By Mohammed Adamu
Let’s face it: ACN’s claim that the South West voted Jonathan, not PDP, is not any less morally compunctious than say former British Naval Commander, Lord Mountbatten’s apology: “Actually I vote Labor, but my butler is Tory”.
And yet even the harangue of political conscience should be less prickly in a politician apologizing to Tory sentiments because he voted Labor than in a politician apologizing to a righteous public opinion for deliberately voting to support bad governance; and worse even, in repudiation of his hard-earned ‘progressive’ reputation.
But who dares to say so?! Those who arrogate to themselves the right to pontificate on and to define ‘political ideology’ for others, now seem themselves decidedly less theoretical and trenchantly more existential with that self-arrogated freedom. ‘Ideology’, they appear to be saying ‘is no longer what we say it is. Ideology is whatever our body language chooses to articulate!’
And what would be better interpretation of that than to say that: a vote for a palpably clueless candidate-Jonathan, against an undeniably anti-corruption savvy–candidate, Ribadu-, in aid of a reputedly rampaging and despoiling-party, the PDP, and all these at the expense of an otherwise ‘ideologically-inclining’ political party, the ACN, does not in any way vitiate progressive purity. It sanctifies it.
In his ‘The Hohenzollerns in America’, a British-born Canadian writer and economist, Stephen Leacock lampoons this kind of ideological double standard when he said “I am a Liberal Conservative, or, if you will, a Conservative Liberal with a strong dash of sympathy with the socialist idea, a friend of Labor and a believer in Progressive
Radicalism. I… would take a seat in the Canadian Senate at five minutes’ notice”.
The Canadian Senate by the way is an unelected chamber comprising appointed legislators (by the Prime Minister) and whose job principally is to dot the ‘I’s and to cross the ‘t’s of bills initiated and passed by the House of Commons. The Canadian parliament is generally considered as a constitutional chamber of “sober, second thought” but which critics say never ever sobers let alone ever gives any thought to legislative issues. It is, they say, redundant and serves no check on the executive!
Thus it is not difficult discerning cheap bread and butter mentality in the politics of Stephen Leacock’s ideological caricature. Yet even the rainbow ideologue of Leacock’s creation cannot be said to be truly as guilty as the ACN electoral thumpers in their ideological double standard during the last presidential election.
If anything Leacock’s admittance that he would take a seat in an appointed, virtually redundant Canadian Senate “at five minutes’ notice”, is conscientiously confessional enough. But the political moralists in ACN are bent on eating their cake and then having it. On the one hand laying claim to the progressive idea that politics is an ‘obligation’, and yet on the other acting to etch some other unsavory hues to their democratic electoral actions and crooked predilections.
Interestingly even before Ribadu returned from his self-imposed exile and joined the ACN, the party had made un-imaginable inroads in several states of the North. It had not only been accepted in many states of the three zones of the very north that is now a geo-political bête noire of many ethno-centric southern propagandists, the ACN was in fact effectively threatening traditional political patterns including long established status quos in, especially, Taraba, Benue, Kwara and Niger states.
In fact in Kano, the amiable incumbent ANPP Deputy Governor after falling out with his Principal Shekarau, opted to hawk his electoral credentials on the ticket of the ACN. And up to the eve of last Tuesday’s gubernatorial elections, observers of Kano politics said that with protest votes from his ANPP faithful, grumbling others from Abacha’s ragtag CPC malcontents and a few crumbs of votes here and there from the political milieu that Kano’s sometimes unpredictable electoral free-for-all is reputed for, the ACN could well have sprung surprises in Kano.
In fact when I wrote ‘Talba: Beware the gathering storm’ months ago in which I was forewarning my State Governor of the political meteors caking atop the firmaments of the Niger, I did say “Even Tinubu’s ACN is now no longer sated with the wild wild votes.
The Party is not only retributively up and swinging in the troubled West, it is stealthily creeping up North like a thief in the night. And Talba dear, the worry is… that they (Nigerlites) are beginning to hum a welcome song (to the Western masquerade). Soon (I said) they will be chanting: ‘egungun, egungun…’
Yet the irony of it all is that it should seem progressive enough that a political party ACN, from the South West is making inroads into hitherto un dreamt of conservative terrains of the north but that the northern embrace of an essentially ngbati, ngbati political party from the South West is not radically progressive enough to credit northerners with liberal political temperament!