Let me start by telling you several ways in which I disagree with the article: Buhari vs Jonathan: Beyond the Election released by former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) early last week. Being human, the former number one banker pandered to some self and entrenched interest in that intervention. Nevertheless, I am of the opinion that all said and done, he did us a whole lot of good that no one has done us since the debate on who to vote and not vote for in February 2015 started.
I have forever argued that very few politicians are selfless enough to think of anything more than themselves at any point in their career. No matter what credentials of progressivism or conservatism they flash at you, what is important to them at every turn is their own self-interest and the interest of those close to them.
When they are canvassing for your votes, all that is important is that they win. To reach that goal, they would tell you any and everything that they perceive you would want to hear. They would promise to bring heaven to earth like they were the ones on the right hand of God when he formed the universe. And when they win, everything is targeted at winning the next elections coming four years down the lane. The lies and deception continue just for the end that they desire. Any society that surrenders to the selfish love of the politician is conned and done for. Sadly that is the tragedy of the Nigerian situation, we have become the lubricants for our politicians’ exploitative orgies.
I also argue that the mendaciousness of politicians is not restricted to Nigeria. If it were, French statesman Charles de Gaulle would never have thought of politicians in the following light: “Since a politician never believes what he says, he is surprised when others believe him.” Those who are in politics are experts in the dispensation of half-truths and outright lies to the average dimwit electorate which unfortunately does not even realise its own cluelessness.
The difference between societies where people like de Gaulle lived and Nigeria is the active presence of intervening civil society bodies made up usually of members of the academia, students, rights activists and professionals who know their worth. These people prick the conscience of politicians round the clock even as they lead the people towards the issues that should determine their choices when elections come again!
Wither such people in our beloved country? We no longer have sound and unbiased analysis of issues from the academia in Nigeria because mindless partisanship has deprived us of sound logic. Student union leaders eat from the palms of the political elite and partisanship has broken the ranks of our professionals. Some takes on issues are as incredible as they are disgraceful, God is the only advisor of the hope of the common Nigerian
So, when leaders of thought are so obscenely partisan, not even broaching the most important issues to a people’s livelihood, what you have is a multitude of people moving like sheep without shepherd. What we have is an electorate bereft of the issues but insisting on sentimental, mostly dishonest, sometimes puerile and downright pedestrian arguments that do the country no good.
Enter Soludo and his article. Self-serving and selectively dishonest as it may be, Soludo presented some credible argument and issues for Nigerians to discuss. Even if tentatively, I saw some of the most rabidly loyal people to the two most formidable candidates in the coming presidential elections pause to reflect on the un-reasonableness of their addiction in the past week.
Soludo’s intervention called out the two major parties who responded; one party defended its position with its opaque offering which Soludo criticized while the other party got its response clouded in vituperations.
My take is that unless we have a few more of these issued based contributions from those who should know, Nigerians will go into the elections blinded by unfortunate sentiments, hearsays and manipulations that they have no understanding. Decisions made on the strength of such dispositions would be to our eternal regret. Now, we urgently need more Soludos especially as we are not likely to have any debates.
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