2015 Elections: Yet on a familiar road!
There is no denying the fact that the familiar thread that spun through the ancestral fabric of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob is that of bareness which the patriarchs and their wives at different times battled with. As written in the bible, Abraham was the father of Isaac, and Isaac was the father of Jacob.
At this juncture, it is expedient to buttress the foregoing view by citing Genesis chapter 11 verse 30 that says, “But Sarai was barren; she had no child”, and Genesis chapter 25 verse 21 that says, “And Isaac entreated the LORD for his wife, because she was barren; and the LORD was entreated of him, and Rebekkah his wife conceived.” Lastly, in Genesis chapter 30 verses 1 and 2, the bible says “And when Rachel saw that she bore Jacob no children, Rachel envied her sister; and said unto Jacob, give me children, or else I die.” And Jacob’s anger was kindled against Rachel: and he said, Am I in God’s stead, who hath witheld from thee the fruit of the womb?”
In the Christendom, anyone that is enmeshed in the spiritual labyrinth of ancestral curse or bondage can also be said to be passing through a familiar road of failure that his forebear passed through. With the postponement of the 2015 general elections to the months of March and April, this writer is in this context set to buttress the point that Nigeria’s literary political wagon has once again started cruising on a familiar road that stretches across the political landscape.
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A friend of mine jokingly said that Nigeria needs a deliverance pastor to deliver her from passing through this familiar road of succession politics in every political dispensation. His view cannot be said to be laughable when analyzed against the backdrop of the biblical references cited in the foregoing paragraph of this piece, even if it was meant to be a joke. Without any iota of exaggeration, the problem of succession politics has become a recurring decimal in the country’s political equation. One would have expected the president that often flaunt his Phd degree as a trump card to break this political ancestral trump card.
Given the experiences gained from past succession politics that were played to the detriment of millions of Nigerians, many a leader who the people expect to complete his tenure and quit the stage; whether he performed or not, in most cases was wont to selfishly invent spurious excuses that would warrant the extension of his tenure against the collective will and wishes of the people.
For instance, it is not an exaggeration to say that General Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida (IBB) never wanted to leave office as a military president when the Nigerian people expected him to quit. Rather, he ensured he remained in office against the wish of the people by cancelling an election that was acclaimed to be the most freest and fairest in Nigeria’s political history. Upon the cancellation of the election that is today being remembered and popularly called June 12, the country was engulfed in political turmoil that almost tore Nigeria’s political fabric into pieces. As he apparently saw that the political crises may result to internecine war between the northern hegemony and the entire southern states in Nigeria, he cowardly quit the stage by saying he was “stepping aside”. Whatever he meant by that phrase!
As if the political jinx was not enough, the regime of late General Sanni Abacha played the same succession politics General Babaginda played. To ensure that his crass sit-tight ambition was acachieved, late General Sani Abacha, annulled the organs of state, banned political parties and dismantled the democratic structures, He later ensured that only five political parties, whose leaders were his puppets, were registered of the 15 that applied for registration. Apparently at his behest, the five parties adopted him as their sole and unopposed candidate that the Attorney General of the Federation, late Chief Bola Ige was compelled to describe the five parties as “five fingers of a leprous hand.” Abacha in his succession politics masterminded the formation of a group called Youth Earnestly Ask for Abacha (YEAA), that was committed to be holding Pro-Abacha rallies and seminars to extol the benefits of Abachism in support of his bid to become a life president.
Similarly, despite the fact that former President Olusegun Obasanjo at the launch of his autobiography titled “My Watch” in December 2014 denied seeking a third term in office, the allegation, so to say, cannot be confined to the dust bin of Nigeria’s political history.
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Still in the same nexus , upon the death of late President Yar Adua, succession politics and power struggle took the same familiar road that would make any deliverance minister to prophecy that Nigeria is jinxed. The most startling of the vicious cycle of succession politics that Nigerians are wont to grapple with at the twilight of every political dispensation reached the state of notoriety with the announcement of the extension of the February 2015 General Election. There is no denying the fact international political observers have already known the country with this ignominous political reputation.
One may not be wrong to say that no Nigerian; at home or in diaspora, ever imagined that Nigeria’s political situation would one day come to this sorry pass of succession politics. The reason cannot be farfetched as many are wont to perceive President Goodluck Jonathan as a quiet and gentle president that has ever been Nigeria’s president. To my view, it is not an exaggeration to say that William Shakespeare had those with quite mien in mind when he wrote in his book, Macbeth, that "There's no art to find the mind's construction in the face". In other words, you can't tell a book by its cover. In a similar vein, an African proverb says the most quietest bush usually harbour wild and dangerous animals. And finally, another African proverb says “A still and dark river is notorious of drowning expert swimmers.” To me, Nigerians should stop misconstruing the President’s calmness and quiet mien for sanctimoniousness and righteousness.
If I may ask, “How long shall Nigerians continue to be passing through this familiar road that is literarily riddled with potholes and craters of succession politics and political struggle?” Given the kaleidoscope of disappointments that is trailing the unwelcomed shift of the elections to the months of March and April, 2015, who will continue to trust him as regard his electoral promises and the credibility of his assurance that he would quit on May 29, 2015.
Finally, with the familiar road he has literarily directed the Nigerian political process to, I hope he won’t bungle the once applauded Nigeria political process?
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