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Picture of 2015 is getting clearer

Published by Guardian on Wed, 19 Jun 2013


Statement by Justice, Development and Peace Commission on the state of the nation in commemoration of Peoples' Democracy Day on June 12, 2013.NIGERIANS thought that they had passed these ugly roads severally that they ought to avoid turns and twists associated with persecutory and rancorous politics.Not in Nigeria, where each governing elite re-incarnates the macabre dance steps associated with non-descript politics, as the nation approaches each election year.Desperation, intimidation, impunity, impurity, brigandage, arm-twisting, and character assassination characterise the nation's ever wobbling move to join the league of transparent and accountable nations which allow the real custodians of sovereignty ' the people ' to choose freely from array of candidates that present themselves for different elective positions.One is confronted with usual buss-words like 'pull-him-down', 'no vacancy in government offices', 'the incumbents have the right of first refusal (whether they performed or not)', 'it is the birthright of our tribe/section to rule' and 'our tribe is at liberty to present any candidate (notwithstanding that the best legs from that segment may never be brought forward)', 'unleash the crime fighters to unearth 'buried' crimes allegedly committed, but temporarily forgotten' and such more cabalistic, primitive political behaviours that expose Nigeria as the headquarters of the sixth world or non-developing part of the globe that shamelessly parades the toga of government deficit.This time around, the ugly dance-steps that pre-figure the journey to 2015 have started with the man with 'k-leg' whose meteoric rise is unacceptable, just because any person with such 'god forbidden legs' has the probability of .9 to impress the crowd.The man in the eye of the storm is Rt. Hon. Chibike Amaechi and the theatre is the hitherto innocuous Nigerian Governors' Forum (NGF), a body that is unknown to the Constitution, but over time, because of the near-ineptitude of the National Assembly to take decisive decisions, especially when the polity is in doldrums, like the issue of the health of President Yar'Adua, has become profoundly powerful.The NGF imbroglio is the tipping condition. The JDPC believes that Amaechi's problem started with his disobedience of the powers-that-be, ably represented by PDP's powerful potentate, former President Obasanjo, who was fingered as overseeing the nomination of most candidates of the party to elective and appointive positions, including persons who were/are manifestly sick (literally and metaphorically) and others who were unable to organise drinking competitions in beer breweries.OBJ's meddlesomeness in the affairs of other arms and tiers of government against the basic tenets of federalism, which espoused that all tiers in a federal system are 'co-equal and co-ordinate,' was legendary. To his credit or discredit, he unleashed crime fighters against real and imagined enemies, to the utter discomfiture of the citizenry and the international community.But for the doggedness of the masses, his acts of omission and commission nearly saw to the demise of the Fourth Republic. These same acts, which reminds Nigerians of the 1962 situation and which unfortunately is being brought to the front burner by desperate politicians today, may be all the nation needs to implode, if the masses were to relent.Part two of Amaechi's travail was that he had the temerity of pulling down the waterfront shanties in Port Harcourt without express permission from the First Lady. Till date, that uncommon show of brazenness, not associated with the usual docile Nigerian politicians, has not been forgotten or forgiven. And may never!Part three was the issue of Sovereign Wealth Fund (SWF), which the ruling party's apologists erroneously dub 'Excess Revenue' but which eagle-eyed economists correctly term, 'Extra Revenue'.The NGF, remembering the history of such funds from dark-goggled Abacha to the present democratic dispensation, especially how the central authorities mindlessly convert them into 'slush funds,' which they deep their hands into, without let or hindrance, insisted that although it is wise and makes sound economic sense to save for the rainy day, the house is already flooded and there is very high probability that, when the expected big rain comes, not only will there be no funds left, but as always, nobody will be held accountable for their disappearance.So they reasoned, borrowing from the derisive slogan of one of the parties, that it is better to 'share the money'' and now! We think they added, to the consternation of Abuja that, 'tomorrow is too late.' But Abuja thinks otherwise, insisting that since past oligarchs had been keeping such funds and dipping their hands into the common patrimony uninterrupted, why stop it this time that there is 'real' compelling need for it.No rational man, after all, presides over his own personal liquidation. With the nation's steady and sure move towards anomie and fragile state status, arising from polymorphous violence, which is combined budget of one trillion naira yearly; funds from the state under emergency rule; rake-ins from abroad and other funds from 'slush', secret holdings cannot take care of,' added to unprintable quantity of funds needed to prosecute 2015 battle, which will soon leave Rivers and Sokoto to other battle fronts like APC states and some PDP states, whose managers are 'delinquently' challenging God's anointed, Abuja is 'right' on insisting on SWF.Part four is the East-West road, which real value is presently unknown, having gone through re-evaluation, so more often than quicksilver and the extent of jobs done is only visible to Maku's good governance team and showcased in the newspapers and NTA news, but in reality, reasoned the man with k-leg, who is 'adept at throwing spanners into the work,' will need a telescope to see.What is Amaechi's concern' Why join issues with a minister' Does he now know that if the job is finished as fast as he advocates, there will be no campaign promise for the people of Niger Delta come 2015' Why will he not behave like Anambra's 'APGA-PDP' governor, who transmits Abuja's positions to the people of Southeast, especially on the 2nd Niger Bridge that has refused leaving the drawing board, or a Wharf that was opened in Onitsha without a ship or Akanu Ibiam Airport that had witnessed more turning of the sod than any other project'Our fear is that the re-incarnation of the 1962 crisis, when irresistible objects met irremovable, resulting in fifth horsemen, working assiduously to nail members of the opposition, leading, first to the state of emergency in the West and the end of the First Republic, is being gradually rehearsed, albeit, by installment.Suddenly, Rivers State's aircraft was grounded for reasons the House of Representatives, in a widely circulated publication, warned that 'the Ministry of Aviation should stop undue interference in the day-to-day operations of the aviation regulatory authorities as envisaged by the law,' is brushed up.The PDP, adept at probating and reprobating, using Amaechi's ex-Chief of Staff (now turned tormentor-in-chief), who is in Abuja's good books, caused its (Rivers) state wing to seriously downsize Amaechi, leading to his suspension; but simultaneously propped up PDP Governors' Forum and supported the Jang faction of the NGF, against reason, knowing for real, that, that faction lost the election staged by PDP against PDP and the PDP constitution frowns at any organ unknown to it like the PDP-GF.If these people cannot obey their own constitution, as they didn't in 2011, when they threw overboard S.7c2(c) of their constitution, which states that elective and appointive positions will be rotated between the North and the South, and which neglect is partly accountable to the present confusion; what hope does anybody have that the 2015 elections will be free and fair'All the above skirmishes are not important to Nigeria's 112 million population, who the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said are languishing in relative poverty, against the government's claim of reduction of poverty and faithful implementation of MDGs' targets; nothing to do with government's expenditure in health put at below two per cent of GDP; abysmal child mortality rate of 186 per 1,000 live births; governments' pilling of non-performing debts and the nation's sinking into debt peonage against the official statistics being bandied about.It is all dog fight of the elite, who will settle behind the back of the tepid masses; it is the politics of the stomach, which has little or nothing to do with the welfare of the people.To the people, the JDPC says caveat emptor, because these are anti-democrats that have nothing to do with democracy. The electorate should know that democracy sounds nonsense in empty stomach. Once again, buyers beware!Pray, what Nigerians are asking for is nothing but an affirmation of the timeless statement by Bernard Shaw that, 'reforms are impossible without change and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything.' Did we hear somebody add transform'Let our politicians change so that 2015 will come with desired, prepared people who are ready to serve, not folks who are frog-marched and decanted on all of us.
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