THE LUCKIEST POLITICIANS OF OUR TIME
Gabriel Akhabue Iruobe
On a normal day, the Nigerian politicians are averse to hard work. Most seek offices for the stomach infrastructural needs they have. They also complain if their posts or appointments are not juicy enough. So, lobbying goes on endlessly for a share of that national cake baked by the deprivations of the poor or “second class citizens”. Thus, the motivation for office seeking is often not to serve but to be served.
The only time they show seriousness and desperation is in seeking to be elected or reelected into office. They often employ all subtility and mercenaries for the sole purpose of winning election. These strategies have involved vote buying or open cash inducements, multiple thumb printing by single officers on ballot papers, ballot box snatching, bribing of electoral officers, disturbances around the polling boots where an opponent is likely to have an upper hand in the polls; all with the aim of having the election in such places cancelled or declared inconclusive. In Nigeria, anything can happen. INEC had remained complicit in all the recorded or declared riggings.
Now, the elections draw near again. The candidates have started their campaigns in style. The hard work for politicians have begun. Some are already feeding into the electoral register fictitious names they hope to upload as voters for an election in the offing. Other politicians are helpless and restless. They are afraid to identity with their erstwhile cherished parties, afraid of being lynched by mobs who are only singing one song “Obedient Forever”.
The social media too is/is not helping matter. Everywhere is this song sung on a high decibel, deafening even the dead.
The leading political actors have made it a one-stage campaign platform in which it appears it is only one of them that is just wanted by Nigerians. Only those who are still very hungry appear to be thronging around other candidates. In the end, it is glaring that only one political party is campaigning. Whether this will translate to winning the election is another ball game. People are even volunteering the campaign efforts as Mr Peter Obi juggles around _shi-shi-lessly._
Peter Obi, like every other hitherto Nigerian politician is working, but not the way we have always known it. And there is a crop of politicians who already have their bread buttered by sheer indication to contest under the Labour Party. In the olden days, politician’s credentials form part of what qualifies them to be voted for. But today the “Obidient movement” in place have obliterated this requirement.
Therefore, for the first time, we have a crop of politicians who are just too lucky to be flowing with the “tide of Obidients”. They don’t appear to be campaigning at all. Peter Obi is already doing it on their behalf covertly.
They are only waiting at the corner to reap the dividend.
However, this time around, it is not likely that these crops of politicians can boast that they got into office by their own efforts. Therefore, they are more likely to be accountable. And with a Peter Obi at the helm of affairs, no monkey from any zoo can swallow money meant for infrastructural development.
But the Labour Party candidates at all levels may be the crop with the smoothest access to power, come 2023. How Lucky they are!