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Olusola Adegbite, Esq.
In the 2015 Elections, the APC masqueraded its fallibility, masked its hypocrisy, and marketed its coterie of empty promises on the emotional wounds of a confused electorate, who already had their ratio of error damaged by reason of back to back infliction of pain from 1999. Thus when the party showed up, no one could recognize it. The group got away with nearly everything it said. All through, it didn’t have to convince anybody; neither did it have to explain itself. As long as the right cartoons were painted, and the needed deliciously tear-evoking soundtrack mixed, whatever it said was swallowed hook, line and sinker. Anything would do, as long as the People could escape from Jonathan and all that he stood for. Some even crossed the intellectual rubicon by popularizing slogans like, ‘even if Buhari presents a NEPA Bill as his certificate, they would still vote for him’. Such was the desperate level of an unguarded national hysteria.
And so, as the political walls opened, the APC Lizards strolled in one after the other. They came with a container-load of promises. As would be expected, the almighty promise of ‘Restructuring and Fiscal Federalism’, topped the chart in their Manifesto. They boasted at every rally and swore at every interview of how they had been ready for governance even while in opposition, and how they could not wait to take over power and unleash their manifesto on a people hungry for good governance. All appeared to be well, until power changed hands. And then the veil was lifted, the prophecy fulfilled.What prophecy? This – Give a Man power, and the truth about him emerges in a living form. With power, the APC saw opposition politics as the Egypt they will never want to return to. Suddenly, with the party now controlling close to 90% of the country’s staggering financial resources, it realized that the much advertised dream of fiscal federalism is nothing but the least of Nigeria’s problems.
So soon thereafter, carefully scripted lines began to roll in. First was Lai Mohammed, the government’s Information merchant. In his words, restructuring the country is not a priority for the APC government. As Lai spoke, the garment of his government was shredded in tatters. The onlookers paused, trying to recollect if this is the same Lai who once buried a certain Jonathan alive? Before Lai could catch his breath, John Oyegun, the Party’s National Chairman descended into the arena with his contribution. He said, ‘If you ask a Nigerian youth today, will he say his number one priority is restructuring or a job? What is more important, to fix the economy or to embark on this political issue with all the interpretations that the public gives to it?’. Immediately Oyegun landed, deceit smiled. What other sign does anyone need? A government fights corruption, yet tells lies. A new epiphany, the rise and fall of change! Not to be deterred, Mr. Oyegun went further to say that his party only promised true federalism, not restructuring. And that was it, the final straw. Like it is said, if a Man at the beginning of a drinking spree gives the table a head-butt, what will he do when he is drunk? I leave the answer to you. What else is left to be said, except to say Kudos Mr.Oyegun! Eku ise opolo! After all, why should we worry about practical realities, when we can waste the next 20years rehearsing the dichotomy between true federalism and restructuring?
The APC thinks it can get away with its unending oratory gymnastics, but it is greatly mistaken. Let the party take notice that it is a disgrace for a group to tell lies to seize power, only to abandon the path of honour and return to the same vomit it once claimed to have come to clean. The party should further take notice that it is equally a shameful behaviour, for a government to squander its much flaunted integrity, by abandoning the core of its manifesto, simply on the altar of filthy power lucre. Lai, Oyegun, and the other APC travelers may be labouring under the illusion that their House built with spittle can escape the justice of the dew; they may pretend not to see that the cadaver they thought they had buried, has suddenly found a way of sticking out its fore leg; yet, it would be greater political suicide if in their dispensation of pretense, they neglect to attend their ears to the dominant narrative now in town, which is that – Nigeria is today tottering on a perilously fragile rope, and neither Nigeria nor the rope is at ease. If the government does not quit its hide and seek, it is only a matter of time before it is carted away in the looming tide. Sadly, the government has lost the initiative to the Crowd, while the cacophony of voices demanding one thing or the other has seized the momentum. Where this mob is headed is yet another theme, an amoebic narrative, a dangerously slippery slope. Surely, the days ahead remain pregnant with events, and like that jurisprudential truth, ‘it is only in the ignorance of the Cock, that it would think the Sun will not rise, if it does not crow’.
Olusola Adegbite, Esq, is a Lecturer in the Faculty of Law, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Nigeria.