In 2019, expect some interesting twists. The unexpected will happen and folks who are championing ‘go out and get your PVC’ will be dazed. The outcome of the general elections from the presidential to the least will be a subject of discussion for many years to come.
You remember when Donald Trump emerged as president-elect of the United States of America in 2016? It was the biggest upstage. Global leaders had already prepared their congratulatory messages and were merely waiting for Hillary Clinton to be pronounced winner.
Like a thief in the night, Trump won. The world is yet to recover from that historical miscalculation. It may never recover. Down here in Nigeria, diehard supporters of Mrs Clinton almost lost their minds. Folks who were getting their international passports ready to relocate to the US, wept like babies.
What happened in the United States in 2016 will be infinitesimal, compared to the rude shock that awaits us. I will be very practical and draw instances to support my argument. I hope readers will find my points useful.
Hunger is a weapon of war. In politics, it is a weapon of suppression. If you are familiar with the politics that played out during the avoidable and bloody Nigeria Civil War, you maybe able to relate with this point.
Hundreds of thousands of Igbo starved to death and from some history books I have read, the experience is something no one will wish on his or her enemies. In the end, that weapon of starvation worked. If you have contrary facts, you can argue.
Oppressive regimes and governments across the world, device means to compel their citizens to bow. One weapon they use often is hunger and deliberate starvation. When citizens are too weak and hungry, they resign to fate. They lose the strength to fight their governments. When elections are approaching, these oppressive regimes throw pittance at their hungry citizens and promise to fix their problems when they are reelected.
Too weak to fight, citizens accept these crumps and vote for these same oppressive regimes to continue in office. I will deliberately not mention names of countries notorious for this. I can’t stand the diplomatic spats that will follow.
Back to Nigeria, let me draw three recent instances. In 2016, the two dominant political parties, the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), went to the poll in Edo State to elect Governor Adam Oshiomhole’s successor.
From glaring facts, it was obvious that the candidate of the PDP, Mr. Osagie Ize-Iyamu, was going to secure the seat. At least, that was the impression. In a historic move, the ruling APC, on the day of election, took strategic steps. PDP, obviously caught unawares, led from behind but couldn’t obviously match the financial muscles of APC. Votes were openly bought. Voters sold their votes for as low as N500. For them, that money would meet some immediate family needs. It was the first time that an unpopular ruling party could champion the buying of votes. In the end, Mr. Godwin Obaseki won. Today, he is the governor of the state. Life has moved on.
In late 2016, residents of Ondo State went to the poll to elect Governor Olusegun Mimiko’s successor. Like what played out in Edo State, naira notes were openly doled out to voters. Like a big joke, voters accepted the crumps and they just moved on. No questions were asked and those who ought to have known better, kept mute.
Last year, the same show of shame played out in Anambra State. Anambra politics is a game of money. But last year, the governorship election witnessed a historic exchange of naira notes. Voters were openly swayed and in the end, the man with the deepest pocket won. No questions were asked and life moved on.
I have cited three instances we can relate with. Maybe you never paid any attention. Now you know. If you think what played out in Edo, Ondo and Anambra states was like a joke, wait until 2019. The unexpected will happen. I am not a prophet of doom. But this will happen.
APC has introduced politics of deep pockets and Nigerians must know this. PDP in the past allegedly empowered few powerful Nigerians to sway votes. APC in its magnanimity has taken the naira notes to the ordinary Nigerian. Hungry citizens now get ‘carried along’
As we approach the 2019 general elections, more absurdities by politicians seeking votes will surface. Bathroom slippers will be distributed to village women. Politicians will give bags of rice. Clothes will be given to women. Youths will be given peanuts to vote for criminals in 2019.
Politicians who change their phone numbers as soon as they win elections, will suddenly revert to their old lines. They will frequent villages they last visited during campaigns. They will become nicer. In the end, they will get reelected and the vicious circle will continue.
This is my point. In 2019, President Muhammadu Buhari may be reelected. Mark this date. He will not be reelected, because he is popular.
Nigerians will reelect him when naira notes exchange hands. Nigerians are hungry. Many Nigerians are out of jobs and they have got bills to pay. If you give a jobless man N3,000 in 2019, he will vote for Buhari.
Governors who can’t pay salaries, senators who are bench warmers, members of the House of Representatives who are too timid to make contributions on the floor, State Assembly members who are known thugs, council chairmen who siphon our commonwealth and others seeking for elective positions, will be reelected/elected.
Just share the money and the magic will be done. Nobody will snatch any ballot box. Guns will not be fired. Election officials will not be intimidated. It will be a jolly free ride.
I am not going to offer any solution on how to tackle this atrocity that will happen. Sincerely, I have no solutions to offer. If you have any, kindly share your thoughts.
Just before you dismiss my submissions, be reminded of what happened in Edo, Ondo and Anambra States. I am just a messenger. What do I know? Enjoy your week.
Lest I forget! Happy Children’s Day to my son, Osayande Malcolm Itua, and to every Nigerian child. May you all grow up to inherit a safer and better Nigeria.
Re-victims of toxic change
Itua! Itua! May you live long. May you walk and never stumble. May a mega appointment locate you post-Buhari 2019. Please, say amen to this prayer. I just finished reading your Notes from the Senate.
You are a political prophet cum journalist. As I read, I kept nodding and laughing intermittently. You simply spoke my mind and that of millions of Nigerians. All those who conspired against Goodluck Jonathan have met their waterloo or on the verge of being humiliated.
The most pathetic is Kwankwaso. A core northern fanatic who took brooms with his council members to sweep away the feet of Jonathan and his campaign train in Kano 2015. Now he has been swept out of Kano. He can’t even visit a state he governed for eight years, though at different times.
That is political nemesis. As for Dino, he deserves pity because he became outspoken immediately he decoded his gargantuan error and tried to make amends. Until they publicly apologise to Jonathan, they are all doomed. I mean members of nPDP in APC.
I still respect Sule Lamido for his doggedness. He refused to follow them despite the entreaties. May God open the eyes of Nigerians as 2019 approaches. This government is a fraud! Mai gaskiya my foot!
-Chris Oha, Kaduna
Fred, I’ve read your article, Victims of toxic change. I like people who speak the truth like you. Keep speaking the truth, for no weapon formed against you will come to fruition. Fred, get this: the Nigerian state is on ‘autopilot’ that can crash at any moment, with devastating consequences. God bless you.
-Barry in Ogoniland, Rivers State