RECENTLY, the Chairman of
the All Progressive Congress
(APC), Mr. John Oyegun, was
quoted as saying that he was
“sad” that his party could not
produce a lawmaker from the
South East to be elected as
senate president or speaker of
the House of Representatives
when the new national assembly
would be inaugurated in June.
This was because during the last
elections, the APC performed so
poorly in the South East that it
was unable to win a single seat
in the two houses of the national
assembly in the region.
Ordinarily, this should have
been an exclusive problem of
the APC, but given the way
Mr. Oyegun spoke, someone
might be deluded into thinking
that some really monumental
tragedy had hit the South East –
for which the people of the area
should be in deep mourning by
Since the presidential
election which the Chairman
of the Independent National
Electoral Commission (INEC),
Prof Attahiru Jega, told us was
won by the APC’s General
Muhammadu Buhari, one has
lost count of articles ecstatically
celebrating how the “wrong
voting” of majority of South
Easterners has now put the zone
to a “great disadvantage.”
Some solutions have also
been “kindly” proffered by
quite a number of people to
“help” the South East out
of its predicament, like the
very absurd suggestion that a
senator-elect from Enugu State
should decamp to the APC so
he could become the senate
president; or even the much
more off-putting call on a female
Senator-elect from Anambra
State to step down for the APC
candidate she defeated, since the
man is a “very good material”
for the senate presidency. One
could go on and on, but what
is of concern here is that Mr.
Oyegun’s assertion would seem
to have somewhat elevated
these clearly pedestrian views
and clothed them with the false
robe of serious discourse.
Now, apart from providing
another juicy job for another
member of the largely parasitic
and incompetent political class,
what exactly will the South East
gain if somebody from the zone becomes the senate president?
Or, put another way, the zone has
produced senate presidents before
now, and apart from the delusive
emotional satiation some fellows
from their villages might have
felt when they heard that their
“brother” had “crossed over” to
join other fat cats as a distinguished
member of Nigeria’s Eating Class,
what exactly (in practical terms) did
their communities or even states
gain from their occupation of that
position? I sincerely wish to know
how a South Easterner becoming
the senate president would affect
the price of fish at Afor Umuaka or
Eke-Ututu market, even in this era
of “change.”
Okay, after the 2011 elections, the
position of the speaker of the House
of Representatives was zoned by
the ruling Peoples Democratic
Party (PDP) to the South West. But
the lawmakers from the defunct
Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN)
– the dominant party in the same
South West at that time, led by Bola
Tinubu, reportedly, conspired with
some PDP “rebels” in the House
and some power-must-remainwith-
us elements from the North
to ensure that Aminu Tambuwal
from Sokoto State became speaker.
Now, did the South West cease to
exist because it neither produced
a House speaker nor senate
president? And where were these
pundits who are now afflicting
Nigerians with fantastic (some
would say, infantile) analyses on
the “misfortune” just suffered
by the South East? Why did we
not hear some “sad” mourners or
impulsive “analysts” composing
boring dirges in 2011 about the
“great misfortune” that visited
the South West, how some fellows
from there scored a “disastrous”
goal against their own people by
conspiring to give away such a
“juicy” position offered to their
zone on a platter of gold?
The attempt to always profile
South Easterners and brand any
action undertaken by them is
increasingly lacking in imagination,
but the real tragedy is that those
who have made it a cherished
occupation are yet to realize
it. Our “experts” found it very
easy, even natural, to agree with
indecent haste that the South East
was driven by nationalistic fervor
to vote massively for the PDP
from 1999 to 2011 because such a
position gratified their narrow, selfserving
calculations at that period.
But in 2015, the decision of many
South Easterners to vote for the same PDP has suddenly become
“tribalistic” (because of who stood
to lose or benefit from it this time)
and everyone that can string a few
sentences together is out there at
every village square spewing all
sorts of babble on the matter!
But the South West and the
North (including the toddlers
whose pictures went viral) that
voted en mass for the APC and
even the Northern PDP governors
who sank their political ships
by their clannish, double-faced
politics were all driven by
“nationalistic” spirit. For instance,
the defunct “NewPDP” owes its
emergence to Babangida Aliyu,
the PDP Governor of Niger
State, whose bitter agitation for
a PDP presidential candidate of
Northern extraction for the 2015
elections moved his colleagues
from the North (and one governor
from the South South who must
have been promised that he would
benefit from the “nationalistic”
mutiny) to file behind him. Soon
we began to hear about the G-7
governors who later named
themselves the “NewPDP” whose
sole agenda was to produce, not a
more efficient president, but just
a president from the North. Their
eventual merger with other likeminds
gave birth to what became
the APC.
Although Governors Aliyu, Sule
Lamido and some others chose to
stay back in the PDP, it is obvious
that they never purged themselves
of their original agitation and
agenda. They probably chose
to operate from within. That
is why despite their enormous
incumbency powers and influence,
Governors Aliyu and Isa Yuguda
of Bauchi lost their senatorial bids
to lesser-known candidates and
even the “very popular” Gov Sule
Lamido could not get his anointed
PDP governorship candidate
elected in Jigawa State because,
even very close to the elections,
he was reportedly still reluctant
to campaign for the presidential
candidate of his own party even
as he could be heard occasionally
speaking glowingly about the APC
presidential candidate – his brother.
Of course, these untidy political
activities by these PDP stalwarts
may have succeeded in confusing
the electorate which went on to
vote for “change” in all the elections
(which to many of them, might
to just mean, voting for “our own
person” not matter his vision and
Of course, our brilliant analysts
would not dare to describe these
people as “tribalistic.” As if
“nationalism” is one long, winding
road which if you continue to
follow tenaciously will lead you to
Daura while “tribalism” is a wide
expressway that speedily takes one
to Onitsha Bridge ! I think we should
be sick and tired of contaminating
national discourse with this kind of
self-deceiving claptrap.
Well, although, Buhari has suddenly
realized (after reeling out tantalizing
promises during the campaigns)
that he is not “magician” or “miracle
worker” and is now asking us to
tone down our expectations, the
APC should not lose sight of the high
hopes it unduly (some would say,
recklessly) raised among Nigerians
just to grab their votes. As the report
of Buhari’s appeal for patience from
Nigerians (since he now believes
that the promised “change” may
not come as quickly as he made
Nigerians believe it would) appeared
in theVanguard of Wednesday, May
6, 2015, the questions on the lips of
several Nigerians are: did he not do
his research very well, and counted
the cost, before he began to reel off
those clearly unrealistic promises to
Nigerians during the campaigns?
And how does his coming out to sing
a different tune after he has won the
elections make him to look before
Nigeria ?
That is why I think that instead of
going about looking for some clearly
inconsequential matters to feel
“sad” about, the APC leaders
should hasten to rouse themselves
to the yawning reality that the
campaigns are over and all eyes
are now on them to demonstrate
that they are capable of providing
the quality leadership they so
loudly promised Nigerians.
What exactly does their
promised “change” mean in
practical terms? How soon
will the naira acquire the same
value as the US dollar? When
are we expecting to witness
uninterrupted electricity supply,
the free meals for school pupils
everyday or the payment of
allowances to discharged but
unemployed NYSC members?
The list is endless.
The APC must hasten to realize
that very soon, they would no
longer have a President Jonathan
to blame for everything that
goes wrong in Nigeria or their
inability to deliver on the grand
promises they rolled out during
the campaigns. They would be
the ones on the hot seat receiving
all the flaks, and not even a
friendly, collaborative media
can deflect the impatience of a
disappointed populace. They
had better face the real issues
staring them in the face instead
of chasing butterflies.
Culled from

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