Life! It has a way of springing up surprises. One minute, you are alpha and omega. The next minute, you’re reduced to nothing. Nothing, no matter how important, lasts forever. Politicians are sadly oblivious of this sacred fact.
You remember the dreaded Arthur Nzeribe? As a secondary school student in early 2000s, I admired him. He was a god in the National Assembly. When last did you hear anything about him? He has been relegated to the dustbin of history.
What about our very own Maradona, Ibrahim Babaginda? He was a political dribbler and a Machiavellian. He defied logic and dared the impossible. He allegedly annulled one of the ‘fairest’ elections in Nigeria’s recent history. He survived several coup attempts and installed presidents. Today, Babaginda is almost becoming part of our history.
The men with nine lives, Olusegun Obasanjo, Sani Abacha, Moshood Abiola, Umaru Musa Yar’Adua and others, once walked on the corridors of power and wielded so much influence. Like a candle in the rain, they have fizzled out.
I opted for this topic this week for two reasons. One, to remind the Prince of Daura and his co-travelers that power is transient. Secondly, to mock those who blindly supported President Muhammadu Buhari in 2015, but have been either disgraced or on their way to that altar of humiliation.
Government appointees have always flouted resolutions of the National Assembly. They have also dared parliamentarians. But nothing has ever come close to the disdain, humiliation and insults heaped on the 8th National Assembly, specifically the Senate.
You remember the new Peoples Democratic Party (nPDP)? I read somewhere that aggrieved members of the group, who have been sidelined by this government of change, are threatening to dump the fractured All Progressives Congress (APC).
You also remember the key actors? Well, let me remind you. Bukola Saraki, President of the Senate, and embattled former governor of Kano State, Rabiu Kwakwanso spearheaded the movement.
Saraki, Kwakwanso and other members of the new PDP had a common enemy- President Goodluck Jonathan. To them, he was too weak and didn’t know how to use power. He was disdained and tagged clueless. Some champions of change even called a sitting president an ineffectual buffoon.
Kwakwanso, who was so bitter for reasons best known to him, teamed up with the ‘irremovable’ doyen of Kwara politics, Saraki. He recruited other players and dumped the party, under whose umbrella, they enjoyed the niceties of office for almost 15 years.
People who are quick to ignorantly claim that Jonathan was voted out because of underperformance or weakness, must be pitied. One day, Saraki and others who played a role will tell us why they conspired against Jonathan.
As a refined politician, Saraki didn’t dance in the village square. Kwakwanso on the other hand, danced naked in the market square. Even before Jonathan was voted out, he had already stopped addressing him as his president.
Three years down the line, what has changed? Well, for Nigerians, we are poorer and feel unsafe in Buhari’s Nigeria. But for Saraki and Kwakwanso, they have been beaten and shamed by the same government they aided to power. Do I feel sorry for them? Not at all. They are reaping the dividends of change that they planted.
Saraki’s Senate has been rubbished. Resolutions are flouted at will. Summons are ignored. Shamefully, the sacred Red Chamber has been violated by armed thugs. The Senate is becoming a toothless bulldog. It can only bark, but lacks the teeth to bite.
Under the watch of Saraki, senators are hounded and thrown into jail like hardened criminals. The irony is that, Nigerians have no pity for lawmakers. Yes, some Nigerians despise Buhari. Strangely, they see the National Assembly as the epicenter of corruption in Nigeria. Can you blame them? No. The National Assembly has refused to tell its own story.
Now, let me give Melaye a handshake on behalf of wailers. Melaye! Melaye!! Melaye!!! How many times did I call you? In your next life, may you not support change that will consume you. I feel sorry for you, not because you deserve it. It is borne out of the fact that you have been unfairly treated.
Again, you invested heavily in the installation of this government of change. As a journalist, I covered your protests and ‘arrangee’ press conferences, where you demonised Jonathan’s government. You hailed Buhari and painted him as our messiah. I knew you were lying, but ignored you because the ethics of my profession forbade me from taking sides.
I tried without success, to understand the rationale behind your bitterness then against the last administration. I’m aware that you wanted Buhari to run so you could ride on his popularity in your senatorial district to win. And that worked well for you.
Looking back, was it worth it? Despite your days under the sun and in the rain campaigning for Buhari, see your life. A sitting senator beaten and humiliated like a hardened criminal. Shame! Shame!! Shame!!!
To Saraki, Kwakwanso, Melaye and co, when next you want to support a soldier, count your teeth with your tongue. For now, enjoy your toxic change while it lasts.
To those rooting for the return of this government, may God not answer your prayers. Lovers of Nigeria and defenders of democracy must speak up. This is Buhari’s first term and the hardship is unbearable. Imagine another four-year term. It will be a disaster.
As for me and my household, we will not support Buhari’s second coming. The ball is in your court, Nigerians. Whatever you decide in 2019 will either make or destroy Nigeria.
I so submit!
Fred, do you ever imagine Nigeria as a nation? She obviously is not but a cohesion of incompatible tribes in consistent conflagration over all human issues; no matter how insignificant. Ethnic interest is prime to the feudal axis of the country Nigeria. It desires to subjugate other areas at whatever cost.
Buhari did not hide his intention when, six months after being sworn in, appointment of his officials on security and other areas of governance was still outstanding. When he did, he filled all sensitive positions with his ethnic cohorts, jettisoning the federal character principle of equal representation across board.
To make his plan work, he created anti-corruption war as his arsenal against other arms of government; knowing that many of them were soaked in past corrupt acts, hence NASS’ incapacity to checkmate his consistent contravention of the constitution. God will intervene at the due time.
– Lai Ashadele, Lagos.
Mr Itua, I just read your notes, executive rascality and I am impressed. This your submission gives me hope that there are still some thousands out there who have not bowed their knees to Baal.
My sincere prayer is that God will help us find similar youthful voices to rescue what is left of this country called Nigeria.
More grace to you.
– Edith Omoyiola
Thanks for your writeup in your column. Your column is one of the reasons I buy Sunday Sun regularly. It’s a shame some people are still rooting for the return of this government. In spite of it’s ineptitude and ruthless pursuit of real and perceived/imaginary opponents, people are rooting for its return. Don’t you think there is a mystery to this?