A very reliable source told me that, if the Adamawa State bye-election had been conducted yesterday, it would have been a walkover for the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate. The impostor that was removed by a court last week, I also heard, was very unpopular. To solve the problem that would have been created for the PDP, a very influential senator was said to have facilitated the sitting of the court before Oct. 11. Another court had, on Sep. 30, postponed a suit brought by impeached governor Nyako himself to a date later than yesterday.
The court judgement has brought relief to almost everyone except Alhaji Umaru Fintiri, the “acting governor” who was preparing to run as the PDP candidate. Any impeachment move against Mr James Ngilari, Nyako’s deputy who now governs Adamawa State, is not likely to succeed. After all, the proper election is only four months away. Yet, one nagging question remains: who pays for the loss already incurred in terms of INEC logistics, ballot papers, and the campaigns that had almost been concluded?
I have recounted the Adamawa saga that dominated discussions last week in order to illustrate the power of conspiracy in Nigerian politics. Though conspiracy of the elite enables us to know the winner of “election” well ahead of Election Day, billions and billions of naira are wasted on the conduct of “elections”; the politicians waste trillions of naira more.
This conspiracy of the elite is not restricted to the north-eastern state of Adamawa. In the south-east, the next group of state governors is being composed. Enugu has anointed its own. Ebonyi has too. Anambra is occupied. And Abians are reading Governor Theodore Orji’s lips closely. The only state in the south-east whose next governor is not yet certain is Imo: Governor Rochas Okorocha may be running for vice-president and the APC candidate may not beat the APGA candidate in a free and fair poll.
One of those anointed in the south-east, I gathered, had to buy an N800million house in Abuja for a woman that is close to the governor of his state. Having stayed in Abuja for long – and having served on a “juicy” committee – he was able to garner enough money with which to do the homework. Then, when the governor was convinced, he had to invite “stakeholders” that endorsed the PDP candidate. Election concluded. Conspiracy all the way.
The least offender in this respect has been the south-west where voting pattern is not always predictable. There, it could be dangerous to misrepresent the will of the people, as one Omoboriowo could testify in 1983. I have learned about the scientific rigging that was perpetrated in Ekiti State this year, but the beneficiary of the rigging must have been accepted by at least 40 per cent of the voters. And it’s not impossible, as the rumour had it, that the Ekiti voters wanted to teach Asiwaju Bola Tinubu a lesson –that he could not be the leader of all Yoruba.
One other politician that is being taught a lesson is deputy Senate president Ike Ekweremadu. Because he is from the south-east where the governor of each state holds the knife and the yam, it is not the voters from his constituency that are teaching him the lesson. Ekweremadu, who owes his rise to the Governor Chimaroke Nnamani years, is likely to be sent packing from the Senate by Enugu governor Sullivan Chime. Both politicians are from the same senatorial district and the governor, like most of his colleagues, wants to enjoy his retirement in the Senate. I heard that President Jonathan may back Ekweremadu to return to the Senate, but will the president risk losing his own votes in the state to a confrontation with Chime? Ekweremadu had wanted to be governor instead, even if it meant violating a gentleman’s agreement (rotating the office among the three senatorial zones) reached in Enugu. A stiff opposition from the people of Enugu North, backed by
Governor Chime, has shown Ekweremadu the impossibility. So, the light is dimming for the DSP who must now return to political obscurity like ex-governor Nnamani with whom he did a lot of awful things.
What goes round comes around. The hunters of today will become the haunted tomorrow. Politicians of the Fourth Republic have succeeded in destroying businesses that should create jobs for millions of school leavers. Any of them that leaves politics or is left by politics may not have any business to do. Those who stubbornly remain in politics in order not to lose relevance may soon discover that the free money they used to gather without working for it is exhaustible.
Concerning the presidency, a lot will depend on the opposition APC and the money its gladiators are able to mop up for the 2015 elections. I hope they will not continue to be paper tigers alone. Only the elite read newspapers anyway, but many of them don’t even have voter cards. The actual voters — and the instruments for rigging – are hungry and can only understand the language of naira. APC will not stand a chance of winning until it floods the entire country with money. As everyone knows, ability to splash money will be the ruling party’s strongest point. Pontificating about how the nation has been misgoverned in 15 years won’t strike the right chord on the minds and in the stomachs of the electorate. Ayo Fayose got it right: “stomach infrastructure”.
This kind of democracy is not sustainable. It is the reason some of us have called for political reform that will enable us to select the right leaders without wasting scarce resources. We must whittle down the influence of money in politics. When parties ask their presidential candidates to pick forms with N20million each, they do not help democracy. What’s the essence of registering party members if only a few are eligible to present themselves for election? Parties and INEC have no moral right to request a dime from any candidate. Those who registered in each party should be able to bankroll the campaigns of its candidates: For example, a party claims to have 60 million members. If each member donated N100, N6 billion would be raised instantly; N60 billion would be realised if each donated N1, 000. The parties and INEC have not been sincere – conspiracy of the elite.
Truth will always triumph over falsehood, however. One day soon, this conspiracy will stop yielding the desired results. Anything founded on falsehood doesn’t last long.
Re Birthday Greetings
I thank all those who celebrated my 50th birthday with me on Monday. I don’t deserve the kind words I received via SMS, phone calls, Facebook, Twitter and the website www.eyeway.ng on that day. Alhamdulillahi – to God be the glory.
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