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The gloves are off…

By Denrele Animasaun

“Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies.” ? Groucho Marx

It is becoming painfully obvious that the electioneering is going to be one long   gerrymandering mean fest; who can shout the loudest, spend the most money, wear the most colourful attires, pull the most crowd, insult the most, the most incorrigible, most abusive, throws the most blows or cause the most upset and rent the largest crowd.

To be honest, I rather go to bed and wake up when the Election Day arrives but, then I will miss the drama. You cannot have one without the other.

The dust has hardly settled with the West pointing a finger at the President of reneging on the initial election date. So the world and its cousins knows that BH is not as the government, said: a small problem or a challenge but a huge problem that has cost the nation dearly in terms of manpower, lives, livelihoods and reputation. I mean, now it is the whipping boy to postpone the election

As other African nations come to the aid of Nigeria, it seems pitiful that the president and his men have enough time to drum their chest so loudly albeit, at a safe distance to tell Nigerians that, they have never had it so good. Well, talking about the emperor’s clothes, you would wish that they take a look in the mirror as those that can truly see clearly know that they have nothing to crow home about.

A woman in Purdah casting her votes during the Gubernatorial and State Assembly Elections in Minna, Niger State. Photo by Abayomi Adeshida
FILE PHOTO: A woman in Purdah casting her votes in Minna, Niger State. Photo by Abayomi Adeshida

They are now making alliances and breaking others whoever disagrees with them and then they remember that they did not like them after all. Soon, they will run out of friends at this rate. But then they can back paddle, beg and bargain. They will reason that they have never fallen out and if they did it, then it’s no one’s business but theirs.

Should we really care when they are tripping up all on their own? Do we really care? Well, one has to as the innocent bystander gets drawn into the melee and they are causalities and most likely to be the Nigerian.

Should they be told that they are perpetually lying and most can see through it? Does it really matter even when they won’t believe it anyway? Can we tell them that they do not look credible and that it is so uncomfortable watching a train crash. Really, should we?

You really can’t write this: now Obasanjo met with leaders of the All People’s Congress (APC) and, he definitely has affirmed for Buhari irrespective of party affiliations. This has not gone down well with the president’s mega mouths. And Okupe already had fired the insult sullying OBJ that GEJ has been the best president that Nigeria has ever had, well amongst other supplications. So OBJ has referred to the president as a tout and that did not sit well with Jona’s camp.

The insult keeps coming and the army has waded in calling the old man “an embarrassment” to the army when Obasanjo raised fears of a coup if the election is not free and fair.

Then, at the Northern Elders Council in Abuja, Jona described in his speech, a thinly veiled swipe at OBJ as a statesman. He said; “Some people call themselves statesmen but they are not, they are just ordinary politicians, to be a statesman is not because you have occupied a big office before, but the question is what are you bringing to bear? Are you building this country or are you a part of people who tell lies to destroy the country?” Well, the gauntlet has been down and it is hard to retract but he tried to blame the whole mess on his mega mouths. OBJ is not for turning and he made this known. He has been consistent; he has not been happy with the party for a while and he has not been quiet and has been saying so. He wrote it in a letter but he was ignored and pilloried.

Obasanjo is not to be trifled with and they should have known that. Political musical chairs is commonplace in Nigerian politics but the current thawing of affection by OBJ, towards the APC leadership is making the Jona camp very uneasy indeed and despite trying to get the party grandees and OBJ’s contemporaries to play peace and for OBJ to smoke the peace pipe. It will be hard for them to undo the disagreement and grand disrespect emanating from the spin doctors. Obasanjo was quoted on Monday as saying that Jonathan was behind the rescheduling of the general elections because of his desperation to win the election. He had declared publicly his resignation from the party at a meeting of his supporters in Abeokuta, where he also ordered that his PDP membership card be torn, following which his party expelled him.

So now Obansanjo, we are told, has gone and tore his PDP membership card and it’s all-out war. So, his decision to quit the PDP may knock the morale off some party activists and persuade undecided voters to back the opposition in the hotly contested presidential and parliamentary elections.

They say the dog does not bite the hand that feeds him and this time it may have just done that. Dr Stephen Oru, the Minister, Niger Delta Affairs, suggested that Obasanjo apologise to President Goodluck Jonathan and the PDP. Oru advised Obasanjo to emulate other respected former presidents who have humbled themselves and utilised available channels to advice government on ways to move the nation forward.

According to him, Obasanjo has not treated the PDP, the person and office of the President and Nigerians fairly. “He still has the time to make amends and retrace his footsteps and tender an apology to the party and the nation.” The minister observed that Jonathan had a usual gift of patience, tolerance and humility.

He is barking up the wrong tree and he should know that this old man is made of sterner stuff and would only do what he wants to do.


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