public funds. It is not also that government has started living up to its responsibilities of providing the basic amenities for Nigerian people. It is not even that security challenges have now been brought under firm control. It is not even that the voice of the masses has started counting in matters affecting them as expected in real democracies.

At any rate, the unfolding of events on the Nigeria political landscape today is a welcome development, no matter which direction the pendulum swings.

Truth is, I was really getting jittery, terribly afraid and visibly shaken reading 'The North Must put its Best Foot forward' and its subsequent follow ups. I obviously became afraid because it occurred to me that we have been boxed to a corner.

And believe you me, press icons such as the writer of such columns - Mr Femi Adesina - can be truly prophetic. I really wondered if we have not finally been defeated. The piece even disagreed with the Acting President for ' making a mess of eating an egg in his celebrated interviews with the CNN'.

Much as this is not the main thrust of this discourse, it is still a surprise how the man of letters has refused to see the possibility of anything outside the will of the North happening in 2011. He does not belong to the PDP. He only got hooked with the party zoning formular. And that is it. Mr. Adesina would request the Acting President to declare without mincing words that he (Dr Jonathan) is not in the race.

No matter what happens, under whatever circumstances, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan is only acting president today to complete a four - year term for one physically challenged northerner, and to conduct another election in which another Northerner from the blues would emerge to continue his politics. Serious.

Could Nigeria truly be the picture of a little girl painted by Mrs Egbemode - besieged by serial rapists - waking up from one nightmare and slumber to another only to be confronted by another bout of sexual assault, even sometimes by those she would hope to salvage her situation?

What I am saying is that we should not confine ourselves to some sort of garrison when democracy should hold sway. Okay, watch the very first in Mr. Adesina's list of North's best feet: General Aliyu Gusau - National Security Adviser.

He may be a star, ask for. But available evidence shows that the man has been in the top echelons of leadership in Nigeria since the 1970s. He has been there during civilian and military eras. He was even there during the last civilian dispensation when a serving Minister of Justice was murdered without any trace of the perpetrators of the crime even after about twelve years. What is the security situation in the country after such donkey years of service?

In fact, the greatest pedigree of the spymaster and the mystery man is that most of his former colleagues and probably classmates have at one time or the other been heads of state or presidents of this country. Are we now going to hand the fortunes of about two hundred million people into the hands of a man because his former friends and colleagues have been presidents? Is this not dragging us back to the garrison politics of the yester years?

Just about the same time, IBB was busy explaining away his intention to run when he said they are 'patriots, that they sacrificed their lives to keep this country together.' We want to assume that those of them 'patriots' truly sacrificed their lives to keep Nigeria one. They have also ruled for over thirty eight years since they made such sacrifices. Shouldn't it be enough?

Funny enough, these people who grab power as a pay back for their devotion to a national cause can never serve anybody's interest. They are paying themselves for the service they feel they have rendered and therefore, should not be called to question.

Frankly speaking, we should not operate in like manner if we must meet up with global demands in leadership. So, the unfolding of events in the nation today is clearly a manifestation of the finger of God, where people who never expected to be heard are becoming political factors.

From the inhibition of the hitherto Vice President from ascending the presidency even at the most critical moment when issues like state budget were hanging, to the eventual but begrudging elevation as an Acting President - the finger of God.

Then, all the necessary details involved in power consolidation - the finger of God. Consider the disharmony among party big wigs and an eventual court order restraining a ruling party from holding talks, then it can be seen that there is a way forward in the country. Things like these never happened before, even in the days of President Matthew. I think we may not really need some particular good foot forward. The Nigerian good foot has been put forward in the sense that democracy is thriving and every body is having his say. Those who have ambitions are expressing them. So, let truth prevail rather than the whims and machinations of men.

Emenike writes from Lagos