The Fall of Politics In Nigeria


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The Fall of Politics In Nigeria




Paul Mamza




February 3, 2005



Politics in Nigeria had suffered great under writings and blows through manipulations, opportunistic medleys and deafening undoing.  As the nation crawled out of colonial rule, ideas based on political leanings tried to take some shapes in traces of hopes with firebrands of opposition checkmating the system.  Intellectual activism enjoined the not completely comfortable situations in discernable patterns.  Not long that the accusation of ten percenter bereavement shuttle the entire political process.  The actionmarked the end of the First Republic. 


The second republic was a relief of a sort except for the helpless rescue from the clutches of scavengers of national deposits.  New trends of blame had made the then operators packing at a short notice.  “The government” said the military interventionists  “is corrupt, inept and irresponsible”.  If not for the domineering tendencies of some few amongst the second republic politicians the era is a step further of rational politics and political rationalizations gingered along ideologies.  The aborted third republic was the beginning of the end of politics based on ideas.  A two-party structure, which was funded by government, had shut a spectral of ideological leanings as traps.  Politicians had to choose between some dangling carrots moving either a little to the right or a little to the left.   A expected the process marked a historic narrative of banning and unbanning order ending up in the most frightening action of political disorder.   The military this time gave itself a packing order without a prior notice.  The emergence of the fourth Republic was abrupt.  Most politicians at the time  of the new advertisement of military disengagements were still hiding for cover.   The few bold ones who after learned some  lessons of daring from the military it served dared  the military with a civilian equivalents of guerrilla warfare, the war situation though not sharp but with the death of General Sani Abacha the desperation  met the new dawn though co-opting and coercion of the same class of politicians into the bidding of a seeming paradigm.  New beginning but old tricks.  It is difficult to ascertain any model for its operations. 


The portrait of a Nigerian politicians as of today is one whose thoughts are immune by kwashiorkor, minds and ravaged by self-enrichment and ideas inflicted by syphilis.  If the first republic politicians are ten-percenters the fourth republic politicians are ninety percenters or even hundred percenters and there’s no doubt that, like the second republic politicians these politicians are inept, corrupt and irresponsible.  The second republic politicians used money to manipulate results but today’s politicians use both money and naked power play to secure victory. 


With the emergence of godfatherism, it is certain that politics had assumed an investment status that must yield profits at all cost.  The contractor this time- the godfather and the contract - the godson. Despite the moral burden of electoral tempering in Anambra State, Chief Chris Ngige remains an isolated case of a hope for departure.  Inspite of Chief Solomon Lar’s spurious promptings as the founding father-chairman of the post-military ascendancy there’s a hidden advances to the romanticisations that is only magical to the real protectors of power-base.  By the time Chief Solomon Lar was substituted with Chief Barnabas Gemade, a game was miscegeneted. Gemade had to contend with realities which he fail to envisualise, midway to the event of optimism, the heart and soul of the party that installed the democracy was evacuated and implanted around the vicinity of Aso Rock with the full protection of a machine gun to scare aspiring political adventurers until Gemade met his waterloo through temporary supervision of a moribund, structure.  Chief Audu Ogbeh who is a well-acclaimed politician with records of refined pursuit and un-blamable principles had to take over to portray some credibility for the party and it’s organs.  No doubt, Chief Audu Ogbeh tried his best during the worst times.  But when Ogbeh was to give way for the obvious P.D.P. had to be an exclusive preserve of one-man that determines how the party organs functions and its future pave way its directions. 


To be fair to the President, he had studied the mindset of the political class as a psychological case of derailment along material acquisition.  With the exceptional case of Alhaji Umar Ghali Na’aba and Chief Chuba Okadigbo in the house of representatives and senate respectively, the experiences in the political quarters are that of ‘rub my back, I rub yours’ - a symbiotic case of corruption inflictions. 


But the President had succeeded in achieving score-points that are unusual in normal politics.  For example even Chief Obafemi Awolowo would not have protected Yoruba interest be it in Southwest or Kogi/Kwara inclusive than Obasanjo.    It is safer to secure power by identifying with Yoruba interest than any other regions put together these days.  The North that initially is a forbearer of politics in Nigeria had become a follower of events in politics in Nigeria.  With the proliferation of uncompromising ethnic and religious contentions in the North, the Southwest is once boasting of a preserve of political power courtesy of Chief Obasanjo.


No matter what anyone would say about the vicarious variation of the old Faustian game, it is only IBB who nurtured the political mathematics of entrenchment of Obasanjo to successful end that may be able to expurgate the squalid with relative ease.  Either though self or by proxy the IBB feelings must have to follow the Obasanjo’s terminal exit from the throne and its mode of succession.  The consequence is that the serial clockwise military interventions in Nigeria history will replay an anticlockwise unzipping until the process runs a full circle if things remain as they are and without God’s contentions. Obasanjo’s cunning ways will also be tempted to outdo the IBB’s promptings. Those figures outlived by opportunities of living realities of determinants of the new trends that reflects echoed fortunes and maintenance of temporary brigade commands will definitely be short changes in the recycling process rearing its head even amongst the retired Generals:  The realities of oddities. 


The worst has happened to the Nigeria Political class by a peculiar compulsion and only few got dizzy by the compulsion in the daytime.  Asked to comment on why President Obasanjo had to convene a National Dialogue with the legislative in place to discuss national issues, Chief Barnabas Gemade said it is because people had lost faith in the legislators.  With all its unconstitutionalities the National Political Reform Conference is to commence without the contentions of the National Assembly. Funnily the executive that initiated the act were the same product of electoral larceny that produced the legislative.  From the turn of events the real politicians may have to be permanently at bay until circumstances undo itself through the Nigerian Politicians change of attitude and moral character.  As things remain intact the retired Generals will remain the aborigines of our new brand democracy with civilian politicians settlers at the doorstep:  Only to be called in for a momentarily duties. 



Weep not Nigerian politicians!





Mamza Writes from Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria.



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