Political ‘penkelemes’ towards mother of all elections
One does not need a soothsayer to know that politicians are desperate and highly ambitious to win elective positions in the 2019 general elections. Since 1999, there has never been such a political recklessness among politicians. Ever since the campaign started, politicians have chosen to focus on attacks and counter-attacks at one another. Rather than speak well of each other, respect different points of view and remain on common ground, they lose sight of the bigger picture of making life affordable for Nigerians. In essence, their actions have exposed their selfishness, narrow-mindedness and how far they have drifted apart from the people.
Notwithstanding the above, it is a pity that the electorate is not left out in the display of selfish ambition as majority among them desire to compromise their vote for peanuts. The election umpire, INEC recently said that some politicians intended to buy votes through food vendors around polling units. Indeed, the political atmosphere has provided a plot twist such as what is played out in soap opera. All that is said by politicians about violence may not exactly fashion out that way.
But, the anxiety and concern they have created in the polity is evident. At the moment, election violence has become the most discussed issue at every occasion. The trepidation created by politicians has refused to diffuse due to a situation where some candidates, party faithfuls and indeed anybody can predict victory at the polls. Yet, the elections is still miles away from been conducted. Of course, such unnecessary heating up the polity gives one some gray-hair of thought.
Perhaps, these arrogant displays to give self a pass-mark before taking an examination prompted the Sultan of Sokoto Muhammadu Sa’ad to admonish religious leaders the other day thus: “…we should be careful about what we say to our followers in churches and mosques…We should never allow ourselves to be used by any political party or candidate…religious leaders should preach love for one another and do whatever they do with the fear of God…..Buhari has given assurances that the elections will be free and fair. But are the security agencies and politicians ready”?
Despite the Sultan’s good talk and frank opinion, he still has some element of skepticism and nervousness just like many Nigerians are harbouring about the elections. The issue of security before, during and after the elections is very paramount. But, a situation where the opposition political parties are seen as perpetrators of violence or indeed planning to unleash mayhem across the country during the election is not only alarming but worrisome. To ensure electoral accountability and transparency in the upcoming elections, the ruling party must put an end to this cheap political point-scoring.
This is because, it can only help to create an atmosphere of fear that may discourage the electorate to come out and vote. What the minister of information and culture, Lai Mohammed should be telling Nigerians is how fortified and ready our security forces are and that peace and tranquility will reign during the elections and beyond. Instead of saying the opposite and create unnecessary tension in the polity.
The implication of poor leadership has seen parties and politicians dissolve into factions, while factions are forming left and right wings within the same party. The outcome of such can only breed the coarse that is playing out in Rivers state where the tide of confusion has steadily flowed into Zamfara state causing APC the inability to field gubernatorial candidates in the forth coming elections in both states. It’s still cloudy in Zamfara state.
It is obvious that, the most important battle in Nigeria’s politics towards the election is no longer between political parties. But, between those who sit at round-table during ungodly hours to decide who rules Nigeria. It is not an overstatement to say that whichever party in government has a good chance of keeping power. But, this must be done in a transparent manner through a free, credible and fair election. The other day, the vice president, Yemi Osinbajo admonished Nigerians to resist the return of looters to power. But, his party’s chairman, Adams Oshiomhole in another forum urged sinners to join the APC so that their sins might be forgiven. In this case, therefore, who is fooling who and what direction is the APC taking Nigeria?
The APC seems to be suffering from acute change syndrome and moral pressure due to low performance. Yet, the government and its apostles continue to obdurately thumb its chest and crow about unlimited achievements. In 2015, the nation witnessed the biggest uprising from APC as an opposition. Then the party members embraced, praised and exchanged banter with former president Olusegun Obasanjo who wrote a “stinker” letter to the then, President Goodluck Jonathan. At that time, Buhari has this to say: “Former President Obasanjo is a courageous patriot and statesman who tells truth to power when he is convinced leaders are doing wrong”. The big question begging for answer is: Why are Buhari’s disciples and APC faithful attacking Obasanjo for speaking truth to power now?
Some political analysts argue that what Buhari really want is not winning the election but, having a fight over the election. This could be seen in the government’s body language towards the opposition parties. The Buhari’s administration has much to be proud of as a corruption fighter. But, for its own good, it needs to find an approach that is more transparent and less of political witch-hunt. If Buhari’s government continue to see corrupt people from Oshiomhole’s theory, that once a sinner joins the APC, his sins are forgiven, then it won’t be long for the confidence reposed in the Buhari’s administration to varnish like vapour.
In the main, the electorate should not be ignorant of the fact that politicians have no other alternative but to exhibit friendship and affection towards the people during elections. But after the elections, the relationship between politicians and the people can best be described as cat and mouse. Therefore, like the lyrics goes of China’s national anthem, I call on the electorate across the country to “Arise! Arise! Arise! millions of hearts with one mind”. Let us vote and defend our votes for the right candidates who will bring governance closer to us, the people.
No comments yet