This war is not as in the past; whoever occupies a territory also imposes on it his own social system. Everyone imposes his own system as far as his army has power to do so. It cannot be otherwise. – Joseph Stalin (1879-1953) Soviet dictator (1941-1945)
The time has come again for people to make decisions with respect to who should saddle their political affairs at the local government levels. The ‘politics of old’ has been for some kingmakers to decide for the people, and for the people (the electorates) to sheepishly accept whoever the few, but ‘powerful’ kingmakers choose. The decisions made by kingmakers were made after aspirants must have greased the palms of the kingmakers and must have also agreed to a number of concessions (these concessions are always to the detriment of the electorates and to the gratification of the so called godfathers). This arrangement is synonymous to the electorates blindly mortgaging their future and freedom of choice to a few supposedly powerful cliques known as godfathers. It was very common for the so called godfathers to tell another aspirant to step down for their choice of candidate/s this was the way it was. They saw the decisions as to who should be at the helm of political affairs as theirs to make, and for the people to accept without questioning.
We must not forget in a hurry the allegations that were made on the ex-president Olusegun Obasanjo with respect to the imposition of Shehu Musa Yar’adua on Nigerians when the latter became malignantly sick, and could no longer cope with the rigours of the office of the president.
In the United States George Bush (Jnr.) came to power under a very cloudy and questionable election, but he was sworn into office anyway as the president but, we were all witnesses to what later characterised his tenure-war upon war against an enemy that they (the few powerful godfathers) created. Untold number of lives, material and financial resources that would have bettered the lives of a great number of people in the world today was wasted in that exercise and that eventually contributed to the economic downturn in the United States the multiplier effect of which is the global economic recession.
In my opinion, George Bush (Jnr.) was stylishly imposed on the people of United States to come and finish the unfinished ‘business’ that his father could not finish (i.e silencing Saddam Hussein). No wonder that all the plea of some Americans as well as the rest of the world requesting him to restrain from going to war with Iraq fell on deaf ears. Neither the United Nations nor the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) the agency sent to investigate the allegation of the existence of the Weapon of Mass Destruction in Iraq (which was then headed by Mohamed ElBaradei) could stop the war hungry Bush. Come to think of it, who are the electorates to advise him on what to do, or what not to do since it was not they that elected him? He was imposed on them hence he represented the few powerful clique that put him in power. Anyway, in my opinion, there is more than meets the eye. This is because right from the beginning the missions (secret missions) that those that imposed Bush on the American people mandated him to accomplish must be accomplished by him. So what the people say, or do not say is immaterial, and whether the hard earned tax payer’s money is used to pursue the interest of the few clique (the godfathers) at the detriment of the tax-payers does not matter.-this is not democracy. It is a government of the few.
If we take a look at the precedence of politics at the grassroot (we will see examples of where those that were kingmakers in those days ended up rubbishing their stooge that they succeeded in imposing on the electorates to the disappointment of the voters. There are instances where those that are imposed on the people ended up in disappointing the electorates so as to please the so called godfathers that put them in office-after all he who pays the piper dictates the tune.
Imposition of political office aspirants was common in politics of old, but Nigeria today have come a long way-we can’t continue to put new wines in old wine skins we must grow!
It is true that the use of money plays a significant role in politics, but that in itself is not evil as we all know that ‘money answereth all things’ but the way money exchanges hands in the politics of imposition, makes the use of money in politics very evil-this is because the political actors get the money from whatever source, and throw it around to buy people’s conscience, and at the end of the day when they get into office, the first thing they think about, and of course do, is recovering the cash they ‘invested’ into the ‘business’ of politics-It is another political era, we the electorates should not let it be business as usual for the so called self acclaimed king makers who steal our mandates and use their imposed stooge to their advantage.
The ills of imposition of candidates on the electorates in politics cannot be overemphasised. It is the bane of backwardness and truncated development of a political entity in the sense that, two different priorities will now emerge- That which is much desired by the community (i.e clean drinking water, uninterrupted power supply employment creation, infrastructural developments etc) and that which is set by the kingmakers and their stooge (i.e the early recovery and repayment of loans and other monies expended on manoeuvring a candidate into office). At the end of the day, if the selfish priority (the latter) of the minority clique is pursued, who are the electorates to question it? No! They do not have the moral ground to do that since they already sold their mandate for a pot of porridge.
In the words of Joseph Stalin (as earlier quoted at the beginning of this write-up) if we allow some self acclaimed kingmakers to impose certain persons on us, it is as good as we enslaving ourselves to the kingmakers and their stooge. It cannot be otherwise.
These so called kingmakers that impose their choice of persons on the electorates have made enough fool of us. Nigeria is now 50 years old and if a fool at forty is a fool for ever, what about a fool at 50? – We are no more fools. Enough is enough.
Oriaifoh writes from Benin Edo state.