In most countries or even in small societies, there is a tiny group that controls the levers of power. Almost every time they determine the outcome of events and policy enunciations. They take responsibility to make politics register its meaning which is “authoritative allocation of value.” They determine who or which area gets what and when.
They are everywhere and their modus operandi is the same. They apply subterfuge and obfuscation. The first has to do with creating rowdy atmosphere, to blindfold all and achieve their objective and then allow normalcy to return. The second on the top is obfuscation, which has to with forceful altering of reality or beclouding reality. We have seen this in our politics in recent months from the federal level to states and even local governments.
In places where the people agree to rotate offices, since most of the agreements are not in written format, conquerors in those areas begin to define what convention connotes in their own terms; they don’t stop there, instead they go ahead to use the acquired advantages to push through their desires. The other weapons of conquerors is enticement, bribing and outright purchase of the human conscience. They look for willing tools, promise them offices or offer them more and pronto they abandon their stand and join in singing very strange souls.
We have seen that in our politics as I already observed in recent months. The two major political parties are guilty. The ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) nearly did not want to cede the presidential seat to the South, that much we got from the national chairman when he endorsed Senate President Ahmed Lawan as the “consensus candidate”. That it didn’t fly didn’t mean it was not a widely held position. It didn’t materialize because a very calculative bloc in the party knew that the North pushing for enforced monopoly couldn’t afford to add South West to the number of its growing adversaries.
They are aware Bola Tinubu has structures and what we describe in Nigeria street parlance as “war chest”. For this reason, good judgment prevailed and they preferred sick and aged Tinubu to more modern and experienced Vice President Yemi Osinbajo. Since it was not their intention to depart from a conqueror’s pattern of doing things, they chose to do the untoward by saddling Tinubu, a Southern Muslim with a Northern Muslim deputy in a country where both Christianity and Islam have very huge adherents. They are going about saying religion doesn’t matter when even in more developed countries it is still a big issue.
Ethnicity or race and religion are big issues. Canada is developed but its constitution makes provisions for French and English speaking parts, it provides for two official languages. Which is better for nation building, exclusion or inclusion? Now in APC, conquerors have taken the power based positions and they have invited a Christian to take the non-consequential post of Director-General of the presidential campaign organisation. In the conqueror’s world, “slaves” do the work. In old Egypt, Roman Empire, Great Britain, America and Australia, slaves expended the labour and their conquerors stood by to enjoy and thereafter create a class system to hold on to their ill-gotten advantages.
The position Tinubu holds now would have come to South East, but they said they couldn’t go that way because all people from there are secessionists. They couldn’t find one person who believes in the corporate existence of Nigeria, another case of misdefining reality to suit predetermined objectives.
The same thing we are seeing in the People’s Democratic Party (PDP). Everyone had thought given the composition of the party, most solid national politicians are in this camp and with their 16 years in power, they would do far better but the conquerors mentality was stronger in this camp. The party has provision for rotation in it’s constitution but the party cabal first began by acts of obfuscation, defining rotation differently and giving different perspectives as to how it should run.
To the conquerors here, the Northern politicians said Nigeria was no longer one, that parties represent Nigeria, rotation arrangement for PDP is different from that of other parties. So a northerner is just about to conclude a tenure of eight years, and he could well be succeeded by another northerner from another party and it will meet the agreement of power rotating between the north and south of the country. People heard this and bought into it. I mean human beings, some of them well read and exposed. It is supposed to be “turn of South East but on the day of party primaries in Abuja, to their chagrin millions of Igbo at home and abroad watched as one of their recently emerged political chieftain who missed courtesy of spurious ruling of the Supreme Court, Emeka Ihedioha, stood by the podium to cheer Sokoto Stats Governor, Aminu Tambuwal as he betrayed his “friend” Nyesom Wike to give his brother from the North the PDP ticket.
Yet Wike stood by him in 2019 when he contested to the point of many enemies. Attitude of “in house slave”, he wants to play in league of the masters, eager to make friends with them for which he is ready to give all including his life if need be to confirm his “arrival.” Conquerors will pretend to accept the conquered, use him and dump him in the most painful way just to remind him of his status in life. It dawned on Wike very late, he was so crestfallen he exclaimed, “I am not a slave, I am a free born.” My people say a goat or chicken held to ground for slaughter must shout in different styles. Am not a slave is admission of stoking fire.
If truth be told (the most hated person is one who speaks the truth), Wike and Atiku Abubakar were not supposed to be in the presidential race at all. By now we know why. Nevertheless those who hold Wike to contempt for his rhetorics and disposition are enemies of our development running on conqueror’s mentality. Rhetorics is part of great politics, nothing Wike said was outlandish. His disposition is historical and messianic. His people and region have been serial victims of bad relations with the North. They helped them to defeat the Igbo in the civil war and after the war the North took both the government and oil found in their backyards. Nothing can be more painful.
Even in recent times see how the conquerors have dealt with South-South ruthlessly. Peter Odili like Wike after him ran with messianic favour, they encouraged him to spend huge funds. Towards the end they got young northerners who raked up false allegations to put a dramatic halt to the ambition of Odili. By then billions had gone. See how Chibuike Amaechi virtually lived in Daura and even got turbaned, he gave them everything his ministry had to offer, he was encouraged to run but failed. Today he is alone somewhere ruing over what could have hit him. The conquerors have neatly disengaged from him. See the manner they pushed Adams Oshiomhole out of office as national chairman of APC and Justice Walter Onnogehen as Chief Justice of Nigeria. What about the Bayelsa-born state security officer who couldn’t be trusted to be the head of the security outfit; conquerors had to bring their own from retirement.
Freedom does not come to the conquered through kindness. It comes from through a push by the victims. Wike’s intransigence is good politics, it has brought gains, at least the conquerors now recognize he is there. What they overlooked they have now doing, talking to him. Those from South East are there moping. Mopers hardly receive anything. Wike may win for his region the national chairmanship, yes in addition to the vice presidential candidacy. Iyorshia Ayu ought to have vacated that seat the moment Atiku emerged candidate, all the new interpretation has no basis whatsoever. The action is now and the chairman from another zone ought to be there to offer other perspectives.
Part of the the negotiation should be sharing all offices in advance before the elections, before those without competence begin to hold on to what they don’t understand when victory would have been achieved. Balancing between ethnicity, religion and competence should be adequately reflected. Wike is a hero of some sort.