The threat and trepidation that preceded February 23 polls are gone. Those who want to fret about March 9th are welcome to whatever size of stress they feel entitled to. Elections come and go. The taste they leave in our national growth is what it is, a taste left behind. We are a people who do what they decide to do every four years and it does not, never has, never will, matter what fears the outside world nurse, we always find a way to dance away from the precipice. Never mind the kind of music we dance to or the foolishness (or wisdom sometimes) of our dance steps, we are a people who know our moves, a people who move on. Of course, many see us as a nation who moves on without knowing where it’s headed. True, but moving on is our thing. That is why February 23 2019 is now in our past. It most likely will shape our future but we are moving on again. The music is playing again and we are dancing off into La La land. So, I was trying to wield together what exactly last? Will the choices we made at the polls affect the rest of our lives or we are set to live happily ever after?
I typed out a few paragraphs. Some felt too harsh even to me. So I decided to send questions to a few of my readers who have kept faith with this column for at least a decade and whose responses, whether to political commentaries like “Amala Politics” or intimate affairs issues like “The petrol attendant and his nozzle”, to feel out their feelings on the votes and voting pattern of the Presidential/ National Assembly elections. His interesting response is reproduced below.
I’ve moved on since…
On the one hand, all of us know what happened with those ridiculous figures from the North.
But more importantly, I noticed that the really poor people mostly voted Buhari.
Many of them simply followed the instructions of their slave-masters and owners. Some are genuinely uninformed and believed the story of PDP being responsible for their plight and PMB being the Saviour, even though he hasn’t shown them any evidence of his fight against corruption in four years.
The others are simply swayed by ethno-religious emotions. Alas, some even feel simply more comfortable with Buhari’s lean looks, rather than the prosperous look of Atiku. Buhari looks like them, so they are more comfortable with him. Atiku looks like the rich oppressors keeping them down. In all, two things I’ve always known are now clearer to me:
1. You can’t save a people who are comfortable in their bondage.
2. Democracy is only fit for a largely educated and enlightened society.
In third world countries with large multitudes of uneducated/uniformed majority, uninformed and irrational choices will be made by that majority. Let me say that, even in the more enlightened western world, due to lower levels of personal education and higher levels on income disparity, with its attendant negative emotions, Democracy is also fast becoming a dangerous tool in the hands of a half-educated and negatively emotional majority.
That’s why Donald Trump is President of the USA, that why we have a Brexit Fiasco, and same reason why the wind of populist nationalism/ anti-immigration is blowing all across Europe.
The people of Borno State will be rewarded with next level of Boko Haram insurgency, the voter-magic people of Yobe will be rewarded by the next level of Bombing and remain the poorest state in the nation, those in Zamfara will enjoy the next level of Banditry/Cattle Rustling, the pro-APC Lagos Market women will also have a higher level of their economic downturn….
Meanwhile, PMB’s Cabal will continue cutting grass and buying banks. Their sons will get bigger designer bikes, the daughters will become top managers in NNPC….
Lovely Aisha will continue chopping quietly while making populist assertions,
The rich will need more bullion vans to dole out to their hangers-on. Comrade Chairman will continue to say whatever makes him happy even if he does not believe himself.
Atiku? He will eventually jet back to his luxurious mansion in Dubai and remotely watch Nigeria enjoying the Next Level while his numerous companies create more jobs and make profit.
Obi would probably travel abroad for a short rest, with the peace of mind that his various sound investments continue to grow, just like his influence in Southern Nigeria.
Oloye will step-aside to one of his many Mansions abroad, safe from a vengeful cabal, and watch the new APC Governor struggle to keep the promise to transform Kwara into El-dorado, with a near-zero IGR and one of the lowest slice of the National Cake. Distinguished Senator Dino will continue to confound his haters……
Generally, everybody will move to the next level of whatever is their present portion in our country. More prosperity for the rich/powerful, and more penury for the gullible poor. Sadly
To our Ibo cousins, who voted massively to change the Change, because nobody feels the effect of the current economic mismanagement more than them, I throway salute. I’m certain that the election outcome is a temporary setback. I trust them to use their ingenious ability to again re-jig and prosper. They have overcome much worse before. They should not allow the misguided antics of a few Area Boys and Executive Agberos and their diminished masters, bother them in Lagos.
Who will fill the economic gap if they were to leave?
We all earn in Lagos, pay our taxes and contribute to its growth. So has it been, so it shall continue to be. All na shakara, Nothing dey happen
More fundamentally, now that this election has now further accentuated our socio-political fault lines, all gloves are off. Restructuring is now upon us. If the North wouldn’t allow Political Restructuring, we in the South will utilize our education, acquired skills and sense of innovation to force Economic Restructuring. We would now look inward and concentrate our energy to grow the Southern economy more than any other time, with little or no reliance on the Federal Government.
We will pay more attention to electing Governors and House of Assembly members, so that we can administer our own states in a way that more of our taxes will be via IGR, rather than pouring into a skewed leaky national basket, for the superior benefit of less productive states.
Mark my words, in a short while, we would make the parasitic federal government far less attractive to aspire to, and jettison this present arrangement where some are slowing the others down, while feeding on an unfair commonwealth.
As for me, I thank God for my own portion, so I’m happy to move on to the next level accordingly. In a way, I hope my prognosis on the country and our collective future is wrong, but let’s wait and see. And, my gut feeling also tells me there will lots of socio-political drama in the immediate future.
Tighten your seat belt and get a good seat in the National Cinema.
I wish you a positive Next Level.
-From AGO, Abuja
From my mail box
Funke, you are funny. Kenny should have played down Zack’s frayed up nerves by saying a sincere sorry, ok? What Zack said was from a conglomerate of frustrations of many late home-comings, etc. It applies to many women/men.
Thanks for all the nice deep and sensible articles laced with humour that takes one on a ride filled with all sorts of imaginations!!! You are good in what you do madam!
Funke, you are a wonderful writer. Your back page Sunday Sun write-ups today are nothing but the best. I appreciate you immensely. God prosper you.
This column moves to new telegraph
It has been 11 long beautiful years of awesome romance complete with flowers and perfumed prose. I gave my best and you responded alluringly every step of the way. But it’s time to take this affair to the next level. So, on bended knees I say, dear readers of Funke Egbemode’s Column, please join me as I relocate this column to the back page of the New Telegraph Newspaper on Monday. I promise to make you even happier there. Thank you for loving me this much for this long.