Archive for September, 2008


September 14, 2008

I have often heard many politicians from this part of the World call themselves Democrats. I tried to look at those personalities but could only see little or nothing that portrays them as what they claim. Many of them seem to be the “Khaki” turned “agbada” politicians who in the time past saw nothing good about democracy but preferred and enjoyed military dictatorship. Some of them were bloody civilians who worked with and for the military while the romance lasted. Many of them now in the present political dispensation worked real hard to make sure there was no transition from military to civil rule. But at the moment, they are here, there and everywhere telling anyone who cares to listen that they are the real Democrats. Can a leopard lose its spots or dots? It may be yes in Nigeria.



I believe we just have a group of individuals who are either contending or pretending as democrats. Democrats are believed to be sound individuals who believe in the system of government in which all the people of a country can vote to elect their representatives and can be voted for. Is that the case with these individuals contending or pretending as democrats over here? Certainly not. Over here, we have people who had worked against the transition to civil rule championing different crusades pretending and claiming to be real democrats. They have almost turned our nascent democracy to military dictatorship with their military brand of democracy.



Many people presently in the corridors of power claim they have the mandate of the people. But may I ask, “are there electorates in Nigeria at the moment?” I do not think so. Before the party primaries that produced the present administration, there were several cases of imposition of candidates by the various political parties. Some of those cases even got to the Law courts. Even after that stage, the political godfathers moved from Primary Selection (imposition of party flag bearers) to General Selection (higher imposition of their political and biological sons) at the polls. The Elections Petitions Tribunals across the nation have proved the godfathers wrong in some States and vindicated them in some other States where their bags of money proved too irresistible. With all these drama many still go about claiming they have the mandate of the electorate. Which electorate?



Can we have the likes of Obama or Clinton in Nigeria? I do not think it is easy to have the likes of Obama emerge in Nigerian political terrain. If the likes of Bill Clinton were to be in Nigeria, they must make sure by hook or crook that his wife becomes the party’s flag bearer. He must bulldoze his way through. Over here, many have put their wives on different platforms by reason of their political clouts and muscle when they were only rookies in politics. If Obama was to be a Nigerian, his tribe must be the first criteria to be put into consideration. They would have to check whether he is from the North or South not whether he is sound and qualified. He must have to be somebody’s political or biological son to even emerge from his ward in the primaries.



Hilary Clinton, a woman, was a serious contender even to the very last point. Would such have happened in the Nigerian political terrain? Certainly, No. The Nigerian political terrain is not gender friendly. Women over here are only considered good enough for minor political positions. The men are of the opinion that women have no business being in politics. The likes of Oby Ezekwesili, Dora Akunyili, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala proved them wrong by performing well in positions where men had performed badly. Many still do not believe women ought to be in politics after the Ettehgate. But women deserve more and better slots in our politics because they are not as vulnerable as our men to take to corruption. Hilary Clinton was eventually defeated by Obama but she remained a democrat. If it was to be in Nigeria, she would defect to another political party. We only have “ashawo” politicians here; who move from one party to the other just for their selfish ambitions. Politics here is a do or die affair.



Many are growing old but have not grown up. That is the situation in our country Nigeria. We have many old people in our political terrain who are not mature enough to play politics. The different war of words, fighting in the State and National legislative Houses only show we are even growing old as a nation but have not grown up. We should be playing politics at a level where tribal, religious, gender, or quota sentiments are very infinitesimal. Politics should not be a do or die affair if it is to go in and serve the people really. We cannot claim we have real democrats here because the votes of the electorate cannot match the firepower of the godfathers and their sons. We do not have and cannot have the likes of Obama or Clinton in the present political dispensation. We need a revolution in the scheme of things if their likes would emerge from within us. Nigeria needs their likes. Nigeria will be great again!