The picture released to the press, a few days ago, of President Buhari, Governors Mai Buni and Matawalle, Secretary Mustapha and Chief FaniKayode together at the State House to confirm the defection of the rabble rouser Fani-Kayode to the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) felt dystopian, even by the gutter standards of Nigerian politics.
It is apparent to the discerning that these folks are not by any stretch serious minded men, they looked more like a band of 3rd rate comedians than nearer anybody who should be leading anybody. Apparently to these small-minded men, the high
offices of public trust which they occupy is to be treated like a game or worse still a circus, as shown in their repeated words and conduct. The saddest part in the ongoing burlesque is that this circus, which they are fully intent on keeping on an endless run, is not solely to the comeuppance of their fawners, protégés and fellow comedians, but has consequence in dead babies, dead
bodies, starvation, kidnapped girls, terrorism, homelessness and extreme hunger for the people whom they claim to lead.
In 1999, I was ten years old, and I have watched in unspeakable grief, the complete annihilation of my generation’s destiny over the course of the last twenty years by the brutal Nigerian political elite and their military and financial collaborators. A brutal elite driven only by immoral greed, unctuous tastes and stark unbridled quest for power. You wonder who are these men having no desire for honor, for glory, for love of country, love for their fellow man, responsibility, decency, for liberalism, for fairness and rule of law.
What manner of men are driven only by base desires of marrying new wives, beholden to insular discredited worldviews of tribes and clans, and simply content to live in lavish splendor while all around them is squalor and misery.
The Nigerian politician has no iota of shame – the Governors owe poor working class people salaries for months and still have the conscience to cruise around town in multiple land cruiser convoys. Small men with their small mentalities. As Governor Mai Buni continues to occupy the position of the Chairman of the APC in complete disregard of the express provisions of the constitution, and the President is disdainful of any prodding to see beyond his nose and the provincial aesthetics of his Daura polling booth, you
wonder if things will ever change.
The defections in the circus have been flying around, defections which automatically comes with the dropping of Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) charges and a lucrative new appointment. Currently there is chatter of the former President Jonathan of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) defecting to the All Progressive Congress (APC), and all sorts of sundry shenanigans. Whether the extremely limited Jonathan joins the All
Progressive Congress (APC) or not is beside the point, the real tragedy is that the Jonathan chatter and the already consummated defection of enfant terrible Fani Kayode is reflective of the elite’s total disregard of the intelligence of the Nigerian people. To them we are like fools and tools. It goes without saying that the deliberate impoverishing of the Nigerian people has never been the sole forte of one political party, forget the ramblings of
the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) aligned political jobbers on Twitter who run daily interference for their paymasters, friends and business partners.
As young middle class Nigerians continue to flee this country in their droves, and the Naira continues its own unavoidable free fall into worthlessness, it’s hard to find light at the end of the tunnel.
You have a feeling that for the brutal Nigerian elite things must continue as it is because progress can only come at the expense of an end to their way of life – an end to their lavish parties,
oleaginous living rooms, and gold plated IPhone gift at their ‘no known source of income’ son’s weddings.
The entire country is immersed in despair. Centrifugal forces are combining to tear this country apart from its seams. Though I am personally skeptical of these forces. Some of these now viral prognostications, desiring to truncate our general well-being even further, are devoid of class analysis and lead by demagogues who for all I care are already showing signs to be worse than our present band of traducers. The truth rather is that any diagnosis of
Nigeria’s predicament on grounds primarily of tribe is simplistic and lacking in hard evidence and of course plays into the time tested modus operandi of the Nigerian elite. As so-called freedom fighters fond of expensive designer suits sell their seemingly attractive but of course false propositions of ethnic domination, they would have to contend with the obvious fact that the poverty
and human security in Baga is astronomically worse than that in Okigwe.
In a month’s time, it will be exactly one year since the cold blooded murder of hundreds, if not thousands, of mostly ordinary young Nigerians taking their last stand at the Lekki Toll gate during the EndSars protests. The murders were live-streamed to the world, and we all saw the Nigerian government’s military arrive at the scene shortly before the shootings started, but somehow
our media houses and social commentators still managed to create a controversy of who was responsible for the deaths. Yet it is only from that generation willing to die for their country that anything can be salvaged from this country.
I write this with free flowing tears, overwhelming anger and
despair, and wondering what manner of men are these who will murder young teenagers raising the national flag and singing the Nigerian anthem? Who are these monsters?
The truth however is that the Nigerian racket is still strong, our people are divided along ethnic and religious lines than at no time in our history. This happens while the Nigerian elite intermarry and jointly attend the weddings of their sons and daughters and Fani Kayode poses in pictures with the extremist cleric Isa Pantami turned minister of communications, communications for which he knows nothing about.
As young people continue to access Twitter through a VPN in a remarkable show of civil disobedience, I can only hope that perhaps this picture of Fani Kayode and Buhari together might jolt the Nigerian people to see these small men for
what they are – comedians who should have no place in public offices. Also as the next election approaches, I appeal to young people all over – let us register to vote and be prepared to protect our vote. It is in the political process that we must take our last stand, no matter how long it will take. We must be bold to enter the circus and put an end to this charade.
Ozioma Nwadike, a legal practitioner, can be reached on Twitter- @Bslder and E-mail – [email protected]