By Hon. Josef Omorotionmwan A good essay should ordinarily end with predictions – based on what we know about where we are and where we would want to be. But these days, predictions are hard to make. That is not to suggest that we should not try. Today, we are embarking on a series of
By Hon. Josef Omorotionmwan
A good essay should ordinarily end with predictions – based on what we know about where we are and where we would want to be. But these days, predictions are hard to make. That is not to suggest that we should not try. Today, we are embarking on a series of introspections on our polity.
The type of exercise we are embarking on here would bear different names in different places. The churches call them prophesies. At the beginning of each year, pastors download on us, a lot of prophetic utterances on what would happen in the course of the year. Some of these are surer because the good ones among them are based on inspirations from higher forces. All the same some of these have also failed in recent times.
Every day, those charged with the business of the weather issue weather forecasts that enable us know when to hold an umbrella as we leave home for the day’s assignment. All these underscore the imperative for the political class to constantly examine its internal and external environment, with a view to planning ahead because, as the saying goes, failing to plan is planning to fail.
We welcome everyone back from the elections. The battles have been won and lost; and actual hostilities stand adjourned until 2023.
By a simple act of omission, we have successfully handed over the presidency of Nigeria to the North – some optimists would say till 2031; and to some greater pecimists, the hand-over is perhaps in perpetuity. For now, the struggle for the presidency is over and out – it is finished!
The only safety valve now open to Candidate Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, is to approach the courts, and he is already there. The vogue in Nigeria is to demonstrate seriousness by reaching out for the Senior Advocates of Nigeria, SAN – the men in silk. Atiku is already retaining scores of them and still counting.
Ordinarily, Atiku does not require this avalanche of the silkmen. There is so much preponderance of evidence in his possession that we think that even a lawyer in equity can win that case. This might have been the worst rigged election in human history. Evidence of this is flying everywhere. On scale, in the face of the 2019 contest, the NPN Band Wagon of 1983 probably fritters into microscopic insignificance.
Even in the face of all this, Atiku is perhaps not in court to win. He is in court for two reasons of political expediency: first, he wants to fulfill all righteousness; and secondly, there must be a way to placate his followers across the nation, particularly in the South who would easily see his doing nothing as a sell-out.
The view is widely held that in some cases, the electoral umpires functioned more in the breach than in the observance of the law, particularly in the face of observed application of obvious double standards. For example, in some areas, the failure to use Smart Card readers was given as reason for the cancellation of elections and results; while in some areas of the North from where those humongous votes came, Card readers were not put to use.
Again, if it was a coincidence, it must be a curious one – that particularly in the gubernatorial contests, elections were suspended or declared inconclusive in States where the PDP was coasting home to victory – Taraba, Adamawa, Bauchi, Plateau, Kano, Sokoto and Rivers.
Sometimes, it is easy to see INEC separating a fight as if it is helping one side. This cannot be the real attribute of an unbiased umpire.
In the Nigerian run of events, Atiku will not win this case – the load of evidence in his favour, notwithstanding.
Let’s look at it closely. We just averted an Armageddon. Which judge and which court in the land will push us back into the catastrophe we just successfully averted? Anyone thinking otherwise clearly under-rates the type of crowds available to the two major gladiators in this case – Alhaji Atiku Abubakar and President Muhammadu Buhari. Each controls a teaming population of followers.
While Atiku’s crowd is largely educated, urbane and highly sophiscated, Buhari’s crowd is made up largely of the “Talakawas” who once they hear go will never listen to come back. Atitu’s crowd would rather subject issues to debates and critical thinking and analysis, but Buhari’s crowd is unidirectional Zombies.
During the Negro uprising in the US in the 1960s, Malcolm X developed the concepts of the House Nigger and the Field Nigger. The former lived in the house with his white boss – mainly as cooks and stewards while the latter was on the streets and in the plantations, under the rain and under the sun.
Malcolm X submitted that at the very heat of the struggle, if you asked the house nigger to set the Whiteman’s house on fire, he saw you as being out of your mind. Why would you suggest that about the humane Whiteman who allowed him to pick the crumps that fell from his breakfast table?
But if you asked the field nagger to set the Whiteman’s house on fire, he would quickly find out in which direction the wind is blowing so that the house can burn down thoroughly. These are the type of dycothomies we must put up with in dealing with the Atiku and Buhari case. The courts are aware of these intricacies and would refrain from doing anything to put the country on the path of catastrophe.
Clearly, the Buhari and Atiku case has since transcended political boundaries in the eye of the North and it now resides at the regional level. It is now the North versus the South in which the North finally has a firm grip of the presidency and the concomitant political power. They hold the ace and they are playing the game well.
The North has spoken! Gouvarneur Le Petit has just dropped the first salvo and he is right to the last inch. Never mind the denials and counter-denials. Of course, that is the very nature of every groupthink. A prominent member of the group would be handed a script with strict instruction to go and leak it to the press; and when it blows up, you simply deny and say you were misquoted. This is one area in which Le Petit is an expert and he is doing well.
For the avoidance of doubt, we produce Le Petit’s presentation in extenso:
‘My joy is that this election has exposed southern Nigeria and politicians from the south in APC as irrelevant, mouthy and worthless. They have been busted as a bunch of people who come to Aso rock to make claims and promises that they cannot fulfill. They will henceforth be seen as men with no political value, full of noise and nothing more. How will Osinbajo (who expects Buhari to hand over to him in 2023) explain to the north why he lost his polling unit, ward and local government area in Lagos? How will Fashola escape the query why he lost Surulere, his Local Government to PDP? How can Akpabio ever have the courage to look Buhari in the face again after his crash in Akwa Ibom? Can Oshiomohole still dance about after his flop in Edo? What will Abiola Ajimobi tell the cabal and Buhari now? All the serving ministers from the south east lost their polling units. Where dem go get mouth now? Amechi failed to deliver in Rivers state. How will he be regarded going forward? Tinubu promised to deliver south west votes in block to Buhari and the north believed him. Is it not a thing of shame that he failed and almost lost Lagos if not for some doctoring and cancellations here and there? Tinubu will never be the same again. The minister of foreign affairs could only muster 7 votes for Buhari in his polling unit in Enugu. That the governor of Imo state had to detain a returning officer and force him to declare that he is the winner of a mere senatorial election speaks volumes. What a disgrace. All the noise by southern politicians in APC to use “federal might” has eventually turned out to be mere sound and fury, signifying nothing. The north will hold on to power for the next 12 years, in my view. Southern Nigeria is a joke’.
Some would say, it serves them right. It is not the purpose here to begin to examine the import of this leaking mouth, except to mention, at least in passing, that it is perhaps too soon to write-off the efforts of these “loud mouthed and useless Southern politicians” in the just-concluded Buhari process of selection. In native parlance, when cutting the head of a gorilla, you must be touching your own head because the gorilla’s head is very much like a man’s own.
In their uselessness and total irrelevance, the Southern politicians of the APC persuasion prosecuted the Buhari campaign to the virtual exclusion of the northern politicians. In their uselessness, they killed and maimed thousands of their people while no single casualty was recorded in the holy North.
So soon, you have forgotten that the anti-Buhari sentiments were domiciled in the South and these irrelevant Southern politicians were the ones who had to encounter the stiff fights emanating therefrom. Have you forgotten the fierce battles for the souls of Lagos and River States where hundreds were dispatched to their untimely graves? Adams Oshiomole who was hitherto the darling of Edo State got a barrage of sachet water baptism in New Benin. Haba! Is that also a way of giving a dog a bad name to facilitate its killing?
As mentioned earlier, the battle is now the North versus the South. Come 2023, both out of sympathy and sheer hard work and love for Atiku, the PDP ticket will be his for the asking.
On the flip side of the APC, we see the Yoruba of the South West going for broke in 2023. In the days ahead, we shall see the current shadow boxing in the camps of the Gabajan and the Trader-moni exponent coming home to roost.
But we have news for them. Whoever emerges as the APC candidate from the South West will be heading for the worst defeat ever in the history of Nigeria. The same forces that just rigged out Atiku will rig him in in 2023 plus, of course, his teaming population of followers across the land. 2023 will be the year that Atiku will make history as the President who will come into office with the heaviest votes – upwards of 20 million!
He will repeat the same feat in a re-election bid in 2027. When Le Petit speaks of power remaining in the North for the next 12 years, he is talking of 4 years for Buhari and 8 years for Atiku. This is the configuration, barring any accident or Divine intervention. By 2031, the North will sit down and decide where their next sympathy should sway. This is the harsh reality ahead.
Let no one bring about the singsong of Northern domination here when what we have is Northern dexterity and a total fulfillment of the Gospel. God is still in the good business of “using the most foolish things to confound the wise” (I Corinthians 1:27).
Yes, another 4 years of Baba Buhari may sound like a death sentence on Nigeria. Having boxed ourselves to this tight corner, when we cannot get what we want, we must learn to accept what we have. Rather than engage in lamentation, which may lead us to begin to question the will of God, we shall return to William Shakespeare (1564 – 1616):
Oh time, thou must untangle this; not I
It is too hard a knot for me to untie.