During the general election in the Great Britain at the turn of the Millenium the Labour Party fielded one urbane charismatic politician named Tony Blair as its candidate. Labour swept the polls in a true landslide victory unlike General Olusegun Obasanjo’s 1979 presidential election in which the favoured party in collaboration with the partial electoral umpire body claimed not only landslide but “moonslide”. The great 2/3rd controversy was resolved through legal technicalities to the dissatisfaction of many. But I feel the 1979 exercise was even much better compared to the sheer electoral masturbation of April 2007 under the same and only Rtd Gen. Okikiolakin Aremu Obasanjo supervised by the Ebola virus magician Maurice Iwu.
In the British clean elections that produced Tony Blair as Prime Minister the slogan of the winning Labour Party was “Things Can Only Get Better”. Indeed things got better for the British electorate as Blair engaged them intellectually and administratively exhorting them that “Labour will govern as you labour”. The then newly-elected Prime Minister used masterful oratorical command and smart political strategies a la Winston Churchill to rout the conservatives who had dominated British politics for decades on end.
As we are about to turn the page of 2007 (and with it its horrors and sorrows) for a new one it is imperative we remind ourselves of what went wrong in our body polity in order to be able to forge ahead into the new year with much confidence avoiding similar gory, retrogressive, dictatorial scenarios. In doing so objectivity will be one’s watchword.
The year 2007 came with little or no bang or whimper. As a nation and people we (as Nigerians) are used to the antics of politicians, old breed and new breed, who appear and disappear on the scene with little or no positive social impact. They only come to partake in the sharing of the national cake, and as soon as they lay their hands on their cut they quietly sing ‘to thy tent oh Israel’ rehabilitating themselves and their immediate family and friends. And that’s the end of the story!
The year begun with Olusegun Obasanjo’s presidency tottering between doubts over Third Term and vacancy in Aso Villa. Though the third term debacle had been won and lost a lot of observers still nursed the fear that the Ota-based scoundrel could pull another trick from his foxy hat truncating the historic civilian-to-civilian hand over of power slated for May 29. Even Pastor Tunde Bakare, an OBJ foe, predicted that there would be no election until October as the General turned farmer would not like to quit so soon. He predicated his view on his spiritual prophetic retreat which sometimes turned out deceptive.
And when the date of the general election eventually came with the last minute confusion over VP Atiku’s Supreme Court case against his arbitrary exclusion from the ballot it was discovered upon the Supreme Court ruling removing the power of exclusion from the hands of Obasanjo and INEC that a large segment of the ballot papers had been lying in South Africa waiting to be lifted to Nigeria! Iwu bungled the elections because he deemed it fit dancing to the executive music of manipulation instead of allowing the body its independence. Alas the guber polls and presidential election itself produced sons and daughters of illegitimate mandates. Today we know better, thanks to the various tribunals!
Things can only get better when the Presidential Election Tribunal delivers its verdict either vindicating Goodluck/Yar’Adua team for insisting that they won the election “fair and square” or doing justice without technicalities in agreement with the international and local observers that had declared the election a sham. Things can only get better if James “Bond” Ibori gets convicted early January next year. Despite the show of shame exhibited by a rented crowd by his surrogates in power in Asaba in his last appearance before a Judge in Kaduna things can only get much better when another Ibori, Peter Odili, is added to the list of ex-governors docked for mindless graft by the EFCC.
Things can only get better when President ‘Umoru’ Yar’Adua declares state of emergency as he had promised in the energy sector. A people deprived of power cannot be counted among the civilised people. Darkness which PHCN generates countrywide must give way for light to take hold of Nigerians’ daily lives. Water must be provided indiscriminately for Nigerians of every status if things must get better. Things can only get better when the dilapidated roads that dot the landscape are given deserved attention to prevent innocent bloods of Nigerians from being daily shed on them.
Yes, things can only get better! Confusion must give way to clear-cut policies and programmes of governance in 2008 if things must get any better. Things can only get better if Maurice Iwu is forced to resign or sacked outrightly. INEC needs a new face and new image! Things can only get better in the new year if uncontrollable political permutations propel the President to distance himself from his predecessor and benefactor leaving possible room for his arrest and prosecution for his kleptocratic 8 years in the saddle.
Things can only get better when next year and the years to come Nigerians begin to treat treasury gangsters with deserved disdain. A situation where some misguided thugs and market women were hired to provide some semblance of popularity to Ibori during his trial in the Kaduna High Court (with some going to the extent of exposing their filthy nudity)
calls our decency and civilisation into question. Things can get better when we begin to see the likes of Ibori, Alams, Dariye, Nnamani, Turaki and Odili as public enemies.
Things in the year 2008 can only get better if we resolve to express our collective outrage over the executive gangsterism in our polity. Evil triumphs in a clime where the oppressed turn around to laud the oppressor for whatever temporary gain. Things can only get better!