Power they say corrupts; and absolute power corrupts absolutely. The Otuoke Bayelsa man, who never showed any sign that he was going to honour his earlier campaign promise of serving only one single term in office, moreover did not surprise many when he threw his heart into the political ring of second tenure. By the time the results of that 2015 presidential election were made public, it became clear that those with comprehensive assessment of his leadership were in majority and they made sure he never got another mandate.
Analysts have continued to argue that if the 2011 presidential election presented Jonathan’s presidency with the euphoria of triumphal ride to cement grip on power and authority, history would surely reckon him as a gallant loser in the 2015 contest.
Irrespective of whatever reasons one may or may not adduce concerning the historic defeat, it has been said in many quarters that in years to come Nigeria’s political discussions would continue to be dominated by stories on how a Nigerian sitting president lost his seat through the ballot box.
Is the country now on the threshold of witnessing a similar occurrence? This desirable impression is sending jitters down our political spine as the country braces up for another round of election while the rest of the world wait and watch with bated breath. Yes, it is an assumption that may not be unconnected with varied controversies that have infested the current Nigeria’s government under the leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari. From the president’s health challenge to his sheer negligence of the country’s constitutional federal character on key and strategic appointments, moving unto his less or no attention to high spate of insecurity in the land which has resulted to a huge loss of lives, these and other myriads of disturbing issues are now staring at the faces of Mr. Buhari and his party, the All Progressives Congress (APC), as they juggle to redeem their political image at the ballot box.
Ironically, the APC which came to power barely four years ago with high hopes built on the strong template of heart-warming promises to put the country and her citizenry in good stead of economic rejuvenation, is now facing stiff challenges from the same opposition it ousted from office.
Be that as it may, the sitting president is hell-bent in retaining his seat and this had continued to attract widespread condemnation. They wanted the president to help himself by calling active politics a quit. In spite of his earnest contributive efforts to make the country work, particularly in the fight against corruption and insurgency in the North east of the country, those raising the alarm never expected that the former military Head of State who approaches his 77th birthday after the election would still be caught in the ugly web of sit-tight politics. They stressed with every sense of patriotism that with the sophisticated manner with which the problems bedeviling the country continued to raise their ugly heads, the Daura-born Army General was not in any way expected to remain as a presiding officer over close to 200million people in a super digitalized world where government policies are formed with deep reflections of speed intellectual nous.
Unfortunately these views are being expressed at a time when a leading opponent in the country’s current politics is equally a septuagenarian. The politician, who is firing in all cylinders to occupy the Number One seat of the nation, come next May, is scheming his political campaigns through varieties of alluring messages and promises, including the same old sweet jingle of serving only one term. This demeaning side of political jingle however is not new to Nigeria and Nigerians. Like in the politics of the past, the sentimental gimmick which is orchestrated in the lyrics to hoodwink the naïve sections of the society, is also targeted to garner favor, popularity and of course votes at the Election Day.
Would this political ploy fashioned in a clime where sit-tight politics has become badge of honor for political office holders turn out to be a fresh vista for a new Nigeria? Only time shall tell!
Assumpta Press, Owerri