The elections have come and majorly gone, a new executive has been sworn in and many have offered reasons for the fall of President Jonathan and the PDP. For some it was as a result of people’s rejection of his corruption-riddled government. Others thought that PDP lost her charm because of greed. I have also read from some that it was because PDP under Jonathan abandoned the zoning arrangement. Whatever is the case, I see it as the triumph of aggression.
GEJ’s regime is to corruption what other regimes before it were. Was corruption not part of the reason that the General, born-again democrat used to overthrow Alhaji Shehu Shagari? Was corruption and intransigence not part of the IBB and company’s reason to oust the Buhari/Idiagbon government? Have we all forgotten the allegation that the IBB government institutionalized corruption? Has it been so long for us to forget that in Abacha’s regime corruption was alleged to be so brazen as to ask for what they needed from the Central Bank? Is our mind so clogged that the praises of Abubakar as handing over was also infested with the notion that he made away in a year what took others more to do? Come to think of it, is the concept of monetization not the unbinding of the spirit of corruption under OBJ?
What do we observe in the social space that has become part of the Nigerian character? Did I forget my mechanic not giving me a true accounting after servicing my car? The house helps not giving me a true accounting after shopping for groceries? The lecturer who failed the student because she did not purchase the hand-out nor go on a date with him? The Secondary school principal who was “Sorted” so that his students can take in microchips into the SSCE Hall? The primary school teacher who allowed for hand craft, toiletries that pupils will never use? What of the minister of Religion who imagined the presence of evil spirit and could only get into exorcism after being monetarily empowered? Are we in a hurry to forget the “Wetin you carry” group and all the forces that complicate peoples business because they seek “Family Support” from the fellow citizens? The list is endless. I do not sanction it but I am shocked when corruption is made to be “GEJ Express” without a garage in any other place in the Nigerian clime.
Maybe PDP has lost its charm. The Igbo’s say “Akugbuo ngwo akpo ya Okporo” (When the raffia-palm tree has been tapped dry it is a called useless tree). It means then that PDP has been sucked dry and have become abhorrent. The implication is that the tappers and the suckers are still in search of a fresh raffia-palm tree. Otherwise how can you explain the fact that many of the so called new apostles of APC today were just PDP of yesterday, people whom a so called strong opposition party waited to fall by the way side in order to hoist them again in a new platform of a party? Which party made Atiku, Tumbuwal, Masari, El-Rufai, Amechi, Okorocha, Ngige, Kwankwaso, Wammako, Saraki, Ortom, Sylva, Ogbeh, Gemade, Akume, etc? You can add the rest from your village or the place where you are. When you do, you will find a case of more old wine in a new wine-skin. All that is required of us then is to pray that the new skin does not burst due to the difficulty for the various wine-types to blend into one good wine.
One outgoing governor felt that it was because the PDP abandoned the zoning arrangement. While not trying to impose another Igbo proverb on you, it is better to recall the saying that one secures the ground before struggling for a mat; else you can get the mat and have no place to put it down. Zoning as presented in most Nigerian political lexicon is best suited for a one-party state. Imagine what it would have been for APC if they zoned any congressional leadership position to the South-East where they did not get an elected lawmaker? Didn’t Atiku secure the Northern PDP mandate and still lost to Jonathan. Even during that election cycle didn’t Buhari ignore the zoning mantra when some wanted him to step down for Atiku and he told them that zoning was a PDP internal thing? Zoning in the said lexicon is an admission of our collective corruption where no one or group of people can get a fair share from the table of power unless they have a representation there. It is an admission that our system does not serve meritocracy but favoritism. It is abandonment to the unitary military hang over where everything comes from the center. Who cares who occupies Aso Rock if they are able to get what is due to them whenever it is due? Democracy allows for appropriation and the President is as powerful as the congress, the people’s representative, allows him or her to be.
Although all these may have played some roles in the loss of PDP and GEJ, but most importantly the results we are living in today is a product of the hand of those who wanted to gain power by aggression. When the effort to intimidate the amiable GEJ failed then was begun the work of burning the ladder on which they claimed to reckoning. By this you can see my thought as linking the incident of our politics in the governors’ forum. This center of aggression merged with another aggrieved group who wanted to get the pie at the center and who have a greater portion of the Press on their side. So that when the aggression of money and insider threat, occasioned by governors who did not allow for internal democracy to prevail, met with the aggression of a secure zone with loquacious grace the fate of PDP and GEJ was sealed. These forces of aggression made it look like any GEJ victory is nothing but fraud. They have already planned how to set up a parallel government; and I will not be surprised if some of them have perfected plans to stage the equivalent of a “Nigerian-Spring” should GEJ win or resist conceding defeat. It has nothing to do with PDP greed as people like Kukah opined otherwise no governor would have been re-elected. Don’t they all come every month to share from the national cake? What can we point to in their states to justify what they collect from the center? How many of them have allowed an independent local government? How many of them now have properties in Abuja and other cities of the world? Pure and simple it is the triumph of aggression; and Nigeria is blessed with GEJ who maintained that his political ambition is not worth the blood of any Nigerian. If you doubt this did we not see the level of violence that occurred nation-wide during the State elections two weeks later?
Be that as it may, there is a need to go spiritual here and imagine this man who was called Azikiwe by his family at birth. Recall the great Nnamdi Azikiwe (Zik of Africa), the very architect of Nigerian unity at independence when many of his cohorts were ready to move all alone than wait for a matured one Nigeria. This man, no matter what political sins he committed was a man set by destiny to preserve the unity of Nigeria. He is the father of democratic Nigeria and now the step in democratic governance begins. Destiny also kept Buhari dogged to the fourth try and if some of his initial acts to shun being bankrolled into the corruption-cycle of the paraphernalia of power are sustained, Nigeria will be great again. My prayer is that Buhari will avoid all that he criticized GEJ about. My prayer is that the aggression of these men and women who brought us to this new political scene will be transformed into an aggression for the good of the citizens. I pray that they will be able to imitate GEJ to return to their villages when they get nothing from today’s table of power. If they are convinced that it was a divine act for the good of Nigeria that they led the march of aggression may they now return home and enjoy the status of statesmen and women. But wherefore, Lord, they do not and what we have now is according to your holy will may they be consumed by the peoples own aggression. Amen.
Uju Okeahialam, PhD.