Friday, May 19, 2006

Third Term Bid Dead, But not yet Uhuru for Nigerians

Kudos to the few members of the Nigerian Senate and National Assembly opposed to the third term bid for thwarting the attempt to impose on the good people of Nigeria the ill-intentioned will of a powerful minority of politicians in the fold of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), in particular the PDP Chairman, Ahmadu Ali, Chief Aneni and other higher echelon party stalwarts. This goes to show that there might be some hope for democracy after all in Nigeria. Amidst threats of excommunication from the party, amongst other methods of intimidation, these members of the legislative arm of government have nevertheless been able to uphold the will of the common masses of Nigeria.

Obasanjo’s address yesterday morning asking that the Nigerian people accept the decision of the senate and national assembly not to amend the constitution to increase the two term limit of elected executive government officials to three strikes any discerning observer as an acceptance of defeat by the president and his cohort.
It confirms everyone’s suspicion that the bid for the third term, if not orchestrated by Obasanjo, at least had the consent of the president. To have remarked earlier that he would make his decision to run for a third term known only if there was a constitutional amendment indicates that Obasanjo had perhaps been nursing the idea of holding on to power after the completion of his second term in 2007. Well, the senate has spared him the trouble, and made the decision for Obasanjo. He will not be vying for election in 2007

Power indeed corrupts absolutely. Obasanjo practically had power handed over to him in 1999, having been released from prison in late June of 1998 clueless and disheveled; he was groomed and sold to the Nigerian people as a consensus candidate. Despite his gross unpopularity in Southern Nigeria (especially in Southwestern Nigeria), he was able to win the elections largely because of the support he got from the Northern politicians, in particular from what was then dubbed the Yar-Adua political machine headed up by Abubakar Atiku, hence the latter’s nomination as Obasanjo’s running mate. One wonders therefore why Obasanjo and Atiku seem to have fallen out despite the latter’s pivotal role in securing the presidency for the former. But of course politics in Nigeria, and indeed the world over, is a game of deceit, betrayal, intrigue and back-stabbing. Perhaps there was a pact that Atiku will take over from his boss after the second term. The third term bid was clearly an impediment to such a pact, if indeed it existed.

Now that it is clear that Obasanjo is not eligible to vie for the presidency in 2007, the road is clear for Atiku. Alas it is not yet Uhuru for Nigerians. Let’s allow conjecture to run wild a little here. If Atiku were to inherit the presidency from his boss should Nigerians expect any real difference in the quality of governance? Probably not. No doubt, all the ardent Obasanjo men and apologists would be relieved of their positions, shooed from the Rock and replaced with the new president’s men and apologists. There would be window dressing hither and thither, but the DNA of the Nigerian way of governance would remain intact. No one should expect any patent difference in the way business is conducted in Aso Rock and the two legislative chambers. Horse trading will still go on, calumny, cavil and intrigue will continue to prevail. Threats of impeachment and appeasement by monetary awards and bribery will continue. It will be business as usual so long as a large proportion of the class of 2007 legislators or their protégées transform to the class of 2011 legislators and worse if Atiku acts true to type and enfranchise corruption as have been variously alleged in the popular press media. Alas, it’s not yet Uhuru for Nigerians.


david said...

I do not believe with sincerity that the third term agenda died because of the democratic zeal of our senators. I believe there is a hidden agenda to return power to the north!

Veracity said...

You cannot be more right. It's all part of the horse trading that pervades the Nigerian political landscape. All the talk about what zone/region the next president should come from is nothing but bunkum. It's tribalism and sectionalism at work. Only three major traits matter in who should emerge as the next president - integrity, intelligence and vision. None of those jostling for the office thus far have an iota of these.

Anonymous said...

hear! Hear!
david and veracity , you can't be more right, it behooves on nigerians as a collective to bolster the ripple effect of the "eloquent nays" of our very own capitol hill.

Even when faced with
corruption and duplicity in their raw, native and brutal form with Baba and his cronies at the centre of it all they still found the courage to say no.

Arise o nigerians! arise! the future starts now. let your "eloquent nays" resound
from the rusty roof tops and
"soon to be sold/privatized"
govt high rises and public office buildings.

enogh is enough! let us say no to
corrupt, mediocre and purblind politicians.

Sele Akobo(curvyice) said...

the use of uhuru.......that is great. you a maya angelou fan? jus asking. and yea your post are not just intelligent but timely and pertinent. we need to arm our selves with the knowlege of what is going on before we can act and hopefully sing uhuru at the end.