By Mideno Bayagbon
Debit, 03-05-2022 0700hrs
Desc:TRF O… GODWIN
Purpose: ALL PROGRESSIVE CONGRESS (PRESIDENTIAL NOMINATION FORM AND EXPR INTEREST FOR MIDENO BAYAGBON)
I am happy to report that I have joined the gang of Nigerian big-boiz politicians, (at least in my dreams), who get nebulous pretender groups, unknown associations and persons to go to the secretariat of the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, purportedly to buy expression of interest and nomination forms for them. The pretence is, they are so in demand, so saviour-like, that groups and persons are begging them to contest for the presidency of the country.
Mine came in the form of a text message. The message was crisp and short: “I just paid for your APC Presidential nomination form my brother. My contribution to your Presidential ambition”
Imagine my shock; the sheer level of disbelief. Imagine how many times my heart skipped a beat when I opened my phone and the content of the alert was the text above. Unbelievable. A good Samaritan has taken it upon himself to pay the humongous N100 million fee demanded by the corruption abetting, and deeply conniving All Progressives Congress, APC.
Recall that a while back I had written that I Have Been Ordered To Join 2023 Presidential Race. And in trying to justify my reluctant entrance, I had written the following as an introduction: Here is the news: I have been ordered to join the 2023 Presidential race. This is authentic. It is, as it were, from the horse’s mouth. And I have no choice. Consider it a fait accompli. I have been ordered and it is compulsory that I obey; no questions asked. The order has come from quarters no man in his right senses would disobey. It has come from the one I sometimes call, head of government or Amebo Deno!
All I can say for now, is that you, my dear friends, and enemies alike, get ready. Get ready to give your widow’s mite. Get ready to pound the streets, knock on doors, shake every hand, and take the message to all the hamlets, villages, towns and cities of this country. It is urgent, it is incumbent. No excuses. No dilly dallying. We will win the race without the billions of stolen funds politicians have stacked.
Yet I did not, even in my wildest dreams, think of going into Nigerian politics. I have over the years resisted every attempt to co-opt me into it. I have rejected appointments up to the federal level and refused serious attempts to drag me into contesting for political offices. Yes, yet here I am, now fully into the race and I am starting at the top. I am now ready to give all the Tinubus, the Amaechi, the Anyims, the Atiku Abubakars, the Sarakis, and so on, a run for their money. And I will triumph, beating them silly, even in their homesteads.
Somehow, someone, somewhere, a well heeled acquittance, had taken the above to heart. And seriously, like so many people who have volunteered to be of service in one area of the campaign or the other, decided to concretise the dream by “donating” the outrageous sum demanded by the corruption deodorising APC leadership.
I was still in this euphoric state when I woke up to news that some unnamed farmers have also decided to toe the part of the Nigerian comedy. They too have decided to sell a cup of garri here, an egg over there, some tomatoes in the neighbourhood, and generally have gathered millions of other farmers, to buy the N100 million APC Presidential Nomination Form for the Central Bank of Nigeria Governor, Mr Godwin Emefiele. How come I didn’t know Emefiele was such a messiah to Nigerian farmers? I burst out laughing. I laughed hard and long at the unfolding tragicomedy before I could check myself. This is serious, I found myself muttering seconds later, still stewed in shock and disbelief.
Then the floodgate of other groups allegedly buying the N100 million forms expanded further. Minister of State, Petroleum, Chief Timipre Sylva, was all celebratory as he attempted to make Nigerians believe, that yet another group, Good People of Nigeria, without his knowledge have somehow magically bought him the forms. I was still ruminating over this when yet another news flashed. This time with definitely the icing on the cake: the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN), or a group pretending to be them, claimed to have bought the N100 million forms for the dilly dallying former President Goodluck Jonathan. No questions asked. They promptly hit the media with the story. By the time Ikechukwu Eze, the spokesman of the former President issued a statement distancing Jonathan from the group, the damage had already been done.
For some fleeting seconds the names of other presidential aspirants who some curious groups and persons have allegedly bought the nomination forms for, scrolled through my inner mind: Alhaji Bola Ahmed TINUBU, Vice President Yemi OSINBAJO, Minister of Niger Delta and former Governor of Akwa Ibom state, GODSWILL AKPABIO; Africa Development Bank President, Akinwumi Adesina; just to name a few.
Nigeria is now so prosperous that Okada riders, bicycle repairers, and daily labourers are pulling all their sweat together. They are forgetting the hunger, the insecurity, the poverty ravaging their families. They are raising, borrowing or stealing N100 million to buy forms for the same politicians whose thievery and ineptitude have ensured their lives is brutish, short and contemptuous.
Nigerians are expected to believe that hungry, unemployed youths, some women group or associations banding together to raise N100 million to buy the APC forms to beg an Akpabio, or an Adesina to run for office as President. It is like Nigerians are a fooled collective, easily deceived and swayed. At least that is what we seemingly are, in the estimation of the politicians in both the APC and PDP. We are such a bunch of fools. That must be why Nigeria politicians motto remains: let the people be fooled.
The impunity of it all. The sheer devilry in trying to fool the people into believing the lie. They forget the saying attributed to iconic American President, Abraham Lincoln, which says: You can fool all the people some of the time and some of the people all the time but you cannot fool all the people all the time.”
What this all boil down to, in my reasoning, is that Nigeria and Nigerians are still not serious about bringing the country back from the brinks of economic, social and political implosion. The politicians think we are in a circus. They think they are the master manipulators. They think they can always deceive us, rape us at will, with no consequence at all. That is why apart from Peter Obi or so, none of them has come out with any serious plans on how they intend to tackle the myriad of problems the Buhari government, especially, and all the others, have pushed us into. Today, we are no longer even a third world country. We ‘are a big for nothing pre Atom Age lilliputians. We are a joke to the rest of the world. No one takes us seriously. We don’t ourselves. So why should others.
Take the case of Godwin Emefiele. He sits tight as Central Bank Governor and has been, in some cases in collaboration with the Attorney General, Malami, in raiding the courts for ways to breach the CBN Act. He wants to continue to be CBN Governor while pursuing his ambition of trying to become president. Or take the case of Chris Ngige, the Labour minister, whose seven years tenure in that ministry has seen universities shut down for more than half of that time. Like most Nigerian politicians, they are desperate. They lack character. They lack integrity. They insult us all by their perfidious behaviour. That is why they and all those who rubbishes our intelligence with claims of groups buying nomination forms for them, should go hide their heads in shame. Nigeria deserves better than them.
In other climes, their types end up in the rubbish dump of history.