The Impending Apocalypse


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October 3, 2007 - December 2, 2007



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The Impending Apocalypse



Amanze Obi


culled from THE SUN, October 16, 2006

The state of affairs in Nigeria today is indicative of a polity that is about to rupture. The atmosphere is fully charged, waiting impatiently for the impending apocalypse. The actors and actresses on the political stage are consumed by the verbiage they dish out on daily basis

. Their heads appear to have turned torrent by the everglade of political disruptions and threats of more to come in the weeks ahead.

The stage for this unpalatable scenario was set a few weeks ago by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

In an unprecedented verdict of guilt, the commission pronounced almost all the 36 Governors of the Federation corrupt. It threatened that it would send a good many of them to jail as soon as they leave office as governors.
But in the meantime, the commission, by a certain fiat, any governor indicted by it form constesting for any elective office in the 21007 elections.

If we still live a proper setting where rational human beings operate, the EFCC would quickly have been reminded that it has no powers to decide who qualifies or who does not qualify to stand for elections. The job is that of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). But because we live in a clime where anything can happen, many Nigerians believe that EFCC can make good its threat and have therefore decided to just watch and jeer or cheer.

But the apocalyptic dimension our tomorrow is assuming is amply represented by the bizarre drama that is playing out in some quarters. Absurdities are taking place in Ekiti and Plateau States. In Ekiti State, the legislators are behaving like someone’s emissaries. They want to latch on to anything to impeach Governor Ayo Fayose. Their resort to unconstitutionality in their purported removal of the Chief Judge of the state is a clear demonstration of the level of brigandage that is going on in the land.

Plateau State presents a different scenario. The absurdity here is captured by the indicrous attempt by six legislators out of a 24-member legislature to impeach Governor Joshua Dariye. But what is really regrettable about the Plateau scenario is that the Presidency thought it fit to order the Inspector General of Police to give protection to the six members that do not even constitute one third of the members of the House of Assembly. Garrison mentality is practically at play here.

Then in Abia State, Governor Orji Uzor Kalu is being hounded by the Presidency. In an apparent bid to destabilise the Governor, the EFCC has decided to declare his mother and his brothers wanted. It also joined some other officials of the state government. The overall objective is to cause a stampede in Abia State. The Presidency and its agency or agencies want to give the impression that Abia is a Wasteland where proper governance has taken place. The objective is to weaken Kalu and make him a lame duck of a governor. But Obasanjo’s nemesis in this matter is that Kalu is bold enough to tell his own story.

Unlike most of the other governors who would easily melt at the sight of the president, Kalu recognises Obasanjo as an elder and as a father. But when this elder fails to do the right thing, he could be called to order by those who want the best for Nigeria. This is the role Kalu has been playing.

If this is the reason that Obasanjo is after Kalu, then he (Obasanjo) will not go far. The plot is bound to fail, especially now that those who did not understand the essential Kalu before are beginning to come to terms with who he is. The young man is incapable of pretending. He says it as it is. It is such sincerity of purpose that Nigeria needs to face the challenges of the battle before us.

From Ekiti, Plateau and Abia States, the Presidency and its agents would certainly move over to some other states of the Federation. Since no less than 31 governors, according to EFCC, have questions to answer, we would soon witness the fall of as many governors as President Olusegun Obasanjo would wish.
But a common strand runs through all the cases we have been talking about. That strand is corruption. Obasanjo’s agency has accused Vice President Atiku Abubakar of corruption and corrupt practices. It has also said the same thing of almost all the governors. Significantly, Atiku has more than retorted. He has unearthed Obasanjo many corrupt practices. In the same way, Kalu has had occasion to draw attention to some of Obasanjo’s transgressions.

But in spite of the fact that the President’s underbelly has been exposed by Atiku and Kalu, the rampaging EFCC has turned a blind eye to the cases raised against Obasanjo. Nigerians are equally being forced to think or believe that the allegations against the president do not deserve consideration. In other words, we are being coaxed into ignoring every allegation made against the President while accepting with religious devotion the allegations made against Atiku and the governors.

Can anybody tell me why it should be so? Do we have a separate system of rules governing the president’s actions? Is his office inviolable? Why the allegations levelled against him just end up as mere allegations? Is he the only good man in a clan of sinners?
This is the crux of the matter. In today’s Nigeria, it is Obasanjo versus the rest. Whereas the Vice President and the governors are corrupt, the president is necessarily clean. And to show the difference between him and the sinful flock, he has set the EFCC against them. They must either be blackmailed into resigning or get impeached. Even some of those who are not in government are leaving the country for fear of being hounded into prison. If this trend is allowed to fake roots, we will soon discover that many Nigerians of note would soon abandon the country for Obasanjo.

It is either you are in jail or you are hibernating somewhere outside Nigeria. If Obasanjo succeeds in depleting this country through the ongoing reign of terror, then we shall be left with no one to join issues with him as to what the future of Nigeria should be. In fact, by the time Obasanjo is through with his targets, the frightened hicks that most of us would become would have no option but to earnestly yearn that the remains in office for many more years to come. By then, there will be no more argument as to whether Obasanjo is the messiah we have been waiting for or not.

The situation we have on our hands is frightening. The road being taken by Obasanjo looks dangerous. At first, some believed that the president had genuine intentions to fight corruption. But recent developments have shown otherwise. What is plausible to say now is that Mr President is feathering his own nest. He is clearly up in arms against his perceived enemies. He is doing so not for the sake of Nigeria, but to advance his personal gains.

The danger in this is that those who are being pushed to the wall may regain momentum. When they do, they are likely to fight back. The other facet of the looming danger is what would become of the fighting field by the time the elephants lock horns. Will Nigeria, the battleground, withstand the onslaught?
If Obasanjo were the Mr Patriot we were initially made to think he is, he should be worried by this question. He even seeks to provide an answer to it. If I love this country as Obasanjo says he does, I will not do anything that is capable of throwing the land into a crisis of immense proportions.

A patriot, regardless of his ideological persuasions or convictions, should normally know where to draw a line between moral posturing and practical politics. An unbridled pursuit of ideas or vendetta can lead to a dead end. I believe that it is better for Obasanjo to apply the breaks than to insist on the pursuit of hate and vendetta. The Nigeria he claims to love will be awfully hurt by the dangerous dimension that this politics has assumed.


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