We are tired of politicians chasing shadows!

As the 2015 general elections inch closer
by the day, Nigerian voters should be
wary and indeed, careful in taking sides
with politicians when they engage in
brick-bats and all forms of altercation
because in most instances such are for
selfish ends rather than the overall
interest of the country and its good
people. All in the bid to capture political
power, more by crook than by hook, good
governance has been sacrificed for
subterfuge, betrayals and all manner of
laughable intrigues.
Taking a retrospective view of Nigeria’s
political landscape since the return of
democracy in 1999, and the major events
that have defined and shaped it, it should
be obvious that ordinary Nigerians have
not had value for the sacred trust and
immense goodwill they have invested in
the political class. Whereas, many of them
had looked forward eagerly to the
deepening of democratic culture, much of
what they have got is that of politicians
leaving the substance (of good
governance) to chasing the shadows (of
self aggradisement).
Whereas, ordinary Nigerians had the
fervent hope that the new crop of policy
makers would understand and assuage
their mounting pains of poverty and
ignorance, what has dominated the
political sphere are issues that are
predicated on the personalizing of
political power. Making the rule rather
than the exception from 1999 were
controversial issues such as certificate
forgery scandals, the use of impeachment
by the lawmakers, either as a bargaining
chip or as a tool of treachery, intra-party
squabbles, killings of perceived political
foes with voiceless victims such as Chief
Bola Ige, Harry Marshal, Aminasari
Dokubo, Funsho Williams and Dr. Ayo
Daramola (all of blessed memory).Hardly
does anyone talk about them again. That is
Nigeria’s brand of dog-eat-dog politics for
Not done, we have been served other
political melodrama of the weirdest kind
such as the aborted third term bid, the
use of the anti-graft bodies especially the
EFCC as a veritable tool for political
vendetta, incessant increase in the pump
price of petroleum products especially on
days we were supposed to be celebrating
such as May 29, the festive season of
December or even on the first day of the
year! Too bad for an oil-producing nation
with four refineries whose Turn Around
Maintenance (TAM) remained only a pipe
As expected, the political class has
redefined the concept of corruption. Chief
amongst these is using one’s position to
feather the nest, be bold enough to be
paraded in the court of law as having
corruptly enriched oneself, while putting
on a cosmetic smile and raising a fist to
acknowledge the cheers from the rented
crowd! That is not all. As a former
governor, the best bet is to use part of
the ill-gotten wealth to find your way to
the otherwise hallowed chambers of the
National Assembly as a Senator. There you
have the audacity to make laws for those
who still do not understand that here in
Nigeria political power is meant for the
favoured few who must trample on our
common will with our common wealth!
My dear readers, it is in the light of all
these that one views the unfolding theatre
of the absurd on the outcome of the
election of the so called Nigerian
Governors’ Forum, NGF. So much media
attention and heat has been generated by
the bifurcation of the Forum that I ask
myself what the ordinary Nigerian stands
to gain from all the brouhaha. Is it in the
1999 constitution as amended? What are
its specific functions if not for poaching
of political power and wastage of the tax
payers’ money? Is it not this same NGF
that has stood stoutly against autonomy
for local government councils, yet want
more funds allocated to the states? Is it
not another grand distraction from the
act of governance? Is there any NGF in the
U.S. presidential system which we pretend
to be imitating with its political features?
Is Gov. Amaechi still surprised at the
silence of NBA? The answers are obvious,
or should be to discerning Nigerians.
In essence, one would want Nigerians to
‘shine their eyes’ and realize that most of
those who hold our collective political
destiny in the hands have no allegiance
whatsoever to the Nigerian state, or
people such as you and yours truly but to
their whims and caprices. They do not
believe in people’s power or terms such as
‘in the interest of the people’ or the
‘common good’. They have misconstrued
political power as the easiest avenue to
enrich themselves and their cronies. But
we cannot go on this weedy way for long.
It is in that wise, that enlightened citizens
are asking for a thorough review of the
constitution so that power is returned to
the people where it should rightly reside.
Devolving political and economic powers
to the federating units as against this
injurious unitary system of government
(with state governors going cap-in-hand
every month-end to Abuja for crumbs
from the master’s table) has become
imperative, if we want good governance.
We want and indeed require a review of
the constitution such that it would be
impossible for political appointees to dip
their hands into the national till and like
avaricious locusts strip our greenfields
into desert wastelands and yet get away
with blue murder. We want Nigerian
politicians to be true ‘servant leaders’ as
former President Umar Yar’dua rightly
That way, the politicians would listen to
the people’s views as the basis for policy
formulation. Furthermore, we would be
saved the waste of the people’s precious
time and resources on chasing shadows
instead of concentrating on delivering the
cannons of good governance. Enough of
this systemic rot!

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