“A man’s cumulative positive attitude over time would extract him or her from the multitude and uplift him or her onto a paramount altitude.” – Anonymous
Political periods are itching moments for the creative mind, a time that many find the space to pour suggestions or vent vituperations if not outright innuendoes. Political period, otherwise known as electioneering fever times, is tainted in acrylic veil of love, lust and lucre. No wonder politics bears the stinking label of a dirty game.
No better testimony than the strange happenings of recent in Ekiti State, the state which prides itself as the “fountain of knowledge” where seven members backed by Governor Ayodele Fayose and the police, claimed to have impeached the Speaker of the House of Assembly, to the astonishment of the rest 19 members, and the civilised world!
As if that was not crazy enough, the police which is an agency of the Executive decided to mount what could be described as the “wall of Jericho”, or better still an Aso steel barricade, to prevent the fourth citizen of the country, Speaker Aminu Tambuwal, and other elected representatives of the people, from entering the hitherto hallowed chamber of the National Assembly of Nigeria; where they were recalled from recess by President Goodluck Jonathan, to consider a fourth extension of the state of emergency in the embattled North East region, where the heinou Islamic sect, Boko Haram, is fast gaining Caliphate suzerainty.
The horror of watching the macabre dance by supposed “Honourables”, in flowing apparels of elegant Agbada and Babanriga, vault-polling a 10-metre high iron fence in the presence of gun-toting cops and newshounds, goes to confirm Nigeria as the centre-point for political impunity and theatrical ingenuity. The public obloquy and international ignominy that this sad episode will heap on our national image and global certificate of good character is better imagined. A land of lawless people, cynics may want to conclude. This NASS-commotion has led to the temporary shut-down of the National Assembly by its Chairman, Senate President, David Bonaventure Mark. What a mark of bad omen for a nation in dire need of unity and security!
Taken together, the ceramic plate of the country’s presidential spectacle seems to be heading for a bay of little hope. A system that allows the executive arm of government to physically teargas the legislators, no doubt puts a hood over the face of democracy, the rule of law, the principles of separation of powers and the freedom of speech and association.
It is from this abysmal depth of anything-goes that the Nigerian electorate will cast their votes in the 2015 general elections. Unfortunately today, most Nigerians live with the fear of insecurity, increasing rate of crimes and criminality, gross unemployment, shortage of power supply, lack-lustre infrastructure, snow-diving economy and impending austerity measures; and, worse still, a polarised and tribalised nation.
Little wonder why everyone in the country has suddenly become political analyst, public affairs commentator, or at best civil rights agitator. Change, in bold letters, is a placard now being carried in most parts of Nigeria –even by those who are not from the opposition parties and the undecided.
Life, no doubt, is fast returning to the Hobbesian State of Nature, where crudity, primitiveness and acerbic impunity govern community of men and women. The precarious situation is strengthening the clarion-call for immediate non violent but democratic change of the PDP-led government through a free-and-fair election of one man and one woman one vote.
Fixing the over-heated polity is now more urgent than the populace ever dreamt of. So the mega political alliance, the All Progressives Congress (APC) whose motto is Change, has a Yeoman’s job to do by rescuing Nigeria from its self-inflicted war of attrition and negative ethno-religious considerations.
Therefore, APC has to dig deep into history and recollect the litany of woes that bedevilled this country under the military before the Social Democratic Party, SDP, brought Hope to life in 1993; through the late mercurial businessman-turned-politician, Bashorun Moshood Kashimawo Olawale Abiola, aka, MKO. That great wealth creator and job provider was once eulogised by musicians as the man with the Midas’ touch: M for Money, K for Kudi and O for Owo.
Witty Abiola, the proverbial story teller, was not only amiable and affable but equally charitable and compassionate in all ramifications. The result: Nigerians gave Abiola an unbeaten mass mandate against military tyranny. It is deemed the freest and fairest electoral contest in the country so far.
And when that landslide victory championed by Abiola and Ambassador Babagana Kingibe was annulled, the whole world stood by the people and sent the military back to the barracks. Sadly, the likes of Abiola and Tafida Shehu Musa Yar’Adua paid the ultimate price for democracy to thrive in Nigeria. They never lived to reap the fruits of a civilian administration they had toiled to bring into being.
Therefore, APC stakeholders and all progressive elements in the country, do owe our common humanity the legacy of choosing an appropriate leader that can provide the much needed alternative to the current government whose grip on power and governance is waning by the day.
As the party prepares for its proposed December Presidential Primaries, its lined-up candidates of Publisher Sam Idah-Isaiah, Governor Rabiu Kwankanso, retired Major General Muhammad Buhari and Turaki Atiku Abubakar, must be given the chance to openly debate and defend their positions and projections on the troubling multifaceted sectors of the Nigerian State. Let them speak and match words with action on unity and security, religious tolerance, job creation, inward and direct foreign investment, economy and agriculture, hi-tech education provision and public health promotion, social infrastructure and diplomacy. A live TV debate will be magnificent and enlightening.
Meanwhile, the cancellation of consensus candidature by the APC at its recent mini convention has endeared the party to the body of democrats. And the fact that all the contending gladiators have agreed to abide and live by the rules of the game, with a promise to remain loyal party members long after the primaries, surely sets the APC apart and shoulder high above others – as political pacesetters in an environment dominated by over-lordship and god-fatherism.
Thus public expectation is that an alternate government, an Opposition party that is worth its salt, must choose its leadership on the basis of competence, compassion, credibility, capability, innovation and effective human and resources management. This much APC must and should do, and let Nigerians reward them in 2015 like they did for Abiola in 1993.
After all, actors come from the pool of spectators. And a man’s cumulative gross positive attitude should extract him from the multitude and place him on a high altitude.
The APC needs not be told that there is an Abiola re-incarnate in its fold. There is someone wealthy and compassionate, a detribalised political bridge-builder and a unifier, a job creator and business investor, a world class democrat and a respectable family man.
So, if Abiola was the Pillar of Sports in Africa; this candidate is the founder and builder of Africa’s Entrepreneurial and Development Citadel, the 10-year-old American University of Nigeria (AUN). Need I say who the cap fits? Turaki Atiku Abubakar – a man who has arguably added more intellectual and constitutional assets to the development democracy in Nigeria. Is it not a wealth creator that can effectively manage wealth, as only a job provider actually knows the psychology of the working class?
Finally, modestly-speaking and without bias, Atiku is the most prepared, most experienced, has presidential gait and spectacle plus a command of ever-flowing fountain of immense political tentacles. Well, it is hoped that All Peoples (men and women of goodwill) will concur to save Nigeria from the brink of political collapse!
@Yusuf, a public affairs commentator, writes in from Abuja.