By John Williams, Lagos, Nigeria.
No doubt the newly crowned All Progressive Congress (APC) flagbearer senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu is the happening man in town. As to be expected are the flood of congratulatory messages expected to pour in for self-recognition. Definitely, the messages are not about democracy or security; what is on ground is post 2023. Those scampering with congratulatory messages to get attention are not so much driven by patriotism as with greed; they have their sights on lucrative government positions, contracts and how to further their personal interest.
The game is well known. This is how entrench interest do it; they set the ball rolling by falling over themselves to get Asiwaju’s attention; It is a wicked and opportunistic game used as a tool as much to launch themselves into reckoning and also to position themselves in the impending sharing of the national cake. By clinching the party’s most prized ticket the assumption is that Tinubu has already “won”. They have forgotten so soon that this was the same man that was called various names; they said he is so sick that he cannot go far; they also said his certificates were not in order and that he has a case to answer in faraway United States.
But the man trudged on and against the odds has won the party’s ticket! So, it is not surprising that all roads lead to his house and from being much vilified he has now become much celebrated. No wonder when he was reading his acceptance speech, it was a sight to behold as party bigwigs, serving governors and other henchmen beamed with smiles for a job well done. The APC party chairman senator Adamu Abdullahi, stood, although appearing very stiff from a failed coup staged by members of his inner circle; the president also stood gleaming with forced smiles knowing that opposition ensured that his “preferred candidate remained in his sealed lips.
Before now, the nation has been hit by wave after wave unexplained terror attacks; the one most abominable—the Owo Catholic Church—massacre was beyond human comprehension. This is not bringing to the fore the issue of captives in the hands of kidnappers and bandits. And so while the congratulatory messages pour in, politicians should not forget that no matter what, conscience still matters—and the safety of Nigerians. It shouldn’t be all about sycophants and hypocrites and they are all over. Therefore, the awareness must be made and the people sensitized to know that the electoral process is the only way counter and turn back the hand of the clock.
Unless they recognize that elections are opportunities to move away from bad policies and leadership, they will continue to fumble; that the Nigerian economy is stuttering and suffering staggering losses is not yet enough sign; if politicians think of growth, they would worry about this and sit up. From all intent and purpose, this is not the case. Those who schemed to get the convention on track and skewed to their favor, have done their worst; they schemed the good candidates out and let in only those with swollen pockets; but all is not lost yet; there should be someone still with conscience in the land; that’s the Nigerian who would think twice before sending any congratulatory message to the reigning APC flagbearer.
The year 2023 must present an opportunity for a new start—and economic growth. That year should signal the entrenchment of democratic ideals and set goals. 2023 must not be treated as a continuation of the old order. Life surely should be taken more seriously. Tinubu must use this open door as one to bridge all gaps—plug all loopholes. Tinubu must not see this as a personal triumph; he should rise up beyond his coterie of inner circle members and see the larger crowd outside.
There are people that could help him in no small measure—who may have crossed path with him. Those people he should go after and not leave anyone out. He should see Nigeria as his constituency and not the reverse. Therefore, his first task should be reconciliation which he has already begun—and should complete.