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Published On: Mon, Aug 4th, 2014

Niger opposition without position: The rotten egg syndrome

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By Ayegba Israel Ebije

The use of blackmail as political tool in Niger has not only diminished the role of opposition in the state but cast negative inference on their authenticity as alternative political platform in the 2015 calculation.Quality debate, analysis, and exploration of the ruling party by the opposition has fizzled off paving way for desperate politicians who are constantly in the business of aping around throwing banana peels to score cheap and callous points towards feeding their appetite of blackmail for money.

The Niger opposition party blindly led on an errand of futile search for political relevance has dragged themselves to a flaking cliff edge where they will soon fall off straight to abyss where all their poisonous jives have always gone to.

While it is clear that making the slightest inference at the destitute opposition in Niger will only glorify their emptiness, it is however important to use their disastrous political outings as a veritable case study on how best to fool around as an opposition party in Nigeria.

In Niger, the opposition has always revealed its hands as people with diluted opinion situated on self based interest of clog throwing platoons of people only instinctively disposed towards sniffing the behinds of the ruling party with personal agenda.

It is therefore very clear that from the unset, Niger state is only blessed with an opposition party only interested in ape banana relationship. They only suddenly mind the ruling party when the next electioneering campaign draws nearer – isn’t that the very opinion of some David Umaru’s, the serial opposition governorship candidate whose sponsored writer called “the last man standing”?

Jonathan Vatsa, the spokesman of the Niger APC wakes up every morning, looks at himself in the mirror, paces up and down in the room like Mr. Bumble of the famed Charles Dickson book “Oliver Twist” breath in and out puffing out air from his larger than normal cheek and says to himself “now I have to blackmail some more to get patronage from the Niger state government”.

He then dashes off to seek help, he stumbles off with a gait of a the “Butruses” of our time into the dark like an alligator looking for offal’s. Boom the next day even to the surprise of his political platform he has conjured a string of disjointed drivel – a share figment of his distorted imagination.

The Niger APC spokesman has no political interest or is he in anyway seeking to feather the political nest of his party, all he seeks is his pocket, all what he wants is to solidify his blackmail enterprise where he hopes (elusively) to be invited for “hush-money”.

Interestingly opposition in every government is to democratize it but today, being in the opposition is only a matter of time, circumstance and “unsettled elements”. Once the planets of good fortune align on a straight graph, the castigated ruling party becomes the new beautiful bride.

While scaling political party platforms is the penchant of some politicians, others no matter what happens will perpetually remain in the opposition to satisfy pecuniary and also very curious gain. The likes of Vatsa have come to realize that Niger opposition cannot win a credible election, hence decides to hibernate in the opposition as a perpetual loser and a perpetual empty sound in a leaking pot – trading words with such a fellow is like trading intelligence for ignorance (they only know “go” and cannot recognize “come”).

Interestingly, his serial adventure of blackmail has neither put a dent in the fertile image of the Niger PDP nor brought together the already fragmented APC presently having not less that 6 factions.

While the author of this article begs the forgiveness of the reader for taking out a few paragraphs for a political leech, there is need to draw attention to workings of government and the need to properly educate Nigerians on what litmus test to judge incumbent leaders on.

At a time it is okay for a governor to get away with almost everything and the next time that governor who on account of his “powerful” friends in a political corner has operated unhurt regardless of the magnitude of offence now becomes impaled for being in the opposition.

Same applies to opposition party members who call the ruling party by all sort of names and the next split second take up appointments as ministers and just as sheep’s start to bleat praises to be part of the feeding frenzy at the center. Its all about interests and its time Nigerians pull the veil off their faces to see clearly.

It is also instructive to note that nobody praises hard work much. Mistakes remain remarkable yardsticks to situate leaders – and that accounts for why many people in the opposition throw clogs around physically and with the use of poisonous media to whittle the mettle of their opponents.

The politics of patronage is a major factor that has affected the relationship between Nigerians and their leaders. Many Nigerians have only positioned their minds on rating their leaders based on how much they can get from them and not how much dividends of democracy provided. This lugubrious system of patronage has led to the systemic failure of the leadership system with its collateral damage on the system, the people and the image of the country.

For Niger state, the Chief Servant gave the people service, putting his feet to the ground against abuse of office and financial irregularities/patronage where money politics was the only way to win the love of depraved politicians, pathologically interested in smiling to the banks with hard earned tax payers money.

Despite traceable results of dividends of democracy – tangible and intangible dividends running into billions some are of the opinion that such monies should be shared!

The Ward Development Program (WDP) where monies are released on monthly bases for developmental programs, the graduate employment scheme, youth skill acquisition programs people prefer to pocket the monies are among the many landmark achievement of the administration for God and country.

Interestingly elites,  are aggrieved they are not patronized, opposition are pissed they are not getting blackmail money and the gullible and misled expect sugar, oil and food seasoning etc before deciding on who to support during election. This is the time the wise must speak out if we must correct leadership deficit in Nigeria.

Whatever happened to collective aspiration towards development? Whatever happened to the concept of selflessness for God and country? We must therefore realize that Nigeria political institution can only be as good as the general attitudinal disposition of an average Nigerian on the malaise of money politics, impunity and sentimentality.

 Ayegba Israel Ebije is Chief Press Secretary to the governor of Niger state

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