By Momoh, Emmanuel Omeiza
Having taken my time to watch the highlights and proceedings of last Saturday’s political congress held by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the All Progressives Congress (APC) in many states of the federation, I couldn’t but come to conclude that the road to progress especially in the Nigerian socio-political context seems to be a distant one which only time and patience would allow us travel.
It was literally an eyesore watching bullets being fired towards the atmosphere like a swarm of flies. In severe cases, there was an exchange of guns, rifles and ammunitions all in a bid to hold a congress which was meant to select party leaders at the state levels.
It was more of a coup d’etat watching how Governors who were meant to be chief executive officers of their respective states quickly turn into godfathers and electing their own favourite candidates while the “OGAS AT THE TOP’ also giving direct orders aimed at circumventing the decisions made by the Governors.
Going through the whole scenario, my heart conceived a question “IS THERE REALLY AN END TO NIGERIA’S POLITICS OF VIOLENCE AND CONFUSION:”?
What then could have birthed the rationale to hold a state congress if not for the clouds that are gathering and giving signals in preparation for the coming general elections which is scheduled to hold in 2023. As it is the custom and tradition of Nigerian politicians, it is another time of trooping into the streets in search of hungry voters who could be bribed with some loaves of bread in exchange for their votes.
It is as it were a time of supply and demand; a time of reckoning where those who have been faithful loyalists to the lords are rewarded handsomely while those who have become rebels and prodigals are dealt with decisively. This is towards cutting of their wings that have grown overtime with the inordinate quest for power and its adjunct resources.
Not minding the above, it is almost unthinkable for a solemn assembly to quickly end in shambles and confusion for the singular factor of ” man know man”.
Well, this is Nigeria and as you may be forced to believe, we operate on the culture of violence impunity and age-old moral decadence which has eaten deep into our psyche making it almost difficult to accept the surrogate methods of peace and tranquility.
More often that not, we hear the jingles and rhythms from our leaders and other adjuncts components of the society clamouring for a peaceful approach towards the conduct of political processes.
The reality of things day by day has revealed that the clamour may only be a mythology and farce especially as Nigeria’s context continues to be a subject of discourse and heated arguments both at the local and international scenes.
Processes such as elections and day to day administration of the polity are avenues to select the best hands to man strategic positions and offices. This is towards ensuring that the dividends of democracy and governance are felt even in the remotest of areas.
But here we are in Nigeria where as they say “ANYTHING GOES”. A system where a square peg is kept in the round whole in as much as the Fellow in question can adhere to the demands of the masters even if it requires mortgaging his conscience for a piece of cake. Consequently, what this births in return is a culture of violence, confusion and anarchy which continuously be the clog in the progress wheel.
Even with the advent of civilisation and the return of the country to a democratic landscape, it is almost unbelievable to see what we now refer to as common sights, snatching of ballot boxes, beating of party and electoral officials and in severe cases assassination of opponents towards ensuring that the least preferred candidate clinches the top even against the wish of the populace.
It is almost impossible to hold any agenda relating to politics without the administration of the instrumentality of force and violence which more often than not ends in an unimaginable destruction of irreplaceable lives and properties as well as a distaste for anything politics especially by the up and coming generation.
I may need to ask again: “Is there any end in sight for Nigeria’s politics of confusion and violence?” Yes there is, if only all parties and Institutions involved in political proceses are ready to sheath their swords, seek for a common ground and embrace the instrumentality of peace. But until then, the quest and drumbeats for a tranquil political process will continue to be a dream.