Sunday, 27 January 2008

The Carpetbaggers

By Hakeem Babalola

On Tuesday 26 th February 2008, the election petition tribunal told Nigerians that Umaru Musa Yar’Adua won the April 21, 2007 presidential polls. This simply means that any Nigerian who thinks otherwise should go to hell. In a four-hour judgement, Justice John Fabiyi, weighing the evidences before him, reminded the masses and its sympathizers that the law is an ass.

But let me state here that I had expected the verdict to favour Yar’Adua so it wasn’t a surprise to me. Look, I have already told the world that “I am no more naïve”. I haven’t betrayed myself in this regard. This is Nigeria we are talking about. And whatever that means. Though I had an illusion – for a while – that the verdict could be the beginning of the revolution many Nigerians have been chewing everyday like kola nut.

It did not happen. It won’t happen. Our generation is not just the type. I may love radicals but I am not a radical by nature. Life is more important to me. I love my family. Of course you may accuse me that I am not ready to die for them. Even God never instructed us to die for another. “Till death do us part” is an acronym that sticks in my mind.

To think otherwise is “UnNigerian”, and being a patriot, I do not want to lose my Nigerian identity. Forget that man who says I must be a scoundrel for being a patriot; for the salty and spicy pledge I lustfully have for my country. How could any human being in his or her right senses deliver such blow on a patriot? There are many Nigerian patriots indeed. Talking of Obasanjo, Babangida, Abacha, David Mark, Murtala Muhammad and so on. They fought and liberated the masses.

As I was saying, I expect ardent followers of events in Nigeria to have actually known that the verdict would favour the former chemistry teacher. But many writers or commentators or essayists or whatever they claim to be decided to go on fictional spree by implying that the election petition tribunal would nullify Yar’Adua’s presidency. They confused us the more with their warped opinions disguising as objective proposition.

Even when a man who was supposed to be the judge in the case was promoted by a party to the case, the theorists still failed to adapt to pragmatic politics. They scream in their usual ignorance and disillusion: the judiciary is our last hope; there’s hope after all. They were actually responding to the fact that election tribunals have removed about 50 "elected" officials, including seven governors and the senate president.

They are still gullible therefore it’s quite difficult for them to see that Mark and co must be sacrificed as a ruse to protect Yar’Adua cum Obasanjo. It was a pre-planned agenda to confuse the masses and its well-wishers as well as the intellectuals and the so-called educated illiterates. I marvelled at the ingenuity of those PDP (People Deceiving People) members or anyone for that matter who cooked such tawdry meal that enraptured the sight and mind of those who should know.

Look at it this way. If Nigerians have been giving the judiciary a laudatory remark over the past months for a job well done, why should they change the song all of a sudden? Why should they weep now? Why should they confuse us further by castigating the judiciary they had earlier called “our hope after all”? Everyone tells the truth, says Elisabeth Bowen, until there’s something they must have. Never ever forget this quote.

So when most of the Momus went to the street singing, dancing and praising the judiciary, one old wise woman cautioned them but they refused to listen. She had told them pointblank not to count their chickens before they’re hatched. Gosh, how could any right thinking Nigerian believe a judiciary that is still led by Michael Aondoakaa.

The ruling is not for Yar’Adua but for our main man whose inordinate ambition is to rule for life. By solidifying Yar’Adua’s presidency, the election petition tribunal has vindicated Chief General Commander Olusegun Aremu Okikiolakan Aremu Obasanjo. This man must be dancing around “our” Ota Farm poking further fun on Nigerians. Yes Nigerians should have known: that sacking Yar’Adua would be over Obasanjo’s dead body. OBJ still “dey Kampe” so we must not mess with the acclaimed messiah.

Hear what he told reporters in his reaction to the verdict. “It is a vindication of the fact that my administration conducted the election to the best of our ability," he said. “The election was properly conducted”.

Surely Obasanjo is born to run. I ask, when is this man’s deeds would catch up with him? When are Nigerians going to put this man in his place? When are we going to win – at least once? Or is it going to continue like this until eternity? Justice John Fabiyi’s five-man one-woman panel has affirmed that things work differently in Nigeria.

The panel has reminded and warned us that the carpetbaggers are still much around. Fabiyi’s panel on Tuesday demonstrated that Nigeria still remains Nigeria, and that nothing is going to change sooner. Mind you, this is not about Atiku or Buhari. As far as I am concerned, it is about the notion that blatant election rigging is our way of life and it must be respected. Or in another parlance, that law is an ass.

Anyway, there is still the highest court in the land. I honestly do not know whether to look up to the Supreme Court, the only institution that has taken several bold steps in its rulings. One thing I know and in which I subscribe to, is that the election that crowned Yar’Adua as President should not in anyway be allowed to hold. Like many Nigerians I strongly believe that the election was massively rigged.

Copyright 2008

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