AMBODE AND THE MOURNING AFTER THE LAGOS APC PRIMARIES
Because democracy is a corporeal sport, we do not expect a miracle at the day’s retirement when the results of the Lagos APC gubernatorial primaries would be announced. It will be the kind of result that makes non-participation a more honourable activity; but it wouldn’t rob Mr. Akinwumi Ambode of the self-respect of deciding, in the mute company of his own shadow, how his story will end.
Surely the size of his defeat, loudly planted on his disownment by those to whom he continually ascribes his paternity, would hurt him deeply and he would want to proceed from the lost battle into an outright war, where he would fancy that he would have the last laugh, trophy in hand and cloaked in an apparel made from patchments of the shredded egos of his godfathers and their accomplices. Trust me, he would find noisy endorsements were he to so choose. But I hope he would fall, by the inducement of an overfill of his favorite brew of which I am not now at liberty to mention, into a deep, long sleep on the matter and return fully convinced of the consequences of his own decisions.
And if he chooses a war, let it be a war based on ideas that further our fair humanity, about which he must not be deterred by the possibility of another rout. For although some wars are suicidal, it remains true yet, that in the battle of ideas, suicide may be the only glory that its honour demands!
AMBODE AND THE MOURNING AFTER THE LAGOS APC PRIMARIES
Question would be, what ideas will Ambode be fighting for? If we are to be recruited into his war, we must understand what they are. It will certainly not be against the evils of Godfatherism without him first offering some atonement for his luxurious benefit all this while, since the only reason he ranks above the rest of us in the first place is his anointment by the Godfather.
We watch and wait then, for that time tomorrow when he wakes up from his defeat and hopefully speaks from the assurance that at least until May 29, 2019 he yet has the ascribed love of us all, something the rest of us are not blessed with!
‘‘Warri no dey carry last’’, they say. And Ambode is a Warri boy!
MAKING POLITICAL CAPITAL OUT OF ‘‘VILLAGE DRUNKARDY’’
Nollywood is a story of the Nigerian reality, even if many times told in unconvincing gaps and stutters. Yet for all its imperfections in storytelling, nothing touches the character of the Village Drunkard, whenever he appears.
He finds his stability in faint staggering steps and produces a shadow of changing forms when he walks away to nowhere at twilight. His home, whether at the hilltop or at its bottom, is mostly unimportant to his role in the denounement ahead and his irresponsibility does not take anything away from the tale he tells to cause it.
And so when he wobbles onto the village square and accuses perhaps the most prominent character of sleeping with his brother’s wife or the King of killing his father and converting the throne, no one is going to accuse him of being a drunkard and thus discountenance him. The truth of the statements stems in fact, from his known drunkenness. His is one situation that questions Jesus’ admonition that qualifies only he who is without sin for the magistracy of casting stones of punishment and gives value to the now popular opposition rhetoric when shielding the likes of Fayose and FFK, that we must look outside the messenger to take the message.
At its most uncharitable perhaps, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo’s role in our recent political history belongs to the village drunkard. Its value is in its truthful nuisance. A value not diminished by accusations that he perhaps epitomizes the same matters he deprecates in public. His message is larger than the messenger and if I were in PMB’s shoes, rather than quietly play the politics of comparison, I would respond timeously to the matters of his recent letter as if they were a scriptural reprimand.
But for the village drunkard to form a political movement to remove the king on the basis of some pious remonstrations under his direction, must of necessity bring to fore the drunkard’s own credentials. OBJ’s “third-term-force” which parades the likes of the Chief Oyinlola and Donald Duke amongst other relics of our previous misadventure, pushes the luck of the Village Drunkard much too far.
PASTOR BENNY HINN PREDICTS AGAIN WHAT WOULD HAPPEN TO NIGERIA POLITICS IN FEW WEEKS
Senator Dino Melaye, Buhari’s special adviser Femi Falana, Jerry Gana, Orji Uzo Kalu’s wife, and the minister for education in Calabar, were present at the crusade when BENNY HINN dived again into politics.
When BENNY, spoke God’s word about the Nigerian politics, Dino Melaye jumped and was overwhelmed with joy while the others frowned their faces. This is what Pst BENNY said on the 22nd of January, 2018:
What I am sensing, would happen few weeks from now, not months. I have never sensed before what I am sensing now. God is sending an anointing for political authority to the church. The church would affect the government of Nigeria. There is a shift In the atmosphere. He is bringing changes to the political sector. You have to do what I asked you to do last night.
The church has to fast for 21 days just like Daniel did, not 20 or 19. Partial fasting. Eat only once in a day. When you fast, I WANT YOU TO TARGET THE INDIVIDUALS YOU WANT TO SEE REMOVED FROM OFFICE. CALL THEM BY NAMES AND THEIR OFFICES. THIS TIME YOU MUST TAKE THE KINGDOM BY FORCE. I see adjustment and changes in the political sector of Nigeria.
The church has the authority to overcome. Kathryn Kuhlman said ” no nation is stronger than the anointing it’s church is carrying. You must declare the changes you want to see while fasting. When I went to Tobego, I perceived Poverty and oppression. The minister of finance told me there was abject poverty. This was because some witches rode on a helicopter and began to speak poverty and sicknesses in the atmosphere.
Men of God in Nigeria should organize a helicopter ride and speak healing ,prosperity and wealth over the atmosphere. Pray in tongues over Nigeria. I sense a divine anointing for change that will affect the economy of Nigeria positively. Just wait and finish the fast, you will call me and tell me what God has done in Nigeria. The churches in Nigeria will affect the map of Africa. We will pray for prosperity to rest in Nigeria and all powers not of God will be defeated.
Call the politicians you do not want to stay in power by their names and their offices. When the fast is over watch what happens in Nigeria.
This should be organized by CAN and PFN working with all church leaders in all denominations in the nation. The fast should start immediately starting with repentance for the land and the sins of the church.
Sometimes I feel a sense of guilt watching free of any charge, the comedy series playing out as leadership in Nigeria, but perhaps I shouldn’t. After all, I, amongst other Nigerians who just sit on their hands or choke on their muffled or discordant voices, also provide comic entertainment to the leadership for which I too receive no payment. It is the kind of situation which perhaps to underline its ludicrousness, a familiar bard would mirthfully describe to as ‘‘one-one-goalless-draw’’!
In this huge theatre of skilled performers, the absurd is ordinary – in politics, in religion, in business, in thought, in culture, in life! But perhaps of all the performers the ones who come mostly dressed for the show in hilarious colours and designs are our politicians. They come to work mainly as masquerades, wearing 10 yards of a three-piece cloth, several measures of which make huge pockets which are empty of everything except the desire to steal from the country some more. They want to be taken seriously as coming to work with outfits that they have to fold up several times before the hands with which they intend to work are even revealed. And they succeed – even when they wear tight-clinging hats which appear to choke their minds out of any great ideas. They pride themselves as cultural ambassadors but take oath of office on the white man’s religion and in his language; they pretend to run their government using the white man’s models, but wouldn’t wear his clothes to work, even when they might help them work or at least suggest to the rest of us that they actually work, by how much smarter they look in them!
And when they eventually show up for work, it is in colourful ceremonies. Buffeted by security, they majorly leave most of their brains several metres behind; and at work, idle in offices several floors below or in reports layered by dust, such that upon immediate encounter on any matter about which they profess to have undertaken some work, their responses produce bewilderment to those who feel government should know better.
But be not deceived. Politicians are no fools. They are in fact, the wisest of us and cavalierly keep us lost on our own folly, or even when we realise, laughing helplessly at it. That’s how they make sure they get elected again and again. They convince us that we are polarized and must not trust each other from North to South. They offer the ingeniousness that we are the Christians referred to in the Koran as ‘‘infidels’’ or the Muslims or other faithfuls called ‘‘unbelievers’’ or ‘‘uncircumcised gentiles’’ in the Bible. They court and sustain our loyalty by making us fear that the knife in the pocket of the Hausa-Fulani man actually hungers to be planted in our bowels, using a handful of incidences to convince us.
Their narrative is so compelling that it doesn’t matter really, that for every act that validates their rhetoric, there are thousands, even millions which stand in stout rejection – in the surrender of our lives to the security of gates which they man; in our excited consumption of their wares and by them of ours; in our togetherness and equality in poverty and want; in the unity of being on the receiving end of bad governance; and in the accommodation of our businesses, our politics and even our houses of faith in their climes. And once they, from North, from South or any of their sub-divisions of our fancy, have got us to believe facts which lie outside of our experiences, they succeed in getting it to count for very little for example that a Federal Government presents a budget which simply sneaks out of the legislative chambers after it is had been presented with pomp and circumstance and even for less, that it makes subsequent journeys in and out of the chambers padded and hatted as the unquenchable palate of our politicians dictate.
And when the most critical of us pay attention, it is majorly so that we would have something to laugh at with our friends over beer or whatever else ensures that the thought does not develop into physical actions of rejection. None also really pays attention or offers vigilante efforts to see that the figures of the budget, suspect as they are, obtain obedience. Elsewhere in the Delta, we enjoy the comedy of a state allegedly signing its till over to its Governor in the blank pages of its budget. And if we aren’t laughing in the Delta, it is because we are jeering in our corners at governance in our own states, North or South.
That is how proposals are presented for loans that mortgage our future, tens of years ahead, but without particulars of the proposals. That is how we are ruled from sick beds which carry the authority of state, while he whose circumstance obliges him exercise of the right is in fact only wangled to us as supervisor, amidst sterile partisan arguments on contending sides, of rightness. It is how our foremost presidential jet is made to work as waiter without pay, at a tenancy in foreign lands only so that our country keeps its prestige while at the same time losing it as well as the nation’s sovereignty, in the helplessness of tired eyes and a body whose honour is seen in its wrinkled nakedness and was totally vulnerable to the devises of Caucasians whose loyalty was to foreign lands.
That’s how we have lived in a country in which a minister could sell our main, even sole resource and demand that payments for it be made to personal bank accounts or in fact, make gifts of our common patrimony as her loins, or perhaps more charitably, her heart may fancy. That’s how we became proud to own thieves and demand that they be left alone. That’s how we have come to demand justice for our thieves not on the pedestal of the impoverishment that they have wrought on us who call ourselves family, but only in the sense of comparing them with the thieves of other lands. It is after all, our oil and no one must touch our thieves!
That’s how the government spends 10 times more money prospecting for oil in the arid north rather than hit it quick in other parts of the country to which the minds of our leaders of Northern extraction suffer distance, a distance that make them look like foreign lands. That’s how a President separates himself from his promises at election and yet demands with some success, that we do not question his claims to integrity.
That is how an ex-president can demand to be excused from answering any questions, to some applause, in a case in which the accused is alleged to have received 400m on his instruction. If he must clear his own name, it must be at cost of N1 billion to his accuser. He doesn’t feel any scruples that his name may be left tainted. It is yet safely clean in the innocence provided by the judgements of the prejudice of the people who have allowed themselves to be separated into categories of ‘‘them and us.’’ But do not get it twisted. The same parochial prejudice which allows the ex-President attain innocence by not defending himself against an allegation of theft, also allows his minister the same innocence by seeking to defend herself in a similar claim. Whatever the action, the judgement is same. United by prejudice; of tribe, of unthinking partisan bonding; of complicity in crime!
That is how we have come to rail against quota system as being primitive and unfair, and yet insist that it is sustained before it is changed. We demand equal ethnic or state representation in federal parastatals and agencies on the strength of provisions of the Constitution that demand equal representation, but close our eyes to the very next paragraph of the of same law which demands same representation for other ethnic groups resident in our own states.
That is how the mind that grew on the ennobling logic of Aristotle or Plato or similar builders of our thought yet accepts, and even with relish, celebrates the obvious ludicrousness of ‘FFKaic’ claims that the man who sits in Abuja administering state is a body-double from Sudan, or that 11 pictures exist of vegetables hobbled to machines of life support or that Asiwaju BAT’s first son died as a result of the spiritual activities unleashed by reason of his father’s supposed intention to run for President or that spirits trailing his tag-team partner had set fire on his vehicle in the frustration of missing a hit on him!
That is how lofty ideas have been dragged to the mud of parochialism. It is how federalism or restructure have actually become ethnic rather than national imperatives. This is how in our agitation for devolution of more powers to states, we manage to make nonsense of our constitution which in fact, currently allows states to absolutely keep the proceeds of agriculture from their states but ironically long for the return to the 1963 constitution under which states were allowed only part of the same agricultural revenues of which whole they currently keep. It is how we do not see that the 1999 constitution in fact already potentially makes it possible for each state to operate the revenue allocation formula which we rowdily agitate for, that allows it keep 50% of its revenue from oil and mineral resources.
We laugh to each other’s performances but truly we should be laughing at ourselves!
I am seriously thinking of 2019. We all should, in our small corners. Perhaps not only as politicians. But let us each seek to take responsibility for our weak; for every piece of our country – every little piece of it. Let’s fight to win and preserve its soul.
Let’s hope that if nothing else is achieved by PMB, there would be no money anywhere for people to throw around towards muzzling genuine choice. Let’s all go to the people poor as we are, and make oaths before them with nothing but our blood, our integrity.
And when known thieves and bigots come forth to challenge us for the people’s power, let us not be afraid to call them by their reputations. The people see; they know. They will react if we are brave enough to excite them about the power they wield.
Let’s talk and keep talking. Let’s shout and keep shouting. Let’s speak from our balconies, our streets, our clubs, our offices and even our homes. Let’s speak our beliefs, our ‘nobilities’. Something that lives in our blood and not that which is borrowed for election purposes, and let’s not be so lazy as to simply align with what we perceive to be the shortcuts.
Godfathers may mean well, but let us remember that even natural fathers however well-meaning, are usually the last to trust us to be able to take care of ourselves and yet the people would want us to take care of them. Godfathers mostly exclude the people from the nuclear family, they being approximate grandchildren. They take the driver’s seat by putting their Godsons in them. That can’t be the deal. It shouldn’t be.
And let the wrath of the Most Divine fall on us if we betray them when we procure their trust. So help us God.