By Innocent Okon
Except the delegates, I don’t think many Nigerians are excited with the results of the Presidential primaries of the two major political parties – the People Democratic Party (PDP) and the All Progressives Congress (APC) – hosted in Abuja recently!
The two candidates, Bola Ahmed Tinubu and Atiku Abubakar, go by the popular nomenclatures, BAT and AA respectively, that emerged as standard bearers of the two parties, are old political war horses! Time tested, but not yet weary. They know Nigerians and ways to get them cheap, along thorns paved religious, ethnic pathways and pecuniary baits. They know the political phsycology and physiology of Nigerians. The two are arguably, civilian clones of once upon a time Military President, Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida, the Diego Maradona of Nigerian politics. These three-some know and benefit so much from Nigeria more than they are ready to admit! BAT and AA, on record, are captured in the same age bracket and political generation. One may enjoy a relative better health condition than the other, but their mission and vision for Nigeria of 21st century may not pass the test of altruism.
Their persistent crave for the primus iter pares role in national leadership seems to be oxygenated and sustained by Maslow’s last rung of the hierarchy of needs, which emphasizes more of egoism and obscene sense of entitlement.
It seems IBB, BAT and AA are graduates of post(Graduate School of Stomach Infrastructure. They are apostles of what little money can’t do, more money can do, because in their world view, every man has a price tag!
Their veiled drive is that favour dispensed when most needed is an investment with high returns on loyalty and subservience! There’s hardly any state and ethnic nationality that these three do not know one or two prominent indegenes, or lack the way and means to get a foothold. This may be the reason someone charitably described the victory of BAT and AA as “two terrible options” for Nigerians!
Many Nigerians don’t see much hope in their tickets. The long wait and patience since 1915 seems to have been in vain! But methinks rainbow can replace this looming dark clouds. And this can be achieved only by the two gladiators themselves. Their stupendous wealth is largely believed to come from their long romance with politics and public office. Instead of sanctimonious denials, they should publicly admit that much. Then with candour and sincerity, pledge that given another chance, it will not be business as usual.
The sanctity of public treasury shall be respected and no individual or group shall be allowed to exhibit more kleptocratic tendencies than selfless service.
The “two ancestral gods” can win the confidence of millions if they swear on their honour that at 70 and above, they have little or no personal gains to work for than the unity, glory, security, prosperity of Nigeria and Nigerians. This may be the mantra for the support of those who are skeptical of this social media hyped ” third force”!
Okon, a lawyer, lives in Uyo.