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The damned compact majority

By Mohammed  Adamu

Literary Author Henrik Ibsen, in most of his works has advanced cogent philosophical rationale for supporting the ‘righteous minority’ -as against, that is, what he described as the “damned compact, liberal majority.” Ibsen was in fact one of few Western literary writers who created and promoted an antithesis to the popular so-called democratic refrain ‘the majority is always right’. He argued on the contrary that it is the minority that is always right “because the minority is usually at some point where the majority is yet to discover”.

And thus in his work ‘An Enemy of the People’ Ibsen observed that “The most dangerous enemy to truth and freedom in our midst is the compact majority” – adding with a bile of emphasis “Yes, the damned compact, liberal majority”.

In Nigeria without doubt, what fits into Ibsen’s ‘compact –albeit in our case ‘illiberal’- majority’, would be the just-electorally-confirmed ‘PDP voting majority’;  though this evidently transient majority is gleaned only from the party’s dominance of the last parliamentary elections.

And, yet even at that, that damned compact, illiberal PDP voting majority has done its worst in that outing – establishing, for the first time, near-incontrovertible majority Senate and House seats in the areas so far contested and declared.

And, it was against that ‘damned compact, illiberal PDP voting majority’ that the two minority opposition political parties, CPC and ACN, met last Wednesday to re-explore ways of working politically- together and hopefully to create the long- awaited electoral synergy to affirm the righteousness of the disparate ‘minority’ by defeating the behemoth PDP in yesterday’s Presidential election.

The two political parties were all agreed on two facts, namely that the damned compact illiberal PDP voting majority is ‘The most dangerous enemy to truth and freedom in our midst’ ; and that the only way it can be roundly defeated in order to free Nigeria from the shackles of its compact drudgery, is by way of multi-partisan or bi-partisan initiatives.

It was clear to all that none of the righteous minority parties could go it alone. Or that if they dared to pull their lonely party furrows each knew that at best it stood only a gossamer of chance of stalemating the presidential election and forcing a run-off on the ‘damned compact illiberal PDP majority.’

Yet, the ACN-CPC attempt predictably failed; even against the backdrop of the highest expectations of the righteous voting minority. And, now they have given a breather to the political bad guys. Or maybe not just a breather; a ‘breath of fresh electoral air?’ –or whatever!

When I wrote ‘Opposition and the death of Realpolitik’ I quoted Mallam Adamu Ciroma warning that “Opposition parties must hold themselves responsible if they fail to play their proper role in a democracy, even one as broken (he said) as our own”.

Well, for the umpteenth time, opposition parties have failed us in the all-important task of liberating Nigeria through the democratic process; and now it brings the message glibly home that if you ever thought that the desperate quest for political leadership by most Nigerian politicians was motivated by genuine altruistic, selfless desire to serve, you are damn wrong! It is, it has always been and it appears it’ll always be about ‘special interests’: of groups or of individuals.

Leaders already in power, the desperado-others who are seeking to have power and a majority of those at the receiving end of power, it appears are all damned compact in their different ways! Only the righteous voting minority appears to still retain some measure of blush and sanity! And, some of that may not remain for too long.

Because if the damned compact voting majority that has a democratic ‘way’ opts always for bad governance, and if the righteous voting minority continues to have not ‘a way’ but ‘a say’, maybe it’ll do well, by the way, for us all to respect the will of the damned compact majority by preaching ‘bad governance’! Maybe a glut of ‘bad governance’, attained in good time, may return the damned compact majority to the path of righteousness on which the poor ‘minority’ has long been left, stranded! Making good Ibsen’s theory that it is the minority that is always right “because the minority is usually at some point where the majority is yet to discover”.

Because candidly-speaking PDP as a party is not the problem. The damned compact, misgoverned,

turn-the-other-cheek, illiberal PDP voting majority is the problem! It has proved always and especially at the last parliamentary elections that it does not love Nigeria enough to vote right. And, the truth is you cannot liberate the people in spite of themselves. If the damned compact illiberal voting majority does not want to vote right because the damned compact illiberal voting majority after 12 years, is still not done with economic drudgery and political rascality, then we have to let the damned compact majority be!

As I once said, of the many definitions of democracy, the right to vote even the wrong candidate is no less democratic than the right to field one in the first place. And, the Islamic perspective to the mundane affairs of man is no less instructive: at all times nations are blessed with or tribulated by the very type of leaderships that they deserve.

If they make a necessity of voting the wicked, it’ll be necessary that they be governed wickedly, by the wicked! Because “Necessity” as William Pitt the Younger wrote “is the language of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves”.

Let the damned compact, illiberal PDP voting majority be!


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