Politics is too important to be left to politicians — Charles De Gaulle
A retired admiral and a former service chief once educated me thus: “There are two category of fools, one more foolish than the other”, he began the tutelage. “Those with nothing at stake preaching peace and those with power, beating the drums of war”. I found that intriguing. Perplexed at this wisdom and sensing my obvious dilemma, he deconstructed it down to ‘my level’. I hasten to add that what brought about the tutorial in the first instance was the removal of a “stubborn” traditional ruler in the domain where this ex-soldier was holding court.
He illustrated. “Just look at the chief we removed from office. He had something. He had a kingdom. But he was foolish to hearken to the call of those with nothing. He was needlessly obdurate .He was even being confrontational. So we removed him. Now where is he? He too, is down there with the rest of the faceless crowd. He is now anonymous”.
Realization hit me. But still, I don’t understand this. Three ‘eminent’ ‘Nigerians’, I dare say, have spoken and some ‘bad belle’ people are losing sleep. These refined people answer the names of Kingsley Kemebradigha Kuku, Alhaji Mujahid Asari-Dokubo and Ann Kio Briggs
Not too long ago these statesmen and for that matter, woman, gave us, ordinary Nigerians, a wonderful insight. Their take is, if the transformative president, Good luck Jonathan, is not returned in 2015, the consequences will be transformative. Both spoke with the authoritative finality of those who have direct contact with God.
Now, these are no ordinary Nigerians. One is a presidential adviser. In ordinary language, he gets to whisper into the ears of the King every now and then. An official King’s whisperer belongs to the realm of ‘special ones’. The last two are Ijaws, the president’s kith and kin. That bears stressing.
Let me use the well worn cliché. The first to ‘fire the salvo’ was Kuku. In far away United States, he declared before not so amused American State Department officials that “it is only a Jonathan presidency that can guarantee continued peace and energy security in the Niger Delta.” To us, ordinary Nigerians, in the category of hewers of wood and fetchers of water, we read: without his transformative master in the saddle post 2015, that region and by extension, the country would be up in conflagration. We also read a veiled threat of war if the contrary happened
If Kuku was somewhat ambiguous or tongue in cheek, Dokuboh was not. He didn’t mince words. He shot straight from the hip. Over time, he is known to call a spade a shovel. He likes to swim in the rolling waves of controversy.Asari minus hullabaloo is like PDP without “family affair”. Unrecognizable. Where the Kukus of this world treaded with a semblance of circumspection, the Asaris of this world galloped
And so it was in the well choreographed orchestra of “Jonathan 2015″.
Not known for moderation in words, listen to Asari “I want to go on to say that, there will be no peace, not only in the Niger Delta, but everywhere if Goodluck Jonathan is not president by 2015, except God takes his life, which we don’t pray for.
“Jonathan has uninterrupted eight years of two terms to be president, according to the Nigeria constitution. We must have our uninterrupted eight years of two tenures; I am not in support of any amendment of the constitution that will reduce the eight years of two tenure that Goodluck Jonathan is expected to be president of Nigeria.”
Enter Ann Kio-Briggs, a cheerful matronly woman. The only difference between her and Asari is gender. The predilection to violence is, uncannily, of equal proportion. Where he blows fire, she blows limestone. Where he threatens war, she pledges combat. If anyone had difficulty understanding the expression “throwing away the bath water with the baby” they should peruse this woman’s position on Jonathan and the mighty year 2015.
Listen to her “we hold the key for the economy of Nigeria and this country will not know peace if Jonathan is not returned as president in 2015…if a group of cabals can boast that they will make Nigeria ungovernable if they are denied the opportunity to produce the President of Nigeria, we in the Niger Delta will make the economy of this country ungovernable.
Expectedly, jeers greeted the trio of Kuku, Asari and Briggs. Personally I have no quarrel with their position. It is within their democratic right to express their wishes. The democratic right to freely swing an arm ends where my face begins, I dare say.
It is easy to see where these people are coming from. To expect them to say otherwise is uncharitable. A patently African proverb says “Whoever mummy marries is called daddy”.
What is baffling is the crowd of bad belle. Among the tribe of ‘bad belle’ Nigeriana are otherwise ‘dispassionate’ writers and commentators. And this, I can understand, is understandable. Writers, by their craft, are critics. All writers (revisionists, illusionists, romanticists, etc) want to sketch society in their image no matter how distorted. So flaying the ‘statesmanly’ declarations of the ‘triple patriots of Kuku-Dokuboh-Briggs, I grudgingly admit, are within the purview of the time honored role of their trade. Besides, in democracy, ‘freedom of speech’ is sine qua non. Here, there is perfect harmony between ‘benighted’ columnists and ‘visionary’ patriots. Both camps are entitled to their disposition. This, after all, is Jonathan’s Nigeria.
But when lawmakers and governors joined in the ‘bash Kuku-Dokubo’ train, that’s when I raised eyebrows. Certainly lawmakers and governors are important. Their high offices forbid them joining issues with ‘kindergarten soldiers. In a more sober clime than Jonathan’s Nigeria, a resolution or call for arrest would have been needless. The police would have done their job without been told. But it is manifestly clear now that the cacophony from the ‘terror triple’ is reminiscent of the hand of Jacob and the voice of Esau.
In the day’s gone yore, real politicians wouldn’t have bothered responding to hirelings. Brains and not brawns would have been the key.Atiku Abubakar did this in 1999.Interested in being Vice President since 1993; he sold a decoy, contested and won election as governor of Adamawa state. Those jostling for the same slot were busy dissipating energy while he consolidated his position speaking with other governors elect. He learned from history. Six years earlier Babagana Kingibe was the choice of governors elected on the platform of SDP. So in 1999, Atiku just literally sauntered to where he knew the VP slot would be and waited for it.
Heart wrenchingly opposition elements are not thinking right. They are, unfortunately, playing the game of the masters of the Dokubo. The man who raises his fist is the one who has run out of ideas is a popular dictum. Bully nation have since realized that working smart is a lot better than working hard. Put on your thinking caps.
These fellas both of whom, I dare say, are faithful to the letter and constitution of the federal republic of Nigeria as defined by their ‘oga at the top’. They make no pretence. As individuals who clearly know where their bread is buttered, I was aghast.
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