‘Abiku’ in the house of power
Coming and going these several seasons Do stay out of the Baobab tree Follow where you please your kindred spirit If indoors is not enough for you.
— John Pepper Clark
Sir: Those who are familiar with the verses of the poem quoted above would vividly recall the sorrow that Abiku unfolded to his poor mother, in which JP Clark composed the supra poem.
And for those who didn’t comprehend the above verses, the great poet states the torment that an ill-fated child brings to his relatives by his constant attitude of coming to earth and dying at any given time. The poet feels the agony of the mother and therefore cautions the spirit child to avoid flimsy excuses of tormenting his mother unnecessarily.
Studying the above poem in other way round, the Abiku-like character depicts the political behaviours of those in power today. In one of his articles, Reuben Abati referred to them as ‘Recycled politicians.’
Visible for those who are conversant to the national issues, those Abikus inflicted on us many hardship of which seemed to have been tackled only to resurface with their change of political garments to torment us more before paving way for another bad leadership.
The month of July and August could be regarded as defection months of the year 2018 respectively.
The culture of defecting from one political party to another has been a beloved attitude of the Nigerian politicians. The same incident happened prior to 2015 general election and such has reappeared again. Ironically, some famous political figures have changed political party for more than five times! They changed their main political party to another whenever an attempt is made to opposed their respective opinions or marginalised them, thereby, they foment troubles within the party.
Sadly enough, our political parties lack sound and radical political ideology which in turn bred many Abikus for us.
The pen pusher, Abati, once stated in his piece titled, ‘The threat of a new political party’ that, ‘Political parties are governed by rules: the Nigerian political system operates above rules. It is possibly one of the most Machievallian in Africa.’
Critical political analysis has it that some governors and legislators dumped the ruling party for the opposition parties purposefully for their personal ambitions. This implied to us that their self-interest is more important to them than the national interest and progress of their people.
Worst still, some defectors defected to the ruling party to get out of the EFCC trial net while others defected because of the persistent political witch-hunt that shackled their hands. This made them to jump out of APC to PDP. Hence, they pose a serious threat to our democracy and equally the government of the day. Clearly, this scenario displayed a poor political leadership!
Unfortunately, these Abikus are not bothered about the senseless killings going on across the country neither are they concerned of the abject poverty that their various constituencies are wallowing in. The World Poverty index ranked Nigeria as number one in the world poverty rating. Instead of the Nigeria’s politicians to sponsor bills that will drastically brings poverty rates to the barest level, they choose to play ‘filthy political’ games.
There is an African proverb that: ‘A child that says his mother will not sleep, his own eyes will remain open’. Therefore, we will continue to put our eyes on them; by interrogating them till they put on their thinking caps by providing good governance to Nigerians. If they fail to do that, our PVCs will decide our fate. As the next general election is approaching, we pray and hope optimistically that 2019 will deliver us from the torments of the Abikus.