MEET FRANK OSHANUGOR
By Frank Oshanugor
In spite of the abundance of scriptural preachment over the years that power comes only from God, many Nigerian politicians are yet to understand the foolishness of their conviction that they can make or unmake anyone politically.
One is not saying that political destiny helpers are non-existent in our clime nor is it wrong for anyone in a position of strength to assist others in achieving their political ambition. We certainly need one another’s help to get to higher levels in life because God Himself in the scriptures enjoins that the “strong shall protect the weak.”
Protecting or helping the “weak” comes in different ways, not only through financial support. It could come by way of advice, moral encouragement, physical protection, gospel teaching, academic knowledge impartation, counselling and so many other ways. The concept of the strong in terms of one in a privileged position rendering assistance to the person in a less privileged position is obviously intended by God for human beings to appreciate their oneness irrespective of status.
Regrettably, politics in Nigeria has come with ungodly intentions in the political space with personalities who see themselves and perceived by their followers as ‘god’ with power to make and unmake politically. ‘Godfatherism’ particularly in this Fourth Republic has assumed such abuse that certain appellations which ought to be used only for God Himself have come too open on the horizon courtesy of followers and believers in their so-called god fathers.
In the early years of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) for instance, a man like Chief Tony Anenih (now late) was highly adored as MR. FIX IT and not a few in the party believed in his ability to decide who got what position as far as the party was concerned. He was perceived as a god as far as PDP and politics in Edo State was concerned. It took the courage of the likes of Adams Oshiomhole in the opposition party to make attempt at demystifying Anenih’s stronghold in Edo politics.
Few days ago, Nigerians have watched the trending audacious posturing in Abeokuta, Ogun State of former Lagos State Governor; Bola Ahmed Tinubu boastfully asserting how he made Muhammadu Buhari to become Nigeria’s President in 2015, how he made Prof. Yemi Osibanjo to become Vice President and Dapo Abiodun to become Governor of Ogun.
Even though Tinubu has come to recant the statement and blame the media for ‘wrongly interpreting’ what he said in Yoruba language, the blind could see his physical demonstration of self ego as he tried to let his listeners know that it is his own turn to rule Nigeria having played godfather to Buhari and others.
On the other hand, former Vice President Abubakar Atiku who became winner of the recently organised presidential primaries of the PDP, did not come up as a winner in the true spirit of democracy. His victory which was made possible by his deep pocket in a contest that threw up the likes of Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike, Bukola Saraki and other politicians (with exception of a few) whose main identity is a display of profligacy, vote buying is not what Nigerians who have respect for democratic values want.
Even though the nation’s anti-graft agency, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) pretended not to see the millions of dollars shared ‘in dark corners’ to secure the support of delegates at the primaries, implication of the ungodly resort to vote buying clearly showed the degree of their ambition. Rather than convince the voters with their manifestoes of how they intend to develop Nigeria, they chose money power because moral depravity has become a hallmark of leadership in Nigeria.
Wike is today licking his wounds over what has been described as betrayal by his friend and Governor of Sokoto State, Aminu Tambuwal who made a last minute u-turn to stepdown and gave his block vote support to Atiku his brother of same Northern extraction. To discerning political observers, Wike deserved what he got because he had betrayed his colleagues – PDP Southern governors, all of who had promised to allow the South East to produce the President since the Zone has been schemed out over the years. Wike’s selfish ambition made him to offer himself for the presidency and at some point mocked Peter Obi for exiting the party due to the undemocratic activities of the money bags in the hours leading to voting at the primary election.
For politicians with the self ego of achieving their life ambition of becoming Nigeria’s President in 2023 because of their godfatherism, power of their looted state funds and other mundane advantages, let it be known to them that there is always a limit to ambition.
The likes of Tinubu, Atiku, Wike should always remember the God factor in their political calculations. Let them not trust so much in their past ability to make or unmake anyone politically. They should trust less in the ability of their dollars to buy the votes of everyone because such tendencies cannot stand the appearance of time-bound forces divinely programmed to achieve the purpose of God Himself in the affairs of Nigeria.
The strangeness of what to expect in the 2023 elections has just begun. Therefore, the earlier our politicians learn to know that nothing is ever permanently fixed in the affairs of men, the better for them and their followers.