The zero hour is at hand. In two short days, Nigerians with a voter’s card, the permanent variety, will cast their vote. All voters in all category have looked forward to this Saturday. All citizens eligible to vote are anxiously waiting to flex their power. Some of the voters swear that this Saturday will be the day they would exact their pound of flesh on Jonathan. One such is Ghali Na’abba, former Speaker of the House of Representatives Only recently, he defected to the APC. By some oddity, all but one former Speaker is nesting in the opposition.
In 2011,Na’abba ran from pillar to post mobilizing for the incumbent. Even then, Jonathan was not, totally, an alluring product to market. For one, he was an artful dodger. Secondly, he spoke through both sides of the mouth. Early in the tottering steps to annex presidential powers, the tell tale signs of a leader not totally averse to slyness began to manifest. In 2010 for instance, he flatly denied the existence of the ‘rotation’ principle enshrined in his party’s constitution. Mercifully, the record proved that the brand new President was economical with the truth.
In 2002,he, as deputy governor representing his principal the governor of small and decidedly rich in oil, Bayelsa state, DSP Alamieyeseigha, signed a document ratifying rotatory presidency between north and south. Five years later, he repudiated its existence.
By the rotation principle, unconstitutional as it were, Jonathan was, by his party’s resolution, unfit to vie for the number seat in 2011.But then, the party didn’t probably envisage possible death of a president produced by rotation. That was, exactly, what happened. Umaru Yar’adua, the sickly president’s health collapsed irretrievably, under the heavy weight of the nation’s ills. Jonathan, a very loyal deputy, mounted the saddle in mid 2010. The rest is the present tragi-comedy called “transformation”
Death, that reckless intruder in the affairs of men and beast always causes problems when it interlopes. In mid 2010,it irreversibly changed, probably forever, the political topography of the nation. It certainly changed the linguistics. The lexicon of politics has never been more egregious. Today “stealing is not corruption”. Seeming outlaws who detonate bombs and desecrate public space are not “terrorist”. They are the president’s “people”. The goat grazes freely farmlands where yams are seeded. What the heck! 16 is greater than 19.
In 2011,the likes of Ghali Na’abba took the gambit believing that the President will walk his talk-erroneously. In the post election violence that followed suit, his imposing residence was torched. I can’t recall Na’abba being compensated. He waited in limbo, hoping that some ‘manna’ will drop from Aso Rock. It didn’t.
There are sundry others like Na’abba. In the debris of post 2011 election are many a ruined political reputation. This Saturday, they will exact their revenge. Forget pretensions to the contrary. High stake politics is personal interest prevailing over communal interest. Properly masked, an aggregate personal interests rule in developed or developing nations. Except in our clime and under PDP “selfish” interests, have conspired to subjugate the people so coldly and brazenly. At the height of its swagger, the PDP bragged of a 60 year rule .It seems this pipe dream will be halted in two short days.
In previous elections, a super power leader and a compliant electoral umpire disadvantaged by technology, hoisted on us, the ordinary citizens, clueless or ailing leaders. The 2007 polls that produced late Yar’adua was a clear example. As its main beneficiary, he had enough gumption to acknowledged its flaws from the onset.
Secured in the knowledge that a docile voting population or a fractured opposition, can’t challenge it, the PDP progressively violated the very essence of democracy with impunity. The word ‘impunity’ is the power to cheat repeatedly without fear of reprisals. It has routinely happened under Jonathan’s watch. Under Obasanjo, the party became a “garrison”. Its mantra became “do-or-die”. The political space became increasingly contracted. Its leaders all of whom, harboring varying degree of dictatorship genes vigorously pursued anti-people policies. It became a party addicted to drugs. Steroids power its muscles. It rode on the people roughshod.
This tendency gave birth to a very strong opposition. For the first time, the idea of PDP losing power at the centre crystalized into a very strong possibility. In two short days, its vice grip on power will be loosened.
A combination of a resilient opposition leader, a disillusioned citizenry and a steadfast umpire are poise to liberate a country mired into the ground by the iron heel of rapacity.