Survival Tips for Nigeria


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Survival Tips for Nigeria: Ban all Fourth Republic Politicians (Political office holders) from Future Politics




Paul Mamza



June 13, 2005


The ardent readers of my column may find the current topic juddersome if not alarming but not without an iota of a stuff for exultations. Those whose memories have not failed them would remember that the democracy journey into the fourth Republic started like a relief path to capture the rights of the citizens but ended up halfway as a fetishism of desperados in a dare devil dangle of the soul of the nation.


The document that ushered in the fourth Republic by May 29th 1999 no doubt lack the inspiring occupations of national integration, enduring stability, prosperous sustainability and durable fundamentalism of democratic concepts. The faultiness of the document is a problem but remote when compared with the derangement through existentialism and coquetry of the operators of the document with contagious impunity, thereby springing-up cantankerous contentions. From the President to the Ministers and State Governors to Chairmen of Local Government Councils, to councilors the poignancy is regimental, no exception. Even when exceptions exist there are momentarily tailored along adventitious flounce and mythical recount - a rogued perceptions of convincible political brinkmanship in an environment of political bewilderment. The President being an old Soldier-General and the most senior amongst the surviving retired Generals apart from General Yakubu Gowon - who remained more of a statesman than a politician - had transferred the traditional notion in military circles that once a General or senior is always a General or senior even in politics to streamline and tame other retired military officers aloof. The reality was that the retired Generals are flamboyant in terms of demonstration of bruteness in having access to power after the military rule- having secured massive wealth and surviving on the manipulative tendencies of the fragility factors of sustenance as guise to maint ain the assumed stability of democratic rule-chose retired General Obasanjo (Being a Yoruba and a Southerner) to diffuse the threatening flux of perception that Chief M.K.O Abiola was denied Presidency because he was a Yoruba and a Southerner.


Chief Olusegun Obasanjo seem to understand the ill conceived logic of contradictions when he changed both the directions and perceptions midway thereby endorsing the earnestness of self imposing relevance through a cunning ambivalence of dictatorial stubbornness which he claimed was his ancestral proclamations. When 2003 elections approached and President Obasanjo realized that he was becoming an expired product of the earlier rallying point among the power contentions and the generality of Nigerians and with General Muhammadu Buhari’s new revolt against the conspiracy of the retired Generals-the General though by far, General Obasanjo’s junior in Military circles had some level of independence of mind and insurmountable courage as revealed by General Obasanjo himself in his book “My Command” had launched a political offensive against the derailing system forcing the system to whinge at an unaware signal- the President had to do the unexpected: re-couping the remnants of his command of retired Generals through coercion and took a machine gun to the electoral/polling stations in an I dey kampe mood of ferocity typical of an ambushing soldier in order to stagger the entire process of electoral voting and counting thereby altering the end result for forcible success at the polls. The political class in Nigeria being what they are- pliable and battened- were forced in line with a political séance to decontaminate the connivance of confusion created by President Obasanjo and in the process fell flat on a slippery banana peel thereby quarantined within the whims and caprices of a dictator under a civilian government.


The party, which he leads that was before then the largest party in Africa winced into the synonym of its abbreviations- People’s Destruction Party (PDP) and the opposition parties on the other hand ravaged itself through the lure of ravenous lamentations akin to a body lacking in contentment and vigour to ask questions as when due- producing one big gargantum of gallows guff. This is the point General Buhari witnessed the naff of the political class of his party. It is only the incumbent Governor of Kano state, Malam Ibrahim Shekarau and the national chairman of the party Chief Don Etiebet amongst few that showed a spasm of loyalty and trust by identifying in court sessions to support the flag bearer’s struggle. In a nutshell the fourth republic is a moment of noble temptations, amateurish and amorphous political system, resounding preach of hatred amongst the people and disloyalty to the cause of the father land. It is a period Nigeria is served with a booming second slavery and entrenched into yet another cocoon of disintegration whose indices are revealing. The basic amenities are shrinking and dwindling, anarchy looms large at the horizon, thievery is upgraded to statecraft and sustainable structure fell flat into a tantrum of the bad and the ugly exhibiting crass indiscipline and egocentrism. The greatest policy- misdirection conceived as a new beginning by operating a Capitalist oriented system in poverty stricken society such as ours had made most Nigerians lost faith in this new brand of democracy. Central to these disaffections is the religious abiding of the World Bank and IMF conditionality whose major stake is towards the pauperization and underdevelopment of developing nations.


At the national and state levels, the operators of government claimed that the owe nobody any explanation on issues bordering on accountability and transparency, not even to the national and state ass emblies talk less of the people the voted them into the various offices. The non-implementation of budgets has become the landmarks of the fourth republic and when the Legislators rise with intent to impeach the President or Governors, the main issues are often trivialized. The President had summarized all these adopted actions against the House of Assembly when he told the members live on Television that “Henceforth, I will not tolerate any threat of impeachment from the National Assembly….”, in most states the personality of the Governors is synonymous with the personality of the states- the Governors make the states their private estates disbursing funds at will. When scandalmongers like this, in histrionic gesture takes over the national image, there is high cause for international disqualification and vulnerability of conquest. That is exactly the image of Nigeria under the fourth republic created by bad leadership of the current politicians/political office holders.


The indictment cut across the stratum of leadership without exonerating any, taking note of the absolutism that is left unchallenged either through resignations or protests. This sudden lassitude that descended on the nation with all the defining factors of an iniquitous system cannot be without the consciousness of personal gratification (arrant parochialism and stark corruptive tendencies) as against the collective interest of a virile and stable nationhood. The foundations of politics being the political parties lack the essentials of attributes based on ideological leanings and rationalization of political ideas. Presently, there is virtually no political party that evolved through the articulation of ideas and ideologies. How then can a party built on conspiracy against the rights of the citizens bring about liberal democracy?. If the country wants to avert the inevitable created by the fourth republic political offices holders’ in-order to start on a clean slate, all the political office holders that served under the fourth republic should be banned from future politics, if not for life but at least for the next fifteen years to come.


The action will secure the sterling qualities of rational politics, encourage the establishment of a patriotic ideological base and redefine the electioneering procedures. Only then, will Nigeria survive the stasis wittingly, the fourth republic politicians had offered as a symbol of service to their fatherland which is, no doubt at variance with the true spirit nation building and national progress. Let us explore this nationalistic obligation.



- Mamza, a political columnist with the Leadership Newspapers writes from Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria.




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