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Buhari: The mystery of power and politics (1)


Buhari (APC)

Buhari (APC)

IN out in,’ says the bicycle pomp. Power is like the bicycle pomp. It speaks the language of the computer – garbage in, garbage out. Power is an enigma. It’s both a myth and a mystery. It’s a mirage, so evasive and so slippery. Power is esoteric.

Only the initiate and the clairvoyant can understand the language of power. Power is a story-teller, with a thousand lessons and morals.

What lesson? Power is non-negotiable; it belongs to the people. It’s full of vanity, so transient and impermanent.

While some take a sudden flight to the acme of power and fame through politics, others toil and grin it, grinding their nose on the windmill of power.

Power and politics are two lions littered in one day. They are like opium and bile. They pamper the valiant and lull the villain with their soothing hands and balms.

Power is so fickle, yet so awesome and fleeting within the frame of fame, fate and perseverance.

Why all these ramblings? The recent election of Major-Gen. Muhammadu Buhari (rtd) as the next President of Nigeria underscores the ephemeral and delicate nature of power and politics without the legitimacy of the people, who wield the instruments of power and the mandate for change.

While the people are the custodians and grandmasters of power, change is their bond and final word.

With the election of the former General, it shows that power and time speak a universal language – hope and perseverance. It gives hope to the hopeless, and courage to the resolute. It’s just a matter of time, persistency and constancy of purpose.

For me, as far as the 2015 presidential election is concerned, the Jonathan-Buhari political narrative is a story that bears telling a million times in Nigeria’s political history books, for the entire world. For the discerning mind, the episode recreates the history of great people like Abraham Lincoln, the 16th president of the United States of America.

Many times, he tried his luck and popularity with the people at the polls, many times he failed before perseverance finally wrote his name on the American hall of fame through the ballot box.

Thomas Edison invented electricity after several experiments, through the audacious spirit of tenacity and doggedness, if not by trial and error.

When Edison was asked how many times he had failed. He replied: “I never failed once. I only learned how many ways it could be done.”

All great men are like that. They are made of the same sterner stuff, yet different from the crowd. They break barriers to do the unusual.

They step beyond bounds, cross established lines of human suffering to the remit of indignity, just to conquer the frontiers of history through invention and innovation so that the mankind can thrive.

They are propelled by the inordinate ambition to be different and to tell history, no matter the price. It requires stoicism, self-denial and equanimity.

Buhari is a man caught in that mould.He never gave up even when men had written him off as a failure, a non-do-well desperado of a politician. He was called all names including a despot, a brute of a dictator, a killer and anti-democrat.

Yet, he gathered his pieces, held himself together and moved on even in the midst of lean financial resources.

He thought the world that daring to be different is not desperation or inordinate ambition to rule but to create history for mankind; to draw lessons from history through the painful process of trial and error by working in the unfamiliar path.

And the people finally gave their verdict by giving him their overwhelming mandate at the 2015 presidential polls.

To be continued.
• Okafor, Doctorate student, Dept. of Mass Communication, School of Postgraduate Studies, Benue State University, Makurdi
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