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Clash of the desperate

People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in 1998 by politicians with conflicting ideological persuasions signalled its complete demise and indeed ushered in the era of ideology-free politics.…

People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in 1998 by politicians with conflicting ideological persuasions signalled its complete demise and indeed ushered in the era of ideology-free politics. Similarly, though to a relatively lesser extent, the opposition parties were equally formed that way.
Diehard right-wing conser-vatives, left-wing liberals and even radical academics who had constituted the dynamics behind the pulsating and indeed promising political atmosphere in the country particularly between 1979 and 1983 simply abandoned their ideologies to form some sham political parties under the pretext of making “necessary compromise” to end the prolonged military dictatorship in the country.    
However, no sooner had those parties come into being than many opportunists among the former military officers and even the largely discredited politicians, who were before then working for the actualization of late General Abacha’s agenda to transform from military Head of State to “elected” president, joined the parties thereby “enriching” their ideological diversities further.
Also, thanks to their money power and connections, they soon began to influence the parties and effectively hijacked the strongest one i.e. PDP from its founding fathers, which paved the way for the imposition of a hastily rehabilitated ex-convict as president in 1999.
Nonetheless, notwithstanding the foregoing, had they and the successive administrations lived up to their leadership responsibilities, the country would have by now not only stabilized socially, economically and politically but would have perhaps begun to look forward to catching up with progressive economies among the developing countries in Asia, the Americas and Europe.
Unfortunately however, being a country where due to the persistent culture of impunity and nepotism, almost everybody tends to violate the laws according to his influence, money and/or connection, which also determine his ability to access, exercise and enjoy even his basic rights, power struggle among the elite and their cronies began to take an unprecedentedly frightening dimension due to the sheer desperation that characterized it.
Moreover, they are increasingly hell-bent on maintaining their largely ill-gotten positions at all cost, and indeed aspiring to higher positions all the time. Also even if, at a particular time, some of them lose out to a superior intrigue, they would still keep struggling to reclaim their positions no matter what it takes, for they are simply too megalomaniac to accept being out of the corridors of power.
Yet, they have been increa-singly going even more desperate as their sheer obsession with power and ill-gotten money grows all the time, which has turned them into a bunch of kleptomaniac and megalomaniac elites determined to stop at nothing in their desperate quest for more power, money and influence.
Incidentally, though quite unfortunate, my greatest concern is not the amount of money they loot, after all, the country has over the decades survived systematic and indiscriminate plundering of its treasury by almost everybody according to the extent of his access to it, and indeed according to the extent of his influence that shields him from accountability and punishment.  
Instead my greatest concern is the implication of the rate at which the situation turns the political elite increasingly desperate and determined to go to any extent in order to safeguard their vested interests, as individuals first then as whatever, as the case may be.
For instance, regardless of who is right or who is wrong among the feuding party members of a particular political party or between various political parties, the on-going dramatic exodus from the notorious ruling party (PDP) to the increasingly feud-ridden opposition party, All Progressives Congress (APC) shows not only the extent of ideological bankruptcy and inconsistency among the political elite but also the amount of their desperation.  
What is particularly worrisome yet is it also shows how the already unstable common ground that binds them erodes at an alarming rate, which undermines and indeed has the potential of posing a real threat to the survival of the country. This is because a country can survive a manageably divided population but can’t survive deeply polarized political elites. Besides, Nigeria’s situation in this regard is particularly volatile and is certainly too weak to withstand the impact of a planned or spontaneous breakdown of law and order.
Whenever I ponder over the possible scenarios likely to result from this deteriorating situation on one hand and our reluctance to tackle it, I wonder what guarantee do Nigerians have that the situation will not explode spontaneously. It seems that, being so lucky to survive serious political turbulence at various stages of its existence is what informs Nigerians’ apparent tendency to take things for granted as regards the future of this country.
This is even though it is increasingly becoming clear that, in the event of any overwhelming turmoil in the land, the elite will simply abandon people to their fate, evacuate their immediate family members and flee the land to foreign countries, from where they would only be appearing on international television channels to comment on the crises and pretend to propose solutions.
It is therefore in the interest of the people in the first place, being the “tools” being manipulated by the elite in their struggle for power and influence, to wise up and live up to their individual and communal responsibilities with a view to changing the course of things in the country before it deteriorates further hence gets too late to tackle.

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