And the greatest bidder is… | Dailytrust

And the greatest bidder is…

Democracy is not an African concept. Yet, the continent as well as other powerless nations of the earth have been forced to embrace, adopt and adapt to a concept that is totally alien to the continent. If you disagree, show me one African nation whose form of democracy meets the traditional definition of the term. Whatever type of democracy an African appears to have been forced to adopt, they have failed to meet the mark. It is becoming increasingly clear they have no aim of adapting, instead they have corrupted a concept and maligned it into acceptance.

Nigerians know for instance that when they talk about democracy, what they are talking about is corruption of the term. Something designed to be conceived and nurtured by poverty of ideas and means and be delivered by means of stomach infrastructure.

So, Muhammadu Buhari finally assents to the so-called reversed electoral bill in the hope that it would deliver the best option for democracy. We thought it would happen, we were wrong as he is wrong. This amended law has proven ineffective in its trial run and would not deliver when it has finally ran its main course either in 2023 or thereafter. What is evident so far has been the democracy of the highest bidder.

The wily politicians are always ahead of the elite who mouth the change they want to see but do not have the courage to get involved in birthing that change on the one hand and the masses who cannot see their chains unfettered.

One would think that a country of 300 million people would have a smooth way of closely marking those in political office so that they shadow a regime closely. That way the electorate is able to see the road not taken so as to galvanise their fingerprints for the change they desire. The change that’s required.

But no. In Nigeria, once there is a ‘winner’, the democratic process goes into voicemail as the buccaneers position themselves just where the nectar flows.

As the grass suffering from the duel of a herd of elephants, the electorate remains divided. In and out of government, those who recycle themselves in office find the way to sustain themselves until it is time to pick the gauntlet again. And when that time comes, they are not ashamed of the fact that they have no scruples. They break alliances, betray friendship and brotherhood just to reposition themselves at that point where the cooked broth of governance runs into their waiting troughs.

How do you end up as someone’s running mate for a season and then move away from them to launch a solo career that is diametrically opposed to all that they stand for? That is not a question to ask Atiku Abubakar, ex-PDP, short-time APC member and now presidential flagbearer of the same PDP. He is as loyal to the party as his boss, Olusegun Obasanjo is, who was president but openly tore his party papers, tried to join the APC and has lately slumped into the armchair of political criticism.

It is not a question to ask Goodluck Ebele Jonathan who was Yar’Adua’s deputy, then elected president and lately so power hungry he dropped the party that paved his way to national political prominence only to allegedly defect in the hope of regaining power under the party that shamed him out of office.

It is not a question to ask Tunde Bakare, a pastor and one-time Muhammadu Buhari’s running mate. He dropped out into the political wilderness and re-emerged as an aspirant hoping that angels would deliver his vision as the last miracle.

We must refrain from querying Peter Obi who, at one time was the APGA lone ranger in the East, having won a two-term mandate under that party. Obi became Atiku’s running mate in the last election hoping to help refurbish the torn umbrella of the PDP. Even at that re-emergence, some had predicted he would be the man to beat among his peers, but his seers revealed to him he was in the wrong boat, so he moved again, this time announcing he has found peace in another group – the Labour Party. From there he somehow hopes to actualise his lofty ambition of reaching Aso Rock.

Just as the major politicians have perfected the Phoenix art of re-emerging from the ashes of defeat into the horizon of prominence, delegates have emerged as the wiliest prostitutes of them all. As the people at the bottom layer of the electoral pillar, party delegates are supposed to be the outshining of what our consciousness should be. Instead most have woken from the sombreness of inconsequence to discover their temporary strength and staying power.

Like the electorate, they know that their relevance is fleeting, just before the congress or convention, so they have raised the bar of political prostitution a notch above the dial.

Opportunistic, entitled, cavalier and pretty conscious of the damage they are doing to the foundation of democracy, these parasites turned themselves into commodities and the political process as an auction with no termination period. They then advertised themselves to the highest bidders. They knew that the average politician would keep bidding and knocked on doors exhibiting their lechery to would be customers.

They found luck as they pawned themselves to bidders scattered between Lagos and Kano, Calabar and Maiduguri. They were so brazen and so open, they’d openly take a bid, sit in the open to count the stakes and then return the cash once they see a potentially bigger bid. They continued this mercantilian process until the auctioneer has thrown his gavel.

Ordinarily, the presence of cameras has deterred the most brazen of social criminals, but cameras seem to embolden these ones. They smile to the lens like hardened criminals that have lost touch with decency and sane humanity as they trade bargains. In this auction, there are no scruples.

How could anything coming out of these unconscionable cesspit of corruption be associated with democracy? How could anyone emerging from such mercantilian manipulation of universal process and procedure claim an earned popular mandate? How could anyone with a modicum of decency congratulate someone emerging from such a charade? And how could we build equity on the feeble foundations of gross indecency?

These are the questions that should run through the mind of anyone with a fickle definition of democratic evolution. These should be the tearjerkers to anyone hoping that, having messed it up for over 20 years, Nigeria would begin to insist on rules and not make excuses for failure to follow rules.

Unfortunately, as a nation, we have not donned our sack clothes of mourning or put ashes on our foreheads as a sign of contrition for missing the universal mark. We have been blinded by partisanship and befuddled by mere shenanigans. We are congratulating the ‘winners’ for leaving indelible marks on the desecration of the democratic process with their monetary power. We have camped to mourn with those who ‘lost’ because they did not have the financial capacity to beat their senior usurpers at the game.

Is this the lesson that the nation with the greatest potential and human capital hopes to teach smaller nations emerging from dictatorship?  Is this the fraud on which we hope to lay the foundations of unity and faith or peace and progress? In this relay of two diametrically similar parties running the track to dissembling Nigeria, we the people are no winners.

As this charade metamorphoses into a stillborn transition any which way it swings, Nigerians must be prepared for the unpleasant denouement. As a nation, it has chosen to swallow its poison without sweetener; it should now settle for another transition to political rigor mortise. It is such a shame to see hope betrayed at all levels.


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