There are a lot of us in the political audience watching our country’s political football match who are able to predict the outcome of a match just the way an ardent soccer fan would. For you to be able to predict the outcome of any soccer match, you must or should be able to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of both teams or of one of them. Based on the technical expertise or idiosyncrasy of the team manager, the quality of players who make up the team and how they are managed and the turf upon which the game is played, you only need to see the first forty-five minutes of that match for you to begin to form an opinion on that match, for good or for bad. I agree that it is not all of the time that this happens. Take for instance a world class team like Real Madrid that has a world class coach and world class players who may almost give you hypertension by bungling up a nice and tidy match; sometimes too your manager may be experienced and eccentric or idiosyncratic but cannot make the kind of changes that can inject life in a team that has almost gone under.
As the days turn into weeks and as the weeks turn into months, inexorably dragging us all to the semi-evil days of Nigeria’s election in April, it is not a hard thing to do to predict the outcome or the result of the elections. I make this assertion based on the theory put forward by the INEC Chairman that there will be a free and fair elections even if that is the last thing he would do in his life: all else I would say here is based on this assertion by the INEC man even though we know that nearly all the political parties have started to polish and oil their rigging machines. If the kingpin of election manipulations in Nigeria Alhaji Adedibu is on top of his act already, what do you think we would not think?
Now, if politics really is a game of numbers, and if the game is usually determined by the fella who has the ability to carry the majority along, then I put it forward as a hypothesis that the indexes unmistakably point in the direction of a certain politician today who the PDP government has boxed into the most popular centre of the pitch. And how have they made him popular and made the ordinary man sympathize and empathize with his travails?
At first, the president accused him of disloyalty. Notice that it was after this the duo fell out with each other, exposing the dirty little secrets that crystallized in the PTDFgate scandal. Notice too that the PTDFgate scandal had a special significance and it is this: that both men connived in the dark sanctuary of their dens to chop our money but the one wants the other to carry the can of corruption on his head alone. I guess this was the grand design that the political chess masters in the shadows of the presidency put in place to discredit the Vice president and make it impossible for the stormy petrel to dismantle the apparatus of those so-called reforms of Mr. President. And indeed he would if he gets there, don’t you think?
The way things are now, almost with every attempt the PDP has made to rubbish and throw mud at the disloyal deputy seemingly makes him more and more a loved political underdog. They have disowned him and he too has dumped them; they have put all manner of spanners in the works to scuttle his bid for the presidency and when he declared this same presidential bid on the platform of another party, the PDP practically stripped him naked by declaring his office vacant even when the worthy had not lost his life. We wanted to say that this was an irresponsible thing to have done but the Supreme Court of our land will have the last say on that matter, and so may it be.
Perhaps the PDP have not realized it but the so-called disloyal vice president’s one-month leave of absence in the US is akin to the kind of Hegira oppressed religious and political leaders embark upon. Let us not mention names but you and I know that there are two important religious leaders whose Hegira from Mecca to Medina; and from Bethlehem to Egypt respectively that enabled them to garner a strong following that toppled a status quo, made them loved by the ordinary man though hated by a powerful few. The so-called disloyal vice president is fast becoming a popular player on the field of play that it is only a matter of time before he garners a larger than life image that may overwhelm his detractors. It is this that I predict may transform our harangued vice president into a major political force that will cause an upset.
The PDP will do well to let a sleeping dog lie. They should just leave the Vice president alone and allow him participate in the political process just like any other Nigerian. I believe that if they do so, chances are that he may well fizzle away into some kind of oblivion the way a lot of vice presidents do when they fail to get the support of either their party or of the President to clinch the presidency. But if they continue to harass, intimidate and create artificial obstacles in his way the way they are doing now, they make him stronger than he really is. There is a natural, human propensity to accept and surmount challenges and obstacles and in the Christian world, we see travails and obstacles as opportunities for promotion. As it is now, there are many people who will begin to see him as a symbol of the oppressed and begin to empathize with him. Most of the underdogs I know in history who caused an upset are Winston Churchill, Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, and Bill Clinton. Though they were not harassed and harangued the way the Vice President is being harassed and harangued, but they were people who did not seem to have any chance and eventually went on to surmount obstacles and became outstanding people.