OF DRIBBLERS AND THE DRIBBLED

Election is again knocking around. In the past few weeks, we have borne witness to the most galling manifestation of abject want of principle from the masters who straddle our national destiny. They have shown in unpretentious ways that it is not about the country. Every man of them is dashing, with unprincipled desperation, to where his bread would be buttered. It is, after all, a game of interest. These politicians are not betraying this in any subtle or cunning way. They have made it as glaring as possible. What remains curious is why the masses, the pawns in this unscrupulous game for power have remained indiscerning.
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Only yesterday, somebody was in the dictator’s tent, sharing banter and snuff. Today he is out and suddenly fighting dictatorship and for democracy. The masses quickly forgot the part he played in the dictatorship of yesterday and are celebrating him as a lifelong struggler for natural freedom. Just yesterday, somebody was a looter, a hunted fugitive from the law. Today he is purified as he transcends into the spotless rank of our self-acclaimed saviours. The masses unquestioningly follow this cruel farce, like the series of a tragic comedy.
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Who are the heavy and ultimate losers? The spell-held masses. When Dr. Bukola Saraki gave a speech to tell the nation why he was fed up with the APC, he reeled out a catalogue of piteous complaints. After reading that speech for the first time, I had to go back and read it again. I was looking for something which to my disappointment I could not find.
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I did not see where he complained of the slaughterious raids going on across the country. I did not see where he lamented the crass misgovernance of the country. He was not in the least perturbed that a country whose highest Law making body he leads has snatched the ugly trophy from India and now has world’s poorest, wrechedest people. He does not care a fig about these disturbing realities.
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He was lamentative and moved about one thing: He had industriously contributed in the making of the ruling party. For some inexplicable reasons, he came under the Jack boot of the APC government. In more than one occasion he had sued for peace and commonsense. The ruling party paid no heed and had continued to hammer down on him. He and some of his similarly disgruntled colleagues are seeking comfort else where — like animals whose habitat was destroyed, they are migrating to a new place for accommodation and survival. He did not talk about Nigeria. It was one long and sympathy-seeking story of personal discomfort.
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Strangely, we are unmindful of this — we have remained bewitchedly unsuspecting, accepting, most lamentably, to be the battle-hounds for desperate power seekers and obscene gourmands for wealth.
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When they cannot secure employment for their cronies and sycophants, they educate us on presidential nepotism. Police brutality becomes real only when any of them is touched. When they blatantly rig elections and sway voters, our democracy is waxing stronger, flourishing and under no conceivable threat. Death instantly begins to loom over our ” nascent” democracy when they are surprised in their hollow chamber of corruption.
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They shake hands across the divides. When it suits their interest they wear the traditional attire of just any ethnic group. They enter churches, mosques, shrines, name them, to worship the multifarious gods of the Nigerian people. But they tactfully arouse you to fight like dogs over such inane sentiments like tribe and religion. They can bear any cost to keep these crippling sentiments alive. With those alive and thriving, the masses are securely in their chains and harmless. They cannot unite in ultimate action to avenge their egregiously raped humanity. This is the nefarious formula with which we have been, for sixty years, manipulated by a political class that has been unvarying, ruthless and preposterously depraved.
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Dear ordinary Nigerian, it is your funeral. You are confronted with many grotesque fingers thrusting forth from one leprous hand. I don’t think you have seen any member of the fat-fed class in a fuel queue before . Have you ever seen a politician on the street, protesting non payment of salary? Unable to fully fuel his SUV? Have you ever spotted any of them in your pathetically equipped and quack-staffed hospitals? Was there any occasion you chanced upon any of their children in your outmoded and ultra-useless schools? Those would be the curiousest phenomena.
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Stop celebrating defections. Stop calling feasts to mark the death of honour and principle in the public life of your country. Mourn instead. Look for sackcloth and ashes and in the attitude of a grief-stricken Jew, send lamentations to the heavens, for a country perilously suspended on the cliff of abyss.

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