Nigeria is a funny place, and we are a funny people. Things happen in Nigeria and dreams do indeed come true. It is only in Nigeria a virtually unknown non-entity would in two weeks into a Presidential election emerge as front runner simply because some godfathers in some places anointed him. In other countries of the world you work hard to get every vote. In Nigeria, you just need to kiss up to enough few powerful men who have controlled the levers of the affairs of our nation since independence or at least after the first coup. Track record does not matter, charisma counts for nothing and intelligence is a liability rather than an asset in the minefield of Nigerian electoral politics. The sudden upsurge of electoral face time for the Sharia governor of Katsina state is nothing but a continuation of the decadence that have destroyed our nation for forty something plus years. It is a continuation of cronyism and nepotism; a continuation of decadence.
Many have lost hope in our country but some still believe in our future. Indeed, it is my humble opinion that a man like Yar’Adua does not represent the best face of hope for the future of Nigeria. More than anything else he represents a continuation of a culture of mediocrity; a relegation of meritocracy for expediency and the victory of manipulation over strategy. Yar’Adua is not the best Nigeria can offer moving forward; even within the party widely referred to as the nest of killers (PDP that is) it is my opinion that there are more capable persons who are equally more deserving but who are unlikely to serve the interest of the masters of Yar’Adua who have since begun their media campaign to suddenly prepare him for higher office.
Of course, at best Yar’Adua can be called a par performer amongst state governors. He is just a Greek gift like that other teacher from the North who became our President after a similar manipulation under the same man called Obasanjo back in 1979. While I am yet to decipher what OBJ has for non-charismatic teachers from the Northern part of the country, it should suffice to say that Yar’Adua’s candidacy is meant to achieve a purpose. Yes, I have heard about his scholarship to the good students of Katsina; we have also being besieged by the five hundred kilometers of road he built. But for God sake is that all he has to show for eight years? What is his plan to make Katsina a state that can earn it own wage bill beyond depending on the blood oil money from the Niger Delta? How many jobs have been created under his government? What are his vital visions that would endure in the state of Katsina beyond the aristocratic name he offers?
Nigeria is badly in need of strong leadership that is not only visionary but also pro-active: someone who will not be OBJ’s or IBB or Buhari’s boy. Someone who can understand the field of international relations and diplomacy; someone the military can respect. Someone capable of reform and who has the pedigree and charisma to achieve these end goals; we do not deserve a Mr. Shagari dressed up for the 21st century. We don’t deserve another president that will fiddle while his top military officers plan to upstage him in a palace putsch. We do not deserve a president that holds the religion of half of the country in contempt enough to foist state religion on a secular state in the process undermining the constitution he already swore to uphold. In all honesty, we do not deserve another President like Obasanjo who will sacrifice the rule of law on the altar of political expediency.
There is more to Yar’Adua’s candidacy than we are being told. At least, as at the moment the military boys control every lever of our government; the President is a product of the system, so is the head of his party. Even the head of the Presidential screening committee is a ex-service men just like his boss and I am sure this scheming that suddenly trumped up Mr. Yar’Adua in all honesty is not beyond them. Yar’Adua is a compromise candidate to continue to allow the military boys the opportunity to rape our treasury while not appearing to do so. He is just another dummy being sold to gullible Nigerians in the hope that after eight years of hunger for true democracy we would buy it, they would undermine him, and four to eight years later we would be calling out to them once again to come save us. Indeed, the emergence of this character has reinforced my belief that there is no hope for the morally bankrupt federal government of Nigeria where I believe even Angels would end up failing. The way to go is a re-engineering starting from the local and state levels and that should be the preoccupation of Nigeria in the next election.
Just a few questions though before I wrap up: is there something about this candidacy that the powers that be want to share with us? What is the status of his health? How would he manage the multi-religious conundrum of a nation that we have become given his already biased disposition on the state level? Is a name enough to buy someone the Presidency? How many more years are the people of my dear country ready to continue to journey in the wilderness of want, poverty of ideas and filthy morals while the world moves forward? Why should the lowest common denominators of our society continue to preside over our affairs while men and women that knows one or two things about leadership are satisfied hanging on the sidelines. This is a shame and the greater shame is if Nigerians buy this candidacy hook, line and sinker. While the rest of the one hundred and nineteen million, nine hundred and ninety nine thousand, and nine hundred and ninety nine Nigerian citizens can be fooled, I at least refused to be fooled or convinced. Save the last dance.