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Monday, June 17, 2024

The Long Wait Is Not Worth It After All – By Ishowo Lateef



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Like in T.S. Eliot’s “Journey of the Magi” where spiritual birth felt like death, even though one is being born into something new; one still witnesses the death of one’s way of life and usual old way of doing things. The found of the Christ notwithstanding, the ‘three Magi’ got back home dejected and ‘no longer at ease’, as nothing had really changed. It can be painful! I wonder if our usual ways of doing things will ever change in Nigeria. The discovery and crowning of Buhari notwithstanding; things may continue going the normal Nigeria way, safe for some that may become victims of interests of certain power-players and eventually be tagged scape-goat.
To be frank, I was totally disappointed in Buhari when I saw the list of ministerial nominees submitted to the National Assembly. I couldn’t believe both my hearing and sighting organs. So this is the list we had had to await for good four months? So ordinary, compromised and above all routine-like. What is the difference from what we have always had in the past, where politicians who failed to win elections in their various states are compensated at the national level?
Of course the list wouldn’t have attracted any eyebrow, had Buhari not promised Nigerians to appoint technocrats free of past corruption records. Again, Nigerians would have applauded him if the list had been made public for instance in the wee days of June (few days after May 29); since Mr. President had long known the politicians to be compensated. The purported search for new faces/technocrats were absent in the list.
Though no court has pronounced any of the nominees guilty as charged and many (including myself) are of the opinion that many of those whose petitions are forwarded from their various states are politically motivated; but that the list is included individuals who are under investigation on issues related to corrupt practices speaks volumes of PMB’s inability to give his anti-corruption war a clear definition.
Kindly pardon me if I have interrupted your reasoning or conclusion that the politicians on the list are technocrats after all. Yes, many of them fall into the category of technocrats, but one cannot excuse the fact that they equally fall into many other categories. For instance, Babatunde Raji Fasola is a technocrat in his own right, but one cannot exonerate the number one example of APC governors in the last administration from being one of the ex-governors well petitioned. Dr. Kayode Fayemi, Mr. Rotimi Amaechi, Dr. Chris Ngige, Chief Audu Ogbe, Kemi Adeosun are some of the nominees who have one or two cases to answer in court. Another category is the set of those who are compensated for loosing election in their individual states; Al-Hassan, Ngige, Fayemi, etc equally fall into this group.
However, having nominated them, the next task for Mr. President would be how to manipulate or influence the Senate to pat the nominees on their shoulder, ask them to bow and take a leave; then the business continues. But would this task enjoy a smooth ride in a house that is sharply partitioned and obviously divided? Time will tell. In the Senate and indeed the National Assembly, we have caucuses and opposing camps right inside same ruling party who are ready to fight to finish and crush themselves at any slighted provocation. Standing akimbo with deliberate calculations is the major opposition party (PDP) in the National Assembly who is ready to take advantage of any false move by the divided and disorganized ruling party.
Interestingly, those who are kicking against the nomination  of Fashola are members and stakeholders of same party that produced Fashola. That of Fayemi in Ekiti, Kemi in Ogun and Barrister Bayo Shittu in Oyo might not be totally different from the Lagos scenario. That there has not been any major petition and kicks from Kwara against Alh. Lai Muhammed is a testimony to the fact that our case is not a bad one as often exaggerated by our own very people. Only unity and eradication of politics of bitterness or hatred of personalities will take the system to the next level.
However, Lai Muhammed should start seeing himself as a Kwaran than a Lagosian. Frankly speaking, he has been more of a Lagos politician than Kwara. It is then hoped that he will use the position to compete with his counterparts in Kwara in terms of providing dividends of democracy to the people of Kwara rather than standing as opposing camps or enemies to one another; that is if the two of the three senators representing Kwara (Saraki inclusive) are magnanimous enough to support his nomination. The question is, has he been relating with them well to deserve such? This is the same Lai that boldly stated that he will never recognize Dr. Saraki as the Senate President.
Is Tinubu planting Lai in Kwara against 2019 or planning to use him to ferment trouble? Future will tell. Should this happen and Saraki is eventually displaced, what good will Bola’s dynasty bring to an average Kwaran? From what to what? We need to be careful by reading the stake of Kwara in the national politics adequately. As Kwarans, all we need is to become more active in governance, support our government and leaders when they plan and execute good policies and question them when necessary.
Will the ruling party recognize the danger of extermination starring them in the face, as a result of the obvious and sharp divisions among them, and take proactive measures to safe the party and indeed the system from the hands of usurpers who are ready to sacrifice the new hope of Nigerians for their selfish interests? Will PMB recognize the precariousness in his accommodation of some power-players who are determined to hijack the system from him and therefore take a fiery blast against meek conformity? Time will surely tell. Though looks meek, Buhari sure has a heart of a lion; he will soon shake off the crumbs hanging on his stance and mystified body language on national issues.

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