Sunday, April 02, 2006

Ali - Democrat or Zombie?

Senator Ahmadu Ali, the PDP National chairman is reputed to have mandated party leaders and members of the National Assembly and Senate elected under the PDP umbrella to back the third term agenda or leave the party. If this is true, and PDP is an acronym for Peoples Democratic Party, then one is right to ask the question: who indeed should leave the party?

PDP is a democratic entity and not the property of one individual. What makes a democracy is the right of choice and freedom of association. Democracy has been touted as the raison d'etre of the PDP. One can not proclaim to be a democrat while at the same time lead by decrees and orders. If indeed the PDP National chairman, who is supposed to be the embodiment of the party made such a statement should that not be enough grounds for impeaching him?

Ali should appreciate that in a democracy no one has the right to coerce people into making a choice they are not in agreement with. These are not military times. Ali spent the greater part of his adult life as a soldier, and having served under the Murtala/Obasanjo led regime of the 1970s perhaps still has that soldier boy mentality of blind loyalty. The kind immortalized in Fela Anikulapo-Kuti's song - "Zombie." Thanks to the death of Abacha and the dictates of the times the zombies have been sent back to the barracks where they belong in times of peace.

Undoubtedly, there are many ex-military men playing the Nigerian political field right now and it is only fair to let them do so in the burgeoning Nigerian democracy since they represent a stakeholder group in the Nigerian polity. That however does not bestow on them the audacity or right to dictate and impose their will on the rest of Nigerians. When power has been given to the people, it is "one man one vote." Ali's vote does not carry anymore weight than any other Nigerian's just like Obasanjo's does not weigh more than a talakawa's.

The common Nigerian to whom power belongs should not be bullied into doing Ali’s will. The office of the chairman of the PDP should represent the entire cross section of opinions of all Nigerians and not just those of the professional sycophants, who inspite of the fact that President Obasanjo has not explicitly said that he wants a third term are unjustly and insidiously slowly ingraining the idea into the Nigerian polity, distracting from other more beneficial salient issues.

Ali should be a true democrat and allow people to air their opinions. As difficult as this may be for a man who wore a Khaki uniform for most of his career, having traded his Khaki for a Babanriga, Ali should stop acting like a zombie and learn some political etiquette.

1 comment:

Orikinla Osinachi. said...

President Olusegun Obasanjo and Senator Ahmadu Ali have come along way since 1979 when both of them wanted to oppress Nigerian students and we demonstrated against their draconian rules in our famous "ALI MUST GO!" protests and their zombies murdered Akintunde Ojo of the University of Lagos.

Therefore, Senator Ahmadu Ali is the Goon of President Olusegun Obasanjo.

God bless.