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Politics in High Places: Aberant of the Mainstream

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Author: Dr Lai Ajileye
Posted to the web: 10/13/2006 1:31:19 PM

Politics in High Places: Aberrant to the Mainstream

Considering the current and perhaps ongoing personality clash between President Obasanjo and V.P. Atiku, Nigerians in Diaspora are gravely concern about the implications of this unwholesome ‘titanic ruffling of feathers’ and the consequent reverberating instability its giving our political transition process.


Without a doubt, it does not portray a complimentary image of Nigeria and Nigerians abroad. The questions we are facing daily is that if our leaders can be this confrontational, inept and ‘messy’ in their style of managing matters of personal and public significance, how different can we perform when all chips are down? What example of self-discipline, team building and mutual trust and confidence can we provide if it is in fact lacking amongst the people we have entrusted with the charge of nation building?


This imbroglio is being watched by the entire world as if in a theatre and all the actors are playing their scripts day by day. It is inimical to our collective sense of national pride to see, like an avalanche or hurricane, huge allegations of corruption and counter allegations, revelations of the magnitude of official moral bankruptcy, fiscal indiscipline and poor self-control, in a regime that pride itself on anti-corruption agenda. This is happening at the pinnacle that symbolises our democratic identity and federal pride.


We have allowed the allegation of another foreign national, someone who is currently under probe in his own native country for unrelated matter of official bankruptcy, simply because, he is a parliamentarian. We allowed our statutory establishment to be drawn and used for the course which is not in our national interest. EFCC appears to be enthusiastic and jettisons their oath of impartiality, independence and transparency, a reputation they have built to international acclaim by successive display of professionalism and commitment in previous cases. They allow the impression of being used as a tool of executive harassment and international collaboration for political blackmail. Ordinarily, I would have called for the resignation of Mallam Nuhu Ribadu, EFCC Chairman, but he has another chance to prove that he is above board and Nigerians can count on him to deliver the charge of his appointment without any form of local or international influence. It is becoming clearer by the day the underlying indications and undertone for this ‘political marriage gone sour’ An adage in Yoruba language says ‘ Ija lode lorin d’owe’. This summarises the affairs ensuing between the President and his Vice we have voted to be our examples of executive collaboration.


When our presidency should be concentrating all resources on organising a free and fair elections in 2007 and consolidating on his legacies of 8 years rule, what we are witnessing are activities that question the validity of their intention to hand over in May 2007. Nigeria polity should not be experiencing this type and amount of ‘heat waves’ generated by the current face-offs, rather, we should be witnessing the emergence of political talents and potential leaders telling us about their manifestoes and testing their popularity among Nigerians.


If South Africa, Zimbabwe, Kenya and perhaps United Kingdom could withstand this kind of thing, why should Nigeria toe the same line as if it is a regional or continental policy to get rid of a vice President at the twilight of a regime?


We want to see President Obasanjo providing genuine leadership as did Mr Tony Blair, in reconciliation, temperament, fairness, openness and set a benchmark for political team spirit and tolerance in the region of Africa. The world is watching our political melodrama, let’s draw the curtain on our shame and shine the light brightly on our collective milestones of achievements.


Dr Lai Ajileye, writes from London

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