By Ebele Orakpo
â€œWhat is with this IBB of a man? Why is he fighting tooth and nail to get back to Aso Rock?â€ asked Tony this Monday evening as the commuter bus moved slowly along the Ogba – Ikeja road. He was reacting to a statement by a commuter, Mr Laz who said that IBB will be the next president if we are not careful.
â€œDonâ€™t mind him. He is acting as if it is his birthright. Are there no other people in this great nation of ours? Must we continue to recycle the same set of people? He was even reported to have said that if none of the existing political parties adopted him as their candidate, he would run as an independent candidate. Can you beat that! That goes to show his level of desperation,â€ said Kanayo.
â€œIs he not tired? Let him just go and rest and leave us alone to recover from the injuries he inflicted on the nation for eight years,â€ stated Femi.
â€œWhat do you mean tired? asked Comfort. â€œIs anyone ever tired of power and its trappings? The man is missing all the goodies he enjoyed while in power so he wants to get back in there. After all, he told us he was stepping aside and if I understand my English grammar well, it means he was not bidding goodbye to power finally but only for a while and now, he is ready to go back to power. I guess his money is running out and itâ€™s not easy maintaining his 50-room mansion.â€
â€œWhy are we getting all bent out of shape because of IBB? The truth is that the man has a right to contest. The Constitution does not stop him; so instead of working ourselves up for nothing, let us work towards mobilising people to vote for the right candidate and making sure that our votes count,â€ counselled Iyke.
â€œHmm, you speak as if you are in another country. Has your vote ever counted? We have never really had a true democratic election in this nation. All we have had were selections. The only exception was the 1993 presidential election which was adjudged the freest and fairest in the history of Nigeria, all because Option A4 was used,â€ noted Mr. Uzo.
â€œI donâ€™t think we should be talking about qualification now, but credibility. The man has got so many questions to answer. Somebody who institutionalised corruption? Let him first tell Nigerians how he came about his stupendous wealth, what happened to Dele Giwa, why he annulled June 12, 1993 elections, why he refused to appear before the Oputa Panel, etc,â€ stated Femi.
â€œBut some people are rooting for him. Their reason being that he is liberal, especially to cronies. They call him â€˜I chop, you chop,â€™ unlike Obasanjo who they call chop alone and die alone,â€ Comfort said, to which Tony replied: â€œWe still have a very long way to go if people still think that way. Is the wealth he is distributing to cronies his personal wealth?
Is it not our commonwealth meant for infrastructure and human development? Why must a few people hold us to ransom and some harebrained, selfish and misguided individuals are fighting for them to get back to power? They want to satisfy their today at the expense of their tomorrow because if instead of investing our money in infrastructure and human development, they share with cronies, then we should forget about job creation, power supply, potable water, affordable housing etc., and like we say, NYSC â€˜now your suffering continues.â€™â€
â€œAs for making sure our votes count, the only way we could do that is to use Option A4 (open ballot) system but unfortunately, majority of our lawmakers kicked against it. We all know the reason. Many of them did not win election; so if Option A4 is chosen, most of them would not return. So to avoid that, they fervently rejected that option, preferring instead the secret ballot system which aids rigging.â€
â€œI read somewhere that one pastor said we should vote for him with stones,â€ said Uzo. â€œOh no! That would be going to the extreme. We should all wake up and stop being passive,â€ said Tony.