Endless Chatter in Naija’s Political Space

Nwachukwu Egbunike

Naija’s political space seems to possess an infinite coefficient of expansion. Within a week ‘wars’ have been declared that trying to keep pace with them is almost impossible. However, I will only attempt to address three stories that have recently dominated the Naija’s political sphere.

Unceasing gripe

Nobody can belittle the political sway of Atiku Abubakar, former Vice President of Nigeria. Nonetheless, no Nigerian politician is yet to surpass his endless pilgrimage to the courts to adjudicate on power issues.

When Mr Atiku was adopted as the standard bearer for the ‘Northern’ PDP; many saw it as the demise of a political ambition. Clinging on clannish sentiments, his campaign lacked focus and only maintained the myth of a rotational contract. It was therefore not surprising that he lost the PDP presidential elections to Mr Jonathan.

The fighter has headed to the courts and petitioned INEC over the ‘irregularities’ of the PDP elections. But why can’t Nigerian politicians simply accept defeat? Mr Atiku has the right to protest, no one can begrudge him for doing so. But for how long, will he continue to do so? Just wondering, if this election had favoured him, would he petition INEC?

I don’t pretend to beatify Jonathan Goodluck but the truth remains that Atiku could not have won the election. He had nothing to offer, save the anointing of some obscure northern politicians. His campaign speech was bald and the bile of ‘rotational’ irrationalities did him no good. The filth of corruption enveloping him and his family did not help him either. His unceasing gripe with Mr Obasanjo and the party that granted him a waiver has become legendary. Besides, his flirting from PDP, to ACN and back to PDP is no good testimonial. Whatever happens, Mr Atiku has only reinforced the perceived picture of being a power fad.

Policing Naija

With less than four months to the 2011 general elections, the Nigerian Police (NP) has been granted a bonanza of N15 billion for the April polls. This is no fool’s day joke: the Inspector General of Police (IGP) says here that:

“It is on record that the Federal Government has given the Inspector General of Police more than N15 billion to purchase equipment for the training of man power, for the purchase of necessary logistic as well as for the allowances essentially for the men and women who will take part in the 2011 elections. So the men and women of this great service have no excuse what so ever.”

Who is the fool here, Nigerians or the police? It’s obvious that the NP is abysmally under-funded and unmotivated. True that the police needs much more than N15 billion to upgrade equipment and manpower, so that they can effectively match the firepower of armed robbers. But for so much money in so little a time, smacks of hypocrisy. How do they intend to effectively disburse N15 billion in less than four months? How on earth can anyone convince Nigerians that such huge chunk will do any miracle in so short a time? Why tarry so long for the FG to just realise that the NP needs money for the elections? So many questions, very few answers?

The days of selective information and pretence over our common good is gradually fading out. Nigerians are now more aware and also more interested in how our commonwealth is ‘shared’. It is clear that someone is being cheese-sparing with the truth: N15 billion to police elections; for what? Was the elections dates just discovered; or did the government realise that the police will need funds yesterday? Mr Jonathan had better be careful; he is gradually assuming the posture of I-chop, you-chop president.

To promote or to demote?

The Naija judiciary is making waves with the proposed elevation of the President of the Court of Appeal to the Supreme Court by the Chief Justice of Nigeria.  The bizarre scenario currently playing out at our highest court is pathetic.

Ordinarily, promotion is a desired good; many future this in their prayer agenda. However, here is a man who says that he does not want to be elevated into silence and besides insists that due process has not been followed.

While litigations have been flying around, the Nigeria Bar Association (NBA) has released a statement. The NBA “urged both parties to maintain the status quo while an ‘in-house’ resolution is brought to the controversy.”  This in-house resolution proposed by the lawyers’ association whiffs of PDP’s familiar diction of a family affair. Asides that, the association admonished journalists and bloggers to: “to exercise some measure of restraint in the reportage of this matter.” Haba! Did the media create the news? If the judiciary decides to defecate in their hallowed chambers, who dares suppress the stench arising thereof?  Na wah for lawyers.