My good people, I hope the year is starting on a good note for you, especially with the ongoing political gimmickry that is clogging our clouds? The furor is a ploy to get you to submit to either a true leader or a loot leader, and the kind of leader that will emerge depends on the choice you make.
There is no fuss about it, the battle is between two major political parties and two major political candidates. Before we make our choice, let us draw some comparison between these elements; assets or liabilities, their functionality will guide us, since both have, at one time or the other, functioned in the highest capacity of service to motherland.
Before I go further, I must quickly make a resounding clarification about what I found intrinsic to both of these candidates. Neither of them has an educational attainment that is better than the other. I know authoritatively that one has a dysfunctional PhD, and the other has an insufficient certificate that should be considered of a political leader at this time and age; but I know that a dullard (apart from Abacha), cannot lead an army as respectable as ours. He was a General in the army. So no one should pride the certificate of his candidate as better than the other between the two major political parties. That said, let us address real issues affecting our land.
Corruption is the major bane of our national morass and we have heard and keep hearing different statements being made by these duo. One was known for his War Against Indiscipline which is one of the reasons he is being PDPiqued against. He was known for his strong stance against this menace to the extent that he jailed corrupt politicians during his military days as Head of State. He was said to be too high-handed for building prisons and sending political opportunists to the gulags where they rightfully belong. It is being senselessly mouthed that he obviously will jail more corrupt politicians if allowed to come back as an ELECTED President. On the other hand, we see how the other is tackling corruption, primus inter pares, making us to change our psyche about the putrefaction through a redefinition of the menace as mere pilfering; a common misdemeanor. This leader not only surrounds himself with people who can evoke a physical transmogrification with so much ease, in order to evade being nabbed by the hands of the law in a nation that frowns at ‘stealing’, but goes on to celebrate such rogues, to the point that they enjoy Presidential pardon and are conferred with national honours. To him, employing this method will make corruption very unattractive.
The growing rate of insecurity in the nation is giving all of us sleepless nights, with the exception of those who have one odechi or the other that can withstand bombs. One of the candidates recently demanded $1bn to procure modern ammunition to rout the insurgents. This came amidst many alibis for the continued failure of the military to perform to expectation as led by this C-in-C, that has arrogantly refused to visit his soldiers on the battle field, not until he needed to score a political point. I must quickly point out here also that the said procurement, though corruptly shrouded in some mystery, (as is expected considering his stance on corruption) and has also led to a national disgrace, is in the first place not necessary because my little understanding leads me to know that a sharp cutlass will remain useless if not held by a BRAVE farmer, just as the Yorubas will say: ada to mu san san ko le sa ‘ko fun ara re. What the military needs at this time of our national history is a good head that is truly a good head in terms of motivation and due appreciation. You can buy the best kalachin in the world if your James Bond is not well motivated and maintained to pull the trigger, then you have spent in futility. On the other hand, some of us saw how the other candidate overran Mai Tatsine (a terrorist group like Boko Haram) in the 80s. He routed them from our shores and sanity was restored to our land, without demanding a bullet more than what was in the artillery.( Please note that it has been proven that many military hardware were procured during Gen. Buhari’s regime.) I am sure you will say times have changed, but you must know that a functional dane gun is still a gun as exemplified by the great hunters that fought and killed some insurgents few months ago in Borno state.
The constitution of the country, though fractured, saddles the person of the President with a great deal of responsibility and that is why he or she is sworn-in under an oath to perform his/her duty without fear or favour. That is to say, he is the father of all. Recently, we see how low our political elites have stooped, so low that the office of the President and the Presidency at large, have resorted to the use of gutter language in addressing supposed political enemies. On many occasions, they appear to promote a form of hegemony whereby some people are made inviolable because of their link to the President, regardless of their insensitive utterances, even when such are obvious threats to our national unity. I urge you to read #Pausibility: Excuse Me, This Is A Secular State to get a better understanding.
Already, one of the candidates is being accused of being a bigot; but may I ask who a bigot is when those accusing him are intolerant of the truth? Ask them to provide evidence and they become flippant. Who is the bigot when someone mounts a podium and says because a candidate is not from the North is why the insurrection is beamy? What is bigotry when you try convincing me to cast my vote on the sentiment that I am a Christian or a Muslim? What is bigotry when you only embark on mudslinging instead of addressing fundamentals? You accused someone of being a fanatic; you even accused him of making some inciting statements and the man proved his non- culpability by taking you to court, only for you to beg him to settle out of court. Isn’t that a pointer that you are only interested in tactless mudslinging just as your desperation knows no bound to the point of tendering an Oluwole- generated document against the same man’s health, to the extent that you are already preparing his obituary while he is still hale and hearty?
For any nation to grow, education is very germane. Our school- leavers roam the streets because the education systems and qualities have become so watery that hardly do we get a reasonable percentage of credits in our entrance examinations. One of the candidates claimed to have built more Higher Institutions of Learning, but let us ask of what quality these institutions are and of what quality are the programs and lecturers of such institutions? Recently the universities were closed down for about a year yet the youths are being promised a better tomorrow; leaders of tomorrow with no sound educational foundation you ought to have added. I rode in one of the buses donated by the PTF and I can point to hostels built by the same parastatal in OAU and in other schools.
Having to survive by the day is akin to a miracle because the prices of essential commodities are chameleonic each passing moment. Peradventure you don’t know, the pump price of fuel in Lagos is not the same as it is in Ondo, not to mention Otuoke, despite the Wooden Horse we have been offered in the #10 reduction in pump price of fuel. We once enjoyed Commodity Price Control, inter alia, in this country.
As I submit this article, Judiciary Staff and Health Care workers are on strike, spanning over 3months. Salaries are being owed but these thieves have billions to throw around. Don’t be enslaved through the morsel being doled out to you under the guise of stomach infrastructures. Take their (your) money and vote your conscience.
“I lay before you life and death, but I urge you to choose life so that you may live…”
What I see in one man is a passion for his motherland, and in the other I see crass negligence to address commonsensical national issues. I see principled determination in one, while the other enjoys a fatal submission to circumstances, a parochial by-product of laziness.
I am not a member of APC but my slogan is CHANGE!
Adebayo Coker is a wordsmith. Societal Fragments, A Man Like Me: Noteography Of A Father To His Son, and Wobbled Words are some of his creation.