Viewpoint - July 10, 2022

SUNDAY MUSINGS The Presidential race and the entitlement rave

By Innocent Okon

Some weeks ago, I watched a two minutes video clip courtesy of one of the WhatsApp groups am privileged to be added as a member. The constructive notice (as lawyers would say) on top of the video clip read: FORWARDED MANY TIMES! This unarguably established the fact that it had gone viral!

The scene had all the trappings of one of the many prayer houses dotting our nooks and crannies. Though a product of an amateur video production hand, one could still see and hear many young and not too young women chorusing a very hilarious melody with palpable expectations on their faces!

One could hear a commanding female voice in the video, possibly that of the ‘woman of God’, urging the female worshippers to sing what sounds more of a prayer than a worship or praise song. The chorus line was:
CARRY ME DEY GO !
JEHOVAH CARRY ME DEY GO MY HUSBAND HOUSE ….

Though the comic male version of the video came later, there are many who still believe that the premiered edition was real and bereft of any comics. It reflected the state of desperation and despondency in the land! How can having a husband in a country that the economy is on life support be a priority to some young women? Why should young women bother God with a request for husband, at all cost, instead of a safe country to live in? Why should the desire for a husband be prioritised above education and employment?

The truth in that video, which we are likely to dismiss with guffaw, is that many have given up hope on altruistic national goals and become more selfish and self-centered, limited and mundane! The prayer session in that video clip didn’t show young women praying for peace, healthy economy and good leadership in their country. Their prayer point was for God to direct their foot steps to their husband houses where they would have a visa to produce children that will come to inherit and multiply the woes in the land. Only few will condemn them for their prayer, because the future is as dark as the past and present!

The build up to the just-concluded Presidential primaries in the country unearthed the mindset and vision of the gladiators jostling for constitutional admission into Aso Rock.

Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) was widely reported as telling some party delegates in Ogun state how he laboured to make Muhammadu Buhari president in 2015 as well as many past and serving state Governors. As such, he said it was his turn to ascend the throne as Buhari’s successor. For him, as an entitlement,the next President in 2023 should and must be him having ‘patiently’ worked for and walked with others to achieve their political ambitions!

To summarise his thoughts, Presidency come 2023 is a mandatory pension and gratuity for all his sweat and resources to make others attain high political offices in the land.

Though his spin doctors have laboured to panel beat this ‘mission statement’, the truth remains constant!

Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is also deep in this pursuit of entitlement. He has used the demographic strength of his Northern constituency to jettison the constitutionally entrenched zoning arrangement of his Party!

The thinly veiled calculation of his ambition is that come 2023, the Northern political bloc will democratically confirm his life long ambition to be the numero uno in Aso Rock with minimal support from the South!

Also, Musa Kwankwaso of New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP) has come out with brazen arrogance to posit that a certain geo-political bloc of the country cannot produce the next President, because he comes from a section of the country that hold the exclusive right to rule! Kwankwaso’s only discernible rationale in the race seems to be his Northern roots. What a leadership matrix on our table! The only lonely voice in the wilderness is one Peter Obi of Labour Party. He is neither flaunting his ethnic extraction nor religion. This man is addressing the parlous state of the nation with candour and statistics. He has not underestimated our serial multifaceted woes, but has assured that things could get better with new ideas, dedication and sincerity.

Some have already labelled him a political lightweight flying with gracious wings of Millennials in the social media. They say he and his political party do not have a structure to spring any surprise and upstage the entrenched interests. They may be right, going by our conventional political culture in leadership recruitment process! But the truth is in the womb of time.

Okon, a lawyer, lives in Uyo

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