Last week, we brought you the first part of this piece about the traits that define the Naija politician and the groups they fall into. Enjoy the concluding part.
The “I must serve by force” group: This group of people are largely driven by the ambition to serve the fatherland. Oh, please do not ask me whether this urge for service is altruistic or not because I cannot tell. Leading this pack of politicians is former Vice President Atiku Abubakar. For Abubakar, even if for just one day, he must grab a taste from that presidential pot after which Armageddon can come.
When Obasanjo made the PDP too hot, Tinubu his old friend in the defunct Action Congress provided the platform . And when the A.C.N platform appeared more influential in the newspapers than on the political field, he ran back to Ota to appease the Ebora. One idobale and everything was settled in preparation for a grand return home to the PDP.
Smart man, used to the body language of people like President Goodluck Jonathan, Atiku re-joined the migration to the APC and is now working assiduously towards his life ambition. So help him God.
Another prominent member of this group is former EFCC chair, Nuhu RIbadu, honest man that he is, it seems Ribadu will join any party to fulfill the mission of sweeping Nigeria clean. Exposed to the reality of dog-eat-dog Nigerian politics in 2011, Ribadu recently left the APC to join the PDP and is as good as becoming the governor of Adamawa state, all in the name of service. Now do I blame Ribadu? Like the Yorubas if you cannot become an Oba, you should at least be able to enjoy your eba. Oh! How did I forget Governor Rochas Okorocha of Imo State? That man travelled across every party possible before he was eventually elected governor in 2011.
So we have seen Presidential candidates become governors or special assistants to the president. We have seen some become senators or even special advisers to the presidents. Nigerian politicians must just remain in government the moment they have had a taste. They must continue to “serve” until something beyond them makes it impossible for them to ‘chop’ from the national cake again.
The “principled siddon look” group: You “llremember that this name was given to us by our revered Cicero of Esa Oke, the late Uncle Bola Ige. Chai, God rest that great man’s soul. He described the parties created by the late Gen Sani Abacha as the ‘five fingers of a leprous hand’ and then went ahead to adopt the siddon look approach. That simply meant that he refused to participate in the democratic experiment of that era.
If you search well, there are politicians like that in present day Nigeria. Some of them were in government for a number of years and aspired for higher office but those who held the polity by the jugular did not allow them to make any headway.
Some of them are in political parties but would just remain bench-warmers. Even when the make it into party offices, the real owners of the party will ensure that they have no power to change anything. These parties merely exploit the equity that the brand of the principled man brings to the table.
Shall I give you a few examples? Okay. Check Chief Audu Ogbeh, what role does he play in the APC currently please? What about Mr. Donald Duke, who even agrees to be addressed as Mister! Imagine, Nigerian politician. After two terms as Governor of Cross River State, Duke made a bid for the presidency but OBJ told him that Nigeria didn’t need people like him. Since then, he has retreated into private life. Some say he is still a member of the PDP, maybe he is but we no dey hear from the man.
Same goes for Senator Udo Udoma. You remember him? Great man! He turned down a ministerial appointment when OBJ assigned him a junior portfolio and returned to the senate. He has taken a leave from the murkiness of everyday politics and since gone back to the practice of law. There are of course so many other people scattered all over the parties but how ready Nigeria is to provide opportunities for them is another issue
Of course this is not an exhaustive characterization of Nigerian politicians but I bet that it is representative of traits and habits of the men and women who aspire to lead us.