Opinion: Politics of Me, Myself and I

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Politics was defined by David Easton as “Authoritative Allocation of Values.” I am sure he never knew there will be a time in a political life of a country where the definition will be so bastardized to the point of making his definition highly irrelevant. And there cannot be a better time than now in the politics of Nigeria.

I have been following the political trend in recent times, however the level of political horse trading as we get closer to the proposed dates for party primaries as released by INEC which comes up between August 18 and October 7,I began to get worried of what will be bequeathed to the next generation politically.

No group of persons or individuals involved in all form of political negotiations is talking about the Nigeria of our dream. As I pen this write up, the R-APC group headed by the Senate president are holding meeting with Mr President at the Aso Rock villa with a view to stopping the proposed defection of members of the group. It is not the meeting that is the issue but the demands put forward by this group is embarrassing and scandalous to say the least. The seven point demand by the Saraki – Dogara group are:

1. The return of Bukola Saraki as Senate president in the 9th National Assembly in 2019.

2. The retention of Yakubu Dogara as Speaker of the 9th Federal House of Representatives.

3. The return of party structures to members of R-APC faction displaced by the APC leadership in the process of the last national convention.

4. The dissolution of state executives of the APC that emerged through parallel Congresses.

5.A new national convention must be held and a new strong executive would be elected.

 6. Automatic return tickets to all members of the R- APC in the Senate and House of Representatives ahead of the 2019 election.

 7. Stopping of all legal actions against members of the R-APC who are currently standing trial.

Of all the demands supra, the only difficult one for the governing party is the 5th one which I strongly believe will not constitute a major impediment to the agreement. Should the party concede to six of the seven demands, I think to every reasoning mind, that will amount to an A+ and a very good deal. I am convinced in my conviction to the effect that other demands included are just to make up the number as the most important points to the group especially the leadership is to get their automatic come back as leaders of the National Assembly (NASS), get cleared of all court cases and return tickets for other members of the group. Every other demand is “jara”. The question, then, is members of the group like Danjuma Goje, former governor of Gombe state who is in court over the mismanagement of ecological funds should have the case withdrawn? Where is the change Nigerians voted for?

No wonder I was discussing with a friend in Yenagoa two weeks ago and we had reason to delve into politics and he opined that the APC slogan for change was not actually to significantly change the face of governance but to change party in power PDP which had ruled for 16 years to another party at the national level.Chikena.I am tempted to aligned with that proposition since the governing party have come to represent everything bad in terms of dividends of democracy and bad leadership.

I expected those clamoring to cross over back to PDP to raise issues of bad governance, killing of innocent citizens by Fulani Herdsmen, condoning of corruption by the reinstatement of Maina who was later sacked after the outcry by civil society groups and other eminent Nigerians. The unfulfilled campaign promises and total abandonment of party manifesto by APC.But that is not the case, emphasis has been on “me” and ‘myself’. Where are we heading to ? I see APC coming out tops in this negotiations because  the National Chairman had lived all his adult life as a labour leader constantly involved in conflict disputes and resolutions and had one time or the other sat with these same set of people to discuss labour matters when they were governors.

Another key point I see going for APC is the fact that PDP at the national level have been “hijacked ” and currently been led by new set of leaders who are supposedly seen by the Senate President as politically junior to him having served as Chairman of the then powerful Governors Forum. He led the fixing of doctrine of necessity that brought in Goodluck Jonathan during the stalemated Yar’Adua imbroglio. So, going to PDP to play a less prominent role in national politics now is a political setback, for a man who has his eyes in the presidency. My worry is this; what are the electorate engaging their minds on. Rather than be hoodwinked into this emotional and sentimental discuss of who has been cheated in the 2015 alliance and got what and who did not get what, let us engage on the real issues of failure of governance and government with a view to doing away with these set of leaders who have no plans for the common man.

Have you ponder to ask yourself one simple question? What has this government really done in the last three years? This is the first government since 1983 that I began to understand the concept of politics that did not initiate a project and inaugurate within its constitutionally four year term. This is scandalous. Not only that, its supposed area of strength which is fighting corruption is nothing but theatre of comedy. How do you fight corruption without properly laying structure that will stop its futuristic occurrence upon leaving the office. I thought the government was going to strengthened the anti corruption agencies through the amendment of laws that established those agencies and probably collapse those with overlapping functions so as to make it fool proof and truly independent of manipulation by those who are untouchable by virtue if being in power. That is not to be. And that is why an Attorney General of the federation will constitute himself as a court to deny bail to Sambo Dasuki, former National Security Adviser(NSA). If Gani Fawehinmi were to be alive, this shenanigans in my opinion wouldn’t have happened.

Today, a prominent member who actually formed and sponsored n-PDP, Rt Hon Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi is silent and no longer a member of the group because he is settled politically and well grounded in APC. Purely politics of self.

Aminu Tambuwal, Sokoto state governor is junketing across the states today for his personal ambition to become president under the umbrella of PDP. His own case is so pathetic as he is deliberately formenting trouble in his home state just to have reason to defect. As a member of APC, he had been going to South-South States, the stronghold of opposition party to inaugurate projects of the state government, endorsing the governors for second term as opposed to his party. Haba! Where are we headed?

The vice president was quoted to have said, there are about 163 million Nigerians using Mobile phones currently. And I’m pretty sure, about 70% or more are youths. I wish to crave your indulgences to begin to use it wisely for the sensitization towards the emancipation of the electorate so as to get our total liberation going forward.

My final take: Let us begin to make demands of performance from our leaders and stop all these follow syndrome using the concept of social media to interrogate their political policies and programs for the people. Anyone that cannot define his or political road map should be shown the way out. Otherwise, our case will be like that of Kwara state that has been governed by a particular family since 1976 local government election. The senior Saraki handed over to his son after several decades of political manipulation and maneuvering of the people without an ideology, not even a pamphlet.

– Sylvester Ojogbane, a political strategist and analyst, wrote from Abuja.

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