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Published On: Wed, Nov 19th, 2014

Is Mr. President also disciple of ‘do or die politics’?

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By Son Gyoh

Since one can never really be sure which media report to believe and what might constitute spreading falsehood, I again start with a quoted report from the Vanguard media credited to President Jonathan. Reading the report cited in the vanguard news link above, it is easy to spot a double speak from the president and one begins to wonder if he finds time to reflect on what he says and does if only to bridge the ever expanding gulf between his words and deeds. On the surface, his appeal to party members to shun desperation is a sign of statesmanship, a noble call from a well-meaning leader and an acknowledgement of the negative consequence of imposing candidates on the electorate. If anything, it also shows an appreciation of the imminent dangers of suppressing the will of the people and concern for the general good.

However, these wise words are immediately compromised when in the same breath the president makes an overture to the PDP governors that hands out a free reign to choose their successors and go for the senate or any office they may desire in return for a pledge to work for his re- election. Now, what can a discerning mind make of this unprecedented leeway handed the governors who are widely acknowledged as the brainbox in crafting electoral malpractices and sponsors of subterranean schemes that disenfranchise the Nigerian electorate.

As inferred in the warning he issued against the imposition of candidates on citizens, the president himself knows exactly the import of this leverage. If the manipulation of party machineries to impose their choices at the expense of the opinion of the wider population is not desperate, what else could be described as the politics of “do or die”? Certainly, the free hand to choose their successors allows the governors install cover-up governments that ignore improprieties conducted under their watch, but thankfully experience has shown that these pacts are tenuous and easily consumed by the same vice that underline their currency. This illicit compromise also pulls the plug on prospective aspirants and their supporters waiting on a chance now usurped to serve the narrow interest of two players.

What else can be described as ‘do or die politics’ when the apparatus of power is manipulated to serve primitive gains? Clearly, if they don’t do it, they die and wither politically. Quite unlike the exclusive endorsement however, it would appear this ‘do or die’ window has been extended to the other ranks of this covetous political gathering. It is safe to conclude that we are not only under the siege of terrorist insurgents redefining the map of Nigeria, but under the yoke of mindless plutocrats that converge around a political platform which understanding of governance is no different from the lottery maxim of winner takes all.

Son Gyoh is based in Abuja


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