by Okay Osuji
Politics is like religion. It has a surfeit of evangelisers, proselytisers and acolytes, who take to persuading others to see the world through their own narrow prisms and if possible subscribe to their vision of nirvana. These political evangelists are found in every society and come in all shades and persuasions, and before long, carve out a niche for themselves for either good or bad. One thing about them is that they are ever convinced that their dogmas are the only sure way to political salvation. Like their religion counterparts, they are never afraid of persecution and even martyrdom, especially when their inner convictions propel them to wear their messages like a badge of honour.
In the past six months, we have been witnessing the ever ubiquitous presence on national stage of the so called rebel governors or G7 Governors, as they prefer to be known, preaching and strutting all over the country in search of political converts. Their message of rebellion is not different from those that came before them in the past. Invariably, one single thread runs through all they have been purveying, which is that the political system they met on ground has not only become decadent, but also obsolete and in dire need of reformation. Like the rebellious German Catholic priest, Rev. Martin Luther before them, the governors of Kano, (Rabiu Kwankwaso) Niger, (Babangida Aliyu) Jigawa, (Sule Lamido) Adamawa, (Murtala Nyako) Kwara,( Abdulfatah Ahmed) Sokoto, (Aliyu Wamakko) and Rivers, (Rotimi Amaechi) and their travelling band have been going round armed with their “Theses” and trying to convince sceptics that the sins and indulgences of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) are so enormous and burdensome for the country to bear.
They have accused those in charge of heresy and even threatened to dethrone them while reforming the entire party machinery. Like crying children, they have refused to be placated and even pacified until their demands are met. Among the demands are that the national chairman of the PDP, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur, quit his position, while President Goodluck Jonathan must not nurse any ambition of running for a second term in 2015. In all their wisdom, these itinerant governors believe they are the only ones capable of reinventing a new political order that would stand the test of time and take Nigeria to the long ‘Promised Land’. But these monumental ambitions cannot be achieved while their implacable enemies are still in power, and are capable of thwarting their dark manouverings and shibboleths.
Finding it harder to muster enough followership even amongst party members, they have taken to holding secret liaisons with the opposition party and all those who in their estimation wield enough political clout to make any difference in the coming presidential primaries and voting of 2015. Without looking harder, one can see through their passion in achieving these avowed aims, which is why the issue of governance in their respective states is now taking a back seat and even abandoned until they save us all from the supposedly vice grips of Tukur and Jonathan. Curiously, none of them wants us to believe they have any vaulting ambition, aside the fact that they are only a modern day apostles preaching a new political order that would banish ineptitude and livid leadership, which they have never failed to ascribe to the present administration.
One is still at a loss trying to know why these political minstrels think the problems of the country were caused by the present tenant at Aso Rock. Incidentally, most of those they have been meeting of late had at one time or the other been at the helm of affairs, and yet the country was unable to generate enough electricity or send man to the moon. Some of these aggrieved governors at one time or the other served as ministers and top government functionaries at Abuja and never made any earth shaking impact on their respective beats.
All we saw was motion without movement and long and widening platitudes of how Nigeria can become a super power without putting in place the necessary mechanisms for achieving this. It is always easy to accuse others of failures, especially when one is looking at the entire picture from a jaundiced standpoint. In spite of all their grandstanding, the rebel governors cannot convince anyone that they are more patriotic and altruistic than those they are fighting to dethrone. Even when their individual performances as governors are placed alongside those of the Jonathan administration, it hard believing that the situation in their states is not only parlous, but that the conditions of their citizens have remained grim and desperate, even with all the financial allocations from Abuja and internally generated revenue (IGR).
At the end of the day, it is still not very clear where these governors stand, even while running with the hares and hunting with the hounds. Most importantly, the Alhaji Baraje-led new PDP says it would join the opposition if it does not sack the Jonathan administration. From the look of things, it would amount to a Sisyphean task to achieve this. It is better they come out of their closet and declare in which camp they intend to pitch their tent and fight for the soul of the country in the next dispensation. Hiding under the PDP canopy and same time fighting it is doomed to fail.
– This Best Outside Opinion was written by Okay Osuji/National Mirror