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Monday, December 11, 2023

When the Messiah Didn’t Come – By Philip Agbese



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I am disappointed in spite of the fact that my expectations were not set too high so they should have been easily met. But the opposition All Progressives Congress (APC) apparently had no such plan to meet the expectations of an everyday Nigerian like me when they promised messianic change come 2015.
The entire country had waited with bated breath for the change that was promised. And like people of faith in various creeds, we waited for the messiah or even messiahs that would bring the much coveted change and that is assuming what we have is not already the best. Of course the expectations for change were driven by that primordial programming that makes us human continue to seek improvements even when we already have the best, relatively speaking.
This was why the recent choices of the APC confirmed our worst fears that whatever change or changes we wish to see are best sought under existing structures and not chase away a demon to accommodate the devil.
Those of us who could read between the lines were not yet done coming to terms with the party’s choice of a retired dictator as its presidential flag bearer when this group with chronic obsessions took absurd to a new level with the unveiling of its presidential running mate.
The APC opted for Professor Yemi Osibanjo (SAN) as the running mate to retired General Muhammadu Buhari, ostensibly to continue the tradition of doing damage control. The presidential candidate had come out to all discerning minds as a hardliner and religious fanatic so it is understandable that the old strategy of shopping for a Pentecostal pastor to tone down the candidate’s religious perception was again applied.
However, that is where the entire value of opting for a Southern-Pentecostal Christian-Moderate ends. The scenario this time has no semblance of anything like when Pastor Tunde Bakare was Buhari’s running mate in a previous election. This is because the APC’s Vice Presidential hopeful is a product of the Emperor of Burdillion, Asiwaju Ahmed Bola Tinubu, who continues to hold the opposition hostage to protect himself from his past. A story is presently making the rounds about his exploits in the United States in the early 90s.
Could this explain why the emperor was insistent on planting his puppet as the nation’s potential number two man – assuming Nigerians falls for the gambit and actually went ahead to vote the opposition to come and wreck the country? This would be a disaster of untold proportions. Only Lagosians can recount the true realities of living in a fiefdom where they slave for the avarice of one man.
What is clear at this point, however, is that Nigerians need to go beyond sentiments and interrogate the person of the APC presidential running mate in the person of Professor Yemi Osibanjo. He has ties to Tinubu and these are ties that cannot be easily dismissed as the relationship between political associates. Osibanjo has been Tinubu’s legal strong man for years and it is thus clear to see that for every instance that the former Lagos state supremo had been able to evade, manipulate or simply twist the law, this man being touted as the number two messiah has input in them.
It is a given that Osibanjo and his candidate lack the political experience or savvies unlike those they are running against. Perhaps, Nigerians can live with that since it will only entail a couple of years of suffering while the “messiahs” learn how to govern in a democratic setting. The economy is also sure to rebound at some point when these men are done with performing the grandiose experiments they have outlined for the nation; they will at least be forced by circumstances to confront realities.
What the country and Nigerians cannot bear however is to have as a potential vice president a man who has been serially in bed with the emperor, planning and scheming his many ploys that have enslaved people he was once privileged to govern over. In fact, we should not wait to experience it because the option of regaining freedom may not be available once this mistake is made.
But being people, who are constantly fair in our dealing, Nigerians will like to hear from Osibanjo. This time around not about his or his party’s utopic manifesto, not about his experience and neither about his uprightness, no, this time he should tell us about his role in the building of the Tinubu empire and all the laws of Nigeria and those of other countries that were broken in the course of helping to build this odiousness.
Osibanjo may be in denial over this and that is why we are asking: where is the promised messiah?
Comrade Philip Agbese, is the National President of over nine leading pro-democracy-based civil society organisations in Nigeria under the aegis of National Democratic Front (NDF) based in Abuja

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