The crucifixion of Third-force Messiah in Nigeria’s political salvation (I)

Photo Credit: Nigerian Tribune

By Ifeanyi Mandela

In the past four years, our amiable super-lady, the former minister of education, Madam Obiageli Ezekwesili has been fighting for the release of some Chibok secondary school girls adopted by the dreaded Boko haram terrorists in Bauchi state, Nigeria. The protests she organised and co-organised could be linked to the emergence of Muhammadu Buhari as Nigeria’s president in 2015 polls.

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The adoption of this over 200 Chibok school girls threw dirty shades especially from the international community and the opposition party against the seriousness of the then President, Goodluck Jonathan in providing security for Nigerians. The protests basically questioned the sensitivity of the then government over national disasters such as that adoption was referred to as then. The then opposition party,  All Progressive Congress, APC, rode on the back of Ezekwesili’s protests and other indicators of poor performances by the previous administrations to tear the veil hiding the ‘insensitivity’ of the then ruling party; People’s Democratic Party (PDP).

The Nigerian congregation of voters heard that they’d be given ‘change’, and decided to lay their tithes on the altar of another denomination. Whether they were given that ‘change’ they expected would be for another day.

Meanwhile, many people particularly those in the PDP camp accused madam Ezekwesili of seeking to score ‘cheap’ political popularity and recognition. But she’s not the kind  of woman who cannot go to church because she didn’t plait her hair or apply lipstick; she doesn’t give up that easily (we still recall her nine year primary education plan; the 9-3-4).

At some points, the handwrting was too clear even to the blind Batemeus that many political observers agreed that madam Ezekwesili, having ran the race and ran it well, deserves the crown of a federal government minister or half crown of being appointed head of an agency. But President Muhammadu Buhari doesn’t listen to men; he listens to the gods, and does their biddings. Therefore, madam Ezekwesili was left at the mercy of persevering, ever-hopefull Nigeria’s congregations.

In her life, one would never expect Madam Ezekwesili to believe there’d ever be another adopting of school girls in Nigeria, but it happened; The Dapchi Girls. Over 100 girls!

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There wasn’t too much harshtags as we had in the Chibok Girls’ #BringBackOurGirls (BBOG) that saw even the  State’s first lady, Mitchell Obama and top local and international celebrities bore BBOG’s placards demanding their release. There wasn’t too too many protests or media attention. And those Dapchi girls save one were released sooner than Chibok girls who still have some of them, according to reports, still in Bokoharam captivity.

Prior to the adoption of Dapchi girls, madam Ezekwesili had, like many Nigerians lost hopes on the present APC led federal government. And like her, she begun a movement to unite congregations of APC and PDP denominations to march into a new political religion, and she called her movement ‘The Red card Movement’. For her, PDP spent 16 years in power with little or nothing to show for it, and APC has spent three years that brought nothing close to what it preaches. Some  observations close to Madam Ezekwesili pointed out that APC abandoned what ‘change’ it was preaching to preaching ‘blames’.

Therefore, madam Ezekwesili said that Nigerians should sack both PDP and APC ‘religious’ parties by giving them red cards in the next elections. Her red card movement has birthed what is now popularly known in Nigeria’s political diction as the ‘Third Force’.

APC and PDP has taken the first and second positions (in no order) , while the envisioned power block, made up of ordinary Nigerians would take the third position hence, the Third Force (there are other theories about Third Force too).

However, the Red Card Movement hardly left the pages of Twitter. The final nail on the coffin if Red Card Movement seemed to have come from her former boss and political heavy weight, former president Olusegun Obasanjo when he launched his own third force known as the ‘Coalition for Nigerians’. This dealt the Red Card Movement a dirty blow that made it look more like any other social media rant.

At least, Coalition for Nigerians has a physical platform and registered members with heavy duty politicians too. But the cross on which the Red Card Movement was crucified seems to be the same unto which the Coalition for Nigerians would meet its undoing.

That cross is this:

The Nigerian Constitution does not recognise independent candidatures: individuals  who seek political positions outside any political party. This simply means that it’s only a registered political party  that has the ability to produce any political head in the three tiers of governments in Nigeria. But neither the Red Card Movement nor the Coalition for Nigerians is a political party or an aspiring one. As a matter of fact, Coalition for Nigerians founder, chief Olusegun Obasanjo sworn that he’d tear his membership card any day the force metamorphosed into a political party. And from madam Ezekwesili’s Red Card Movement quaters, the manifesto is to move Nigeria with Nigerians to a new dispensation with a different ideology and orientation. So, how do we intend getting to unsit APC and PDP from power in a country where money bags are in APC and PDP, and had birthed  low political education, participation, and  political apathy in general.

Could we now agree that this cross of crucifying the Third Force might be heavier than the biblical cross the Christian leader, Jesus Christ was crucified upon?

Could we now agree that this cross of crucifying the Third Force might be heavier than the biblical cross the Christian leader, Jesus Christ was crucified upon?

It seems another group of politicians saw the loopholes and came together to form the third ‘Third Force’ after the Red Card Movement and the Coalition for Change. This third Third Force is known as Social Democratic Party (SDP). But the nail that’d crucify this party is it’s time of emergence and components of the party.

Next, we’d look at the components of the third forces, their viability and chances, the Buhari’s second term ambition and it’s effects on the third force, and how the crucified Third Force would be buried in 2019 elections.

 

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