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Season of dynamic political inactivity

The ruling parties from local to federal level are poised not just to retain power but to do so at all costs and anything standing…

The ruling parties from local to federal level are poised not just to retain power but to do so at all costs and anything standing along the way is crushed with ruthless precision. At the Presidency, the most urgent matter of state importance is to see Jonathan retain his seat. Our president leads an ever-swelling camp and remains the candidate to beat. Others are simply political wannabes and they know so, yet they live on the slim diet of hope.

Attahiru Jega, the bespectacled new INEC boss is on the one hand trying to make sense out of the nonsense job he has accepted and for which his friends, rather than sympathise were congratulating him. He has been given one of the most bloated budgets for only one aspect of an election and convinced that the figures were sacrosanct. He in turn is to face a pack of parliamentary wolves who are likely to add more to get their own kickbacks. This is the true test of Jega’s hitherto impeccable character and a radical is doomed to believe that he is surrounded by altruists. The altruists, mostly on the nadir of their public career are looking at the gaping dungeon they must fall except they can quickly erect a wall to prevent economic stagnation. They are wise to know that if they return home with integrity and no money, they would be the worst serial losers and the butt of cruel jokes. I blame them not, people must provide for themselves against a system that takes care of no-one but itself.

At state levels, a flurry of activities is going on. Most of the two-termed governors except the day-dreamers in Ekiti and Kogi where the legal conundrum is likely to lead to an epic battle akin to the UPN/NPN two thirds of 19 syndrome are expecting change-overs. The incumbents know that they are winding up in view of recent judicial interpretations. They could act as big party men, and install stooges likely to cover their tracks or they could be spoilers and ensure a clean sweep by the scavenging opposition. They are very unlikely to take the second poison. But if they learn anything from history, they will know that the handpicked stooge is hardly ever who he says he is, power transforms stooges faster than hungry termites are able to turn dry grass into mound and the best assurance of a hitch-free retirement is good governance and probity. They should ask ex-governor Akande who has never lost sleep since leaving Government House, Oshogbo, but do we ever learn?

Local government chairmen are usually not active participants in this chiaroscuro. The puppets merely dance to the moves of their puppeteer, the state governors who are kind enough to let the crumbs fall to loyal ones. That accounts for the parlous state of development at the grassroots in spite of the favourable allocation formula that the third tier of government enjoys right now. We truly live in interesting times.

In all the permutations, alignments and rearmaments, the future of the nation has no place, only the quest of individuals. Those who are rooting for Jonathan to continue with funny billboards and irritating spam texts are not selling him on a single achievement. They cannot, because there is nothing to show. Our president wears his middle name like the day wears the sun but he needs to transform the rays to his nation. This happens when there are jobs for the jobless, roof over the heads of the homeless, hope for the hopeless. Sweet postings on Facebook are good, but transformation of our society is better, more expedient and desirable. Foreign embassies continue to put hurdles on the way of Nigerians who flock through knocking on doors of opportunities that chisels on their integrity with each visa granted to modern slavery in a country that earns in a month, more than some European countries could hope for in a year.

With the flurry of activities, we would wake up one morning and it would be 2011, the elections would be over and the politicians would be busy stashing away whatever they raked off our residual patrimony. We would remain home and dry with no jobs for our children; the roads as gullies while the new lords fly over our heads. Security would be nil, and every able person would be a government in his homestead – providing his own water, paving his own road, generating his own power and paying for his children’s school fees. By the time the accountants do the figures, the Nigerian economy would be several billions of Naira less – money down the drain!

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