When a fugitive drug baron is in charge of his geo-political zone on behalf of his political party, all hope is about lost. When an alleged murderer, thug, and con artist wins a governorship election, all values are about toast and hell’s door is about open. When a terrorist, who has obtained training in famed terror chambers of the world becomes a public commentator and “respected” ethnic chieftain, the country is living on borrowed time. It is a reflection of the times and a pointer to what we have become.
Drug barons, cheats, thugs, terrorists and thieves are now celebrated Chargé d’affaires of this great country. What a shame that is! That these cafeteria plan criminals are accredited government agents, who enjoy privileges and immunities as ambassadors of Nigeria, is an insult on all that we hold dear. That a political mastermind like the stunad called Buruji Kashamu will be leading the Southwest wing of the Peoples Democratic Party is an affront to anything democratic. This guy is a wanted man, a fugitive from the law. He is an alleged drug baron, in the mould of Pablo Escobar minus the serial murders.
He is not even fit to run an adire indigo pit in Abeokuta let alone lead a zone and the responsibilities of political leadership that goes with it. His uncouth manners, his disregard for the progression of a world without psychotropic drug use, his inherent criminality, and a body and posture that looks like a crooked firewood meant to upturn the soup pot, all points to his decadence. Is that the best the Southwest can come up with or are a people being mocked?
We all cannot be model and morally impeccable citizens. It is just that people who offer themselves for leadership should lead by example. Appointing or selecting those who gestures with the left hand when describing their father’s house to lead a proud and decent people is a bit cruel. Deadly political games should not target innocent bystanders. Unfortunately, Nigerian politics is getting poisoned by religion, ethnicity and bad money. Innocent bystanders are getting singled out to be shafted. They say a book is judged by its cover. Right! With the kind of crooks strutting the landscape, the books Nigerians are served and forced to read have horrendous covers and nothing underneath.
Through history, I have seen a lot of controlled crazies but the present crop inflicted on Nigeria are particularly virulent. I have always felt most of the stealing and unbridled kleptomania is at root a pathology, some kind of mental illness. I have always suspected that majority of our home raised thieves are just waiting for the right time for an insanity plea. That was until the realtime nuts like Ibori and Alamieyeseigha tried to conceal the pathology as best as they could using the judicial process. It gets more blatant; thuggery as exemplified by the supervised beating of a judge, drug pushing and living as a fugitive is beyond concealment.
That Jonathan thinks too little of Nigerians as to impose these renegades and reprobates is unpatriotic in itself. But who will stop him? Stopping him is stopping the gravy train for those who can. They want to continue eating at the table. Greed has made it possible for them to prostrate for the cow and call him a son so there can be beef in the pot. Jonathan is the pot of sweet soup that must not be broken. Most often, people do get a little cuckoo, but there’s a point at which being cuckoo gets destructive and aiding the crazy becomes criminal. We are at that destructive intersection.
With these misfits being thrown lifelines to be at the helm, Nigeria is erecting a hidden order of corruption and an ethos of presumption. For immediate political gains, Nigeria’s already mortgaged future is getting refinanced at higher and higher interest rates and at escalating closing costs. Take a good look at some social factors – high unemployment, widespread lack of confidence in the competence of law enforcement authorities, distrust of the state to protect lives and property etc. Nigerians are generally becoming very secretive.
The growing secretiveness is enabling some kind of organized crime which the likes of Fayose are tapping into. The average Nigerian is suspicious of even the most ordinary social forces because every function of the state comes at a price. The developing ethos of presumption is based on the realities of everyday life the citizens face on the streets. Nigerians presume that their elected leaders are thieves motivated by greed. Businessmen presume that associates and employees will steal at the first opportunity. Employees and the unions that represent them presume employers will seek to screw employees royally where possible. The whole country is one huge scam with everyone in the look out for his own Maga.
It’s sad that the most certificated Nigerian President has no sense of history. The President’s love of naked credentialism probably plays a role in his distorted sense of what is right, just and good for his people. But then, there are lots of people in this land who are holding on tenaciously to a strong sense of right and wrong.
For us, President Obasanjo sums it up nicely here: “There are, for me, issues of principle, morality, honour, integrity, commitment and character which are paramount.” Unleashing the Buruji Kashamus, the Omisores, the Fayoses, and their ilks on Nigerians amounts to hybridization of legal and criminal powers.
Jonathan has tuned up the volume and he is creating a class of political Mafiosi where power is based on force and violence directed at opposition politicians, institutions and people who seek alternative ways to confront the corrupt elite holding Nigeria hostage. We cannot continue to let these bandits breach the rules of democracy and subjugate public institutions to the interests of political brutes, criminal gangs and their political allies. To those of you who abhor the desecration of our land, I say stand tall, do not compromise your values. It may be long, but a new Nigeria will emerge. You can make change happen faster by voting. Nobody’s vote is more important than yours unless you don’t show up at the polling booth. Vote when the time comes! Vote in 2015!
Bamidele maintains a weekly column on Politics and Socioeconomic issues every Tuesday. She is a member of Premium Times Editorial Board. Twitter: @olufunmilayo