Happy demonstration of craze, By Muhammad Al-Ghazali

Tinubu to open African counter-terrorism summit in Abuja

As Nigeria celebrates Democracy Day today, let us also summon the courage to agree on the following fundamental hypotheses that have become glaringly evident since the return of democratic rule in 1999.

The first is that we may traverse the entire universe and it will be difficult to come across more transparently adroit characters as the average Nigerian politician.

The second is that in the past two decades, our politicians have evolved into a very special breed among their peers around the world.

Today, they rank among the wealthiest on the planet without the corresponding score on the index of performance or quality of service delivery to the people.

Third; in the same time frame, it is evident that their seeming mastery of the political terrain was buoyed by their near perfect understanding of the psychology of the average Nigerian voter.

They feast on the delicate environment that shapes the political behaviour of Nigerians and that includes the crude imperfections and systematic unreliability of our democratic institutions, including the judiciary.

Fourth; their merciless exploitation their countrymen was made abundantly possible by the collective nonchalance and docility of the voting public which provided the veritable licence for them to escape the sort of rigorous scrutiny we see in other political climes when politicians misbehave.

As we mark this day, it has also become painfully obvious that not only do Nigerian politicians fully understand and are perpetually primed to exploit the submissive mentality of Nigerians, they also obviously have maximum contempt for their collective intelligence.

Don’t ask me how; all that is required is take even a cursory look at the emotions etched on the faces of our neighbours. It will be painfully obvious that many have seen better days.

We may also venture into our countrysides to encounter what Frantz Fanon meant when he wrote the “Wretched Of The Earth.”

The next question to ponder is why the same politicians have remained so supremely relevant and appealing in spite of the damning circumstances of their operating environment.

As we contemplate on the appropriate answers to all the above, if we dare to look carefully; a copy of Niccolo Machevelli’s “The Prince” may always be neatly tucked under the armpits of our politicians as they bamboozle us into submitting to their whims.

After all, didn’t the master military strategist, Sun Tsu, caution all wannabe potentates on the critical necessity for mastery and incisive knowledge of the terrain before venturing into battles all those centuries ago?

It was a lesson even the legendary Julius caeser uncharacteristically failed to heed on one fateful day in March that will forever live in infamy irrespective of the nauseating stench of threachery in the mix.

In that respect, we can hardly blame our politicians for doing their excellent homework on us.

If we had any illusions before, Nigeria is now also a battlefield in many respects and I mean that literally and metaphorically.

Therefore; as we celebrate this Democracy Day, the millions caught or trapped on the wrong side of the social index may cry a river as much as they wish, and it will all be in vain.

It won’t change anything for as long as we fail to alter the primitive nature of our political behaviour.

The word has moved on and Rwanda is one shining example of how identity politics now belongs in the stoneage where it truly belongs.

Our situation will remain ithe same for as long as we fail to make the conscious efforts required to study the psychology of our leaders as much as they have endeavoured to study and exploit our inherent weaknesses as ordinary citizens.

Unless we do that our politicians will continue to regard us all like lost sheep in the political wilderness. They know us more than we are willing to acknowledge and we must give them their deserved credit for that.

More importantly, they fully understand the import of ‘stomach infrastructure’ as implied in our local political lexicon.

They know that with the sufficient and often inappropriate injection of ethnic and religious sentiments into their campaign rethoric and manifestos, they can easily work us into a maniacal frenzy of underserved adoration as we scramble to eat out of their paws irrespective of the accelerated retrogresion in our social conditions since the return of democracy in 1999.

Today, the Nigerian politician has the easiest job on our planet. Our status as the leading poverty capital of the world has made that possible and they have become deceptively clever at exploiting the status-quo.

Their behaviour and our uncritical submissiveness has robbed millions of our countrymen of their dignity, honour, and even self-esteem!

It is both a toxic mix and combustible conundrum, which our politicians being the wary transgressors they have become, appear ever too eager to exploit in spite of the inherent risks involved.

As they seek to entrench their hagemony of unbridled debauchery, it has sadly become a case of more of the same.

If it ain’t broken, why fix it? The end has always justified the means as far as our politicians are concerned.

Happy ‘Demonstration of Craze’ – with apologies, of course, to the legendary Fela Anikulapo Kuti of blessed memory.

I was just walking by…

Muhammad Al-Ghazali wrote in from Abuja

Leave a Reply