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Published On: Wed, Jan 28th, 2015

A dog that locks horns and a bull that barks

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Femi-Fani-KayodeBy Ali M Ali.

It is a clueless dog that locks horns -African proverb

The above is the crudest translation of the Hausa proverb that says “batan basira ke sa kare tunkuyi“. Dogs are designed by nature to bark and bite. They don’t lock horns. Rams and bulls do. The day rams and bulls bark, politicians of the Nigerian hue, would level with citizens. But the dog that chooses to lock horns like a prized ram in a charged arena is “clueless”. It has run out of ideas how to use its canines for defense or attack.

Pray tell, what would make a dog lock horns rather than bark and bite at the sight of an “adversary?”. An advanced form of ‘warfare?’ Or is it a “soft’ approach to overwhelm the enemy? or is it plain cluelessness?

The reaction of presidential ‘mouthpieces’ to the raging debate ahead of the impending elections, mildly stated, laughable. Consider, if you may, the response of spokesman of Jonathan’s Presidential Campaign Council, Femi Fani-Kayode to the brilliantly articulated Charles Soludo’s treatise on the Jonathan’s years.

Soludo is not an ordinary Nigerian. He is a Professor of Economics. He was one time the Governor of Central Bank. Among his several feats as the nation’s no1 monetary chief was banks’ consolidation. Under his watch, local banks acquired real financial muscles and evolved to “megabanks” and raised their capital base to N25 billion.

On Monday, his article “Buhari Vs. Jonathan: Beyond Election was a “monster” hit among the informed not ruled by emotion or sentiments. In it, Soludo, a man with his own baggage and therefore, open to merciless attacks by dogs locking horns, deconstructed the macro economic management of the current regime.

Point by point, he incinerated all the arguments put forward by sympathizers of Jonathan. He put a lie the oft-bandied ‘rebased’ economy. That means nothing he contended. He sounded the alarm of the imminent bankruptcy of the nation. He scored the regime an “F” as far as the management of the economy is concerned.

Typically, the PDP responded in the manner of the “dog locking horns”. Fani-Kayode, a man I will not, knowingly buy a used car from, avoided the message and attacked the messenger. Hear him “Needless to say my friend and brother Charles Soludo is confused and conflicted. He seems to have lost touch with reality and this is what often happens when you spend too much time with the Buharists…

“Confused and conflicted?”. I am “maniacally bewildered”. Who, I dare to ask, between Soludo and FFK has a history of “hallucinatory schizophrenia?” Who is more of an ‘amala’ intellectual?

Next of the president’s men is a woman Mrs Ngonzi Okonji-Iweala.She too, responded typically, in the dog locking horns fashion. She called Soludo names. Hers is understandable. Soludo burst her bubble of the carefully constructed “voodoo economics” which she bamboozled a naïve president all these years. The “biggest economy” construct remains Okonji-Iweala’s most daring stunt. An economy that operates at the level of consumption can’t be trusted to bring succor to ordinary citizen.

Both FFK and Okonji-Iweala’s response to Soludo, in couched in intemperate language, markedly contrasted with the response to same by APC’s Kayode Fayemi. The former Ekiti’s governor’s measured language helped in influencing the undecided in the forthcoming polls.

It appears the dog locking horns syndrome has completely overwhelmed the Jonathan campaign team . Two short days ago, the infamous “Ali must go”, the Director-General of the campaign, described Labaran Maku as a ‘dangerous animal/boy’. His vituperation was a response to Maku’s defection to APGA to achieve his gubernatorial dream. Even Jonathan, who Maku literally laid his life in reviling the president’s perceived traducers from the core north, didn’t spare him. How unkind?

Yesterday Maku, normally combative, was restrained in his own response. He staunchly refused to “join” issues with his former party’s apparatchik. But he concluded with a stinker. According to Maku, the sustained attack on him by PDP stalwarts is a sign of “panic”.

He should know. He was an insider. Truly, PDP is in real “panic mode”. Its leader might have signed for peace pact but its campaign so far has been that of calumny. It has been particularly hard on the presidential challenger Buhari who has never look this good to lead a major political upset in the nation’s history. Each time, it maligns the former military ruler, he gets more sympathy. I know for certain that the doctored documentary on him helped influenced the undecided. An online polls conducted by AIT gave Buhari a resounding victory. He sprinted away with over 71% of the votes.

In about 16 days, a new dawn may break in the not so “sprawling” expanse of Nigeria. Not so “sprawling” expanse because a chunk, the size of Belgium, of the once unviolated landmass of Nigeria, is gone to Boko Haram. Currently these bad boys control a total of 20,000 square miles. Not to worry, the federal government still has, under its belt, a total of 331,649 square miles. This should console us, the tribe of the miserable and the helpless.

In slightly over two weeks, Nigerians would decide who is better placed to run their affairs between a ‘transformer’ and a ‘serial election loser’. We will go to the polls. All of us eligible to vote are determined exercise our franchise to fire or to re-hire the current ‘servants’ posing as kings.

In democracy, the voter is king. In our ‘pimped’ brand of it, the voter is the doormat, which the ‘kings’, the shoeless and the shoeful, trampled upon, and wipes the heels of their designer footwear.

It has been so these all these years the PDP has called the shots at the centre. Head or tail, it wins. With or without your consent, it triumphs. For 16 years, this party has ridden us roughshod ‘winning’, it was secured in the knowledge of its invincibility backed by a partisan Police force and judiciary. It brags routinely that it will rule for a minimum of 60 years. And truly, it looked so until now that the dog locking horns syndrome has consumed it.

Too bad !


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