2015: When politicians overheat the polity -By Mohammed Faskari

Filed under: Political Issues |

2015: When politicians overheat the polity -By  Mohammed Faskari


Across the political divide in Nigeria, strong, fragile and sometimes shifty alliances and dalliances are being fabricated, broken or strengthened, as the case may be, in unequal measures, on a daily basis.

These come along with enough heat being generated. At these times, the politics of relevance determines what you get from the unfathomable pool called the ‘dividends of democracy.’ In playing this game of the survival of the fittest, simple rules of decency, fair play, tact and facts are treated with uncommon levity and brazen insouciance, in most circumstances, in the spirit of “all is fair in war.”

In some other instances, conventionally-held Rules of Engagement are turned upside down to oil and “authenticate” deliberate falsehoods to strengthen the “armoury” of the beneficiary. The lies, misconceptions and deliberate misinformation planted by the political class through unguarded and inciting utterances and actions, thrive because of the ingrained rank illiteracy, complacency, political apathy and the poverty level of the electorate.

When lies wear the garb of facts, the political bearing of the planter of those lies and that of the unwary electorate, become distorted, in a negative manner. The citizenry, on unearthing the truth, becomes more apathetic with a resultant deduction that all politicians are of the same stock. In its pristine form, the beauty of politics is the allure and aura of power.

In the Nigerian context, there is the added tendency for some of the wearers of this power toga to use it to accumulate economic capital for self and cronies It is in the light of the foregoing, that we must situate the desperate and precipitate actions, activities and utterances of a certain section of the political class that has indulged in wanton disregard for constituted authorities; rebellious activities designed to instigate other sections of the society to do same and other actions with intent to undermine the freely-elected President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and his administration by overt and covert means. This cadre of politicians believes that the art of politicking is another dimension of war that must be fought with bile, angst and uncommon and intense vehemence, to achieve the primary aim of acquiring power and all other “appurtenances” that will, necessarily, follow. Ordinarily, the foibles of the average politician are mainly predicated on the need to have a space in the market place of ideas to power his quest for power.

In recent times, the Nigerian polity has witnessed the most strident and baleful politicking in the nation’s history with frightful potentials for exacerbating the already taut and fragile security situation in certain parts of the country, the existence of which many people believe, some of the politicians are culpable. A section of the political class has been fanning the embers of mutual distrust, hatred and a bare-faced regime of lies through inciting statements, activities and proxy media interventions with pre-determined anti-Establishment focus and impact.

Arrayed in a phalanx of “chronic-complainants” are some of the so-called civil society organisations and individuals who, like cheer leaders, are egging the violence-prone politicians to cause more havoc and distabilise the polity. It is instructive to note that recently, the Inspector General of Police, Alhaji Suleiman Abba, had read the Riot Act to defaulting politicians to deviate from making inciting statements that are intended to undermine the very foundation of the nation’s security.

He also admonished them to rein-in their foot soldiers and ensure that they behave well in accordance with laiddown rules and regulations. One of the guiltiest politicians who have made inciting and many times, treasonable utterances to score cheap political points, is the garrulous Governor of Rivers State, Rotimi Chibuike Amaechi. At various fora, he had railed and ranted at the President and his wife in very insolent language and demeanour that would have, ordinarily, elicited a charge of treasonable felony in some other countries.

In his trade-mark rambunctious manner, he has unwittingly revealed the agenda of his party, the All Progressives Congress, to include a defeatist clause that the party will resort to selfhelp by setting up a parallel administration, if it loses the 2015 Presidential Election. This call-to-arms option propounded by Amaechi’s APC is definitely an invitation to chaos by a party which is not selling its manifesto to Nigerians who will cast their votes in 2015.

Arranged and programmed in a sequence for propaganda purposes, the so-called ‘Salvation Rally’ was held by the APC at the Eagle Square on Wednesday, November 19, 2014, with its leaders taking turns to pour verbal venom on the Federal Government, the President and the Nigeria Police Force. The rally later spilled over to the surroundings of the Eagle Square. A splinter group led by the selfsame Amaechi later laid a siege on the Police Headquarters while pouring invectives on the IGP and the police.

The events of Thursday, November 20, 2014 have elicited different reactions, with the APC and its foot soldiers engaging in their trademark scurrilous and skewed interpretations of what actually transpired between Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, acting as the principal agent provocateur with his army of Tonton Macoutes on one hand and the Nigeria Police Force contingent on ground, at the National Assembly precincts.

It was glaring that the posse led by Tambuwal was on a pre-planned mission to confront, provoke and tar-brush the Nigeria Police Force, which was out on its constitutionally-assigned duties. The commentators, acting in consonance with pre-set scripts and a measure of selective amnesia, are not telling Nigerians why Tambuwal should lead miscreants and hoodlums to breach and overrun legitimate cordons and perimeter screening point.

They are also not telling Nigerians why Tambuwal and his group should taunt and physically-assault the policemen (officers and men) in order to set up a self-serving scenario of “police brutality” and bias. Nor were we told why Tambuwal and his self-assembled security details accessed the Green Chambers of the National Assembly through a pre-set secret route if the intention was not to paint the Nigeria Police Force as unlawfully shutting down the National Assembly.

Why did the other legislators and “imported impostors” shamelessly scale the perimeter fence of the NASS, rather than go through the same secret route pre-arranged for Tambuwal and his horde of hoodlums? Why was the Senate President, Senator David Mark and his Aide-de-Camp manhandled by Tambuwal’s supporters?