I remember my Government teacher back then in Secondary School teaching about the Multi-Party system, and comparing its advantages to that of the two-party system. Even then, my fragile mind could comprehend that Nigeria practices the Multi-Party system in theory only. When in fact, ideology, and all legal and political ramification, we are practising nothing but the two-party system.
This two-party war is more pronounced at the Federal level where the two strongest political parties in the country battle it out on the pages of Newspapers and in Television studios daily. This explains why virtually almost all politically adept Nigerian know who Doyin Okupe and Lai Mohammed are. But nobody bothers to remember the name of Nigeria’s Minister for Trade or Minister of Tourism. One cannot really blame them, because the two mentioned personalities are the attack lapdogs of their respective political parties.
The news is that INEC cleared eleven candidates for the 2015 Presidential elections. Of these lot, only one will seat behind the coveted chairs in the Oval Office of Aso Rock while the others will retire to hide in the shadows, only to resurface at the next election. Out of these eleven contestants, everyone knows that the real battle is between just two particular candidates. This then begs the question: what are the other nine candidates doing there? A theory is that the other nine candidates are there for two major purposes. Firstly, they are there to fulfil all righteousness and show to the international community that Nigeria is de jure and de facto a democratic nation; that we are practising the hallowed principles of liberalism and enforcing the concept of freedom of choice. The second reason is that Nigeria is still a developing nation. We are still in the experimental stage of attaining true nationhood (whatever that means), and we need to explore alternative means to the different decisions we have to make. Hence, the clearance of eleven candidates in the election is an academic exercise, to study the level of literacy which the electorate possesses, as well as having an empirical case study of the Multi-Party system, Many persons still make the mistake of placing their thumbprint next to the wrong candidate. It will help INEC study how to minimise such unfortunate occurrences. However, it becomes ludicrous when one of the nine candidate starts having grandiose illusions of himself sitting behind the desk at Aso Rock.
Politicians (except our First Lady) tend to be amazingly good at the use of English. It seems that there is a special crash training which they all undergo where they are doctored in the art of vocabulary propitiation and lexical construction. They also seem to have an in-depth dexterity in the manipulation and use of proverbs. When an elder statesman uses proverbs to enunciate a political point, it is understandable. But when a young minister, or more specifically, an ex-minister of Aviation who has obviously not joined the rank of white-haired sages employs an alarming rate of proverbs in every statement he makes, one cannot but begin to wonder whether the date on his birth certificate is indeed valid or not. And then we see seventy year old men who should be more comfortable conversing in their native language attempting to pronounce five-syllabic words. Indeed, there is God.
The recent trend is the use of Social Networking sites to build a propaganda of lies. Politicians are gaining more popularity on Facebook and Twitter by the day as the elections gathers momentum. They already have their armies of trend kings and queens who are working hard to project the ‘reasons’ why their candidates are the best to wear the crown in 2015. A particular person deserves a round of applause at this juncture. That is Doyin Okupe who recently got conferred with a self-appointed Chieftaincy appellation as a Bastard which so suits his activities as the attack dog of the Jonathanian administration. He works so hard at convincing Nigerians that his boss is better than even Jesus Christ, that one would wonder whether he is indeed a Christian or an idol worshipper. The same goes for the stock of columnists, satirists and computer welding rumour mongers in the employ of APC who engage in every dirty trick in game including sowing seeds of misinformation to sell their candidate.
In ideal politics, political actors are meant to completely ignore their opponents. But in Nigeria, the reverse is the case. They completely ignore the electorate while they devote all their attention to their political opponents. The alarming speed at which the PDP replies to jabs from the APC reveals that there must be a special department which reads and listens to every single thing that the other party says. But they certainly do not pay attention to the cries of the electorate. This article is written from a part of Delta State which has not seen PHCN generated electricity in the entire community for close to four years now despite repeated pleas for help from very concerned individuals. In fact, plans are being made to celebrate the Fourth Year anniversary of Darkness on January 1st, being the last day that ‘NEPA brought light’ in the area in 2011.
Our journey to nationhood has undergone the necessary stages: Civil war, Military rule, excellence in sports, Mass looting of the economy by public servants, Industrial actions and strikes, insurgency, the First-Lady Mania. With the provocative and reckless statements be in made daily by politicians and their propaganda generals daily, one cannot but shudder in fear at what the year 2015 holds in stock for us.
But with God on our side, our hope is that justice will prevail over propaganda.