I had a silly dream last night; yeah, that kind of dream. I had a dream which in the naturally befuddling Nigerian environment is nothing short of a dream. I had a dream not of the Martin Luther King Jr. type; but of the Joseph in Egypt version. I dreamt of an extant Federal Republic of Nigeria where common sense prevailed, where politics realigned and we were all merry thereafter.
Enter, Act 1 Scene 1: more like epilogue; I saw the map of Nigeria all draped in white. Okay, may be not all white. Mostly white; there were little dots of green mostly to the Southern tip and Middle Belt zones. The commentator sat in front of a NTA logo in a studio decked American style like say CNN studio used for disseminating election results in that more orderly system of democracy.
Looking closely, the white states evidently represented Action Congress Nigeria states, with brooms prominently displayed. The green states were “umbrella states”. With sullen smirks from the announcer, the results of this contest were evident; the President that was, is no longer. I guess he who pays the piper in this instance, never dictated the tune.
I wondered how this could possibly happen aloud. Apparently, I was not the only befuddled by the apparent unlikely results of this election we were following on NTA. No sooner did I ask my mate, that I saw the jubilant video feed of four individuals at Action Congress headquarters in Abuja. In the middle of the jubilation was the thin frame figure of a man (I guess Ribadu); arms held high by three unlikely collaborators: Ahmed Tinubu, General Buhari and Chief Ojukwu. Okay, this just got more interesting!
Just when I was about to question the wisdom of continuing this ego driven dream, the best political commentator in Nigeria strutted into the studio to explain exactly what just took place. A fair looking “young man” of Patitos Gang fame joined the commentator; while a satellite link to Lagos fed the live images of jubilation on the streets with Pastor Bakare summoning the spirit of this unlikely event in a decisive show of force on TV.
Uncle Pat then went on to trace the origins of the unlikely alliance that bore out the revolution that was taking place before our very own eyes this evening. The success of Action Congress candidates against the “anointed” People’s Democratic Party (PDP) candidate (the incumbent), apparently can trace its roots to the misdeed of the once garrison commander of Aso Rock- Olusegun Obasanjo in 2007.
Without mincing words, Professor Utomi explained to his audience how that rigged election allowed ACN to regain mandate, hence confidence through the courts; denying PDP the machinery of state and GEJ the automatic votes of Western Governors which rendered his party divided and weak during the primaries that yielded his candidacy. He further explained how sensing blood, the political sharks in ACN, CPC and APGA subsumed self interest to merge into the more veritable ACN vehicle on all levels- producing a virile progressive national party that have starred down the PDP. Unlikely? You bet!
Here is where my questions arose; or rather, the story got interesting. How will General Buhari merge his conservative Sharia stance with Bola Tinubu’s progressive fiscal federalism campaign and/or Chief Ojukwu’s unwavering quest for Igbo self determination? Well, as they say, “the similarity lay in the differences”. Pastor Bakare’s take was simple. What Buhari, Tinubu and Ojukwu were seeking, happen to be one and the same. A less influential, and intrusive central government that minds its business, does not negate the development of states, and allows the development of a truly federal nation with varying degrees of character in law, culture, practice, policing and revenue /expenditure profile is the uniform demand of these threesome. Basically as Utomi put it, “Buhari gets his Sharia, Tinubu gets his state police!”
I get it. Now we have a government of “state rights”. These folks are original disciples of Thomas Jefferson. They don’t want Jonathan’s big government solutions to power generation; which is a bunch of promises for the last twelve years and no execution. They know Lagos, Delta, Ondo, Rivers and Niger states alone with focused progressive state governors can supply all the energy needs of all Nigerians given the freedom to execute without undue interference from the center. They see through Y’Aradua-Jonathan power emergency program as nothing but another white elephant designed to siphon government funds to finance the next presidential campaign. Oh, the fifty thousand dollars bribe?
They don’t trust GEJ’s big bad national police that collect bribes in Ekiti and Anambra to pervert election results, and hold duly elected Governors hostage. They will not fall into the trap of assuming what works in Bauchi will necessarily work in Edo state. They realize ours is one big plural nation that deserves progressive governance at all levels that is by the people, for the people and of the people. This group will only nationalize one thing: Anti-Corruption. There goes the Czar in all his glory.
Oh, and what of zoning? Did that not matter? Well looking at the map displayed by the NTA presenter, it didn’t. Kaduna, Sokoto & Bauchi voted overwhelmingly for the winning ticket; so did Delta, Anambra, Rivers and Edo states. Something must be wrong with the geopolitical permutation here. What happened to South West redeeming the promise it made to GEJ? Well, blame Obasanjo. After broken promises of a 2003 split ticket candidacy with Obasanjo on top, and riding rough shod to elect his governors in the South West by rigging anyway, those governors are now wiser. Straight ticket: that is the way to vote! Or to rig.
Oh, and guess what? Jega delivered. Your votes actually counted! As I woke up on my hodgepodge of sweat, I realized quickly that is was the stuff of wet dream; the type my Biology teacher warned me about.