FEATURE ARTICLE

Tuesday, May 22, 2018
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THE THICKENING POLITICAL CLOUD

henever the cloud thickens we perceive that it is about to rain. Every sane person hurries to collect clothing materials hanging outside into the house. Other things that the impending rain can destroy are kept in order. The doors and windows are shut. Children are asked to go inside. It is always regrettable if the thickening cloud eventually results in rainfall and beats someone. Once the signs are obvious, one hurries home. Those going out take their umbrellas or raincoats. If the weather becomes thicker and stormy, one must be more cautious.

Few days ago, thunder killed four persons in Jalingo, Taraba state. Hurricane just hit Port Harcourt. It uprooted trees, smashed vehicles and destroyed houses. In Nnewi, Anambra state, thunderstorm mysteriously exhumed four tanks buried deep in the ground meant for petrol storage in a filling station under construction. But some see it as not just a natural phenomenon, rather as a miracle. The impending filling station is located opposite an Anglican church. The pastor of the church and the owner of the filling station under construction have been in a legal tussle over its location. The pastor sees it as a danger to the church in case of fire outbreak. Only God can say whether the exhuming of the tanks is a miracle or a natural occurrence. Nonetheless, what is certain was that it happened during a thunder storm.

The lightening that accompanies thunder storm is not palatable. When we were small children, we always rejoiced at the occurrence of lightening. We concluded then that God had taken our photograph by flashing at us from heaven. Since then we have been waiting for God to bring copies of the photograph. It was when I became an adult that I learnt what lightening is. It is advisable to switch off radio and television sets if there is thunder or lightening. The installation of thunder-protector in our houses is recommendable. This neutralizes the power of the thunder and thereby helps to avoid wanton destruction of human lives and property within and outside the buildings.

Observing the present political atmosphere of our country Nigeria, one can surely see that the political cloud is thickening dangerously. The strange things happening in different states, political parties, the presidency and the National Assembly are signs of impending doom, if care is not taken. The All Progressives Congress (APC) came into power three and half years ago to right the perceived political blunders of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in her sixteen years in power. APC adherents promised Nigerians Change. The electorates thought that APC would surely lead us into the Promised Land and voted massively for the party. After three years in power, nothing tangible was seen on ground to justify the change. Instead of progressing, we are retrogressing. Hunger, unemployment, epileptic power supply, insecurity of lives and property, corruption, etc are the problems starring Nigerians on the face. The Fulani herdsmen terrorists are going about slaughtering innocent Nigerians like fowls. Today the life of cattle is more important than human life. Hundreds of innocent Nigerians including two Catholic priests and fifteen worshipers have been murdered by the bloody Fulani herdsmen in cold blood. President Buhari, being a Fulani man, is accused of not doing much to bring the perpetrators and their sponsors to book. Hence there is great anger in the Land.

The just concluded All Progressives Congress ward congress nation-wide was marred by violence and political malpractices. In Ekiti state initial governorship primary, it was reported that the accreditation of delegates was ongoing and the process was almost being completed when the cloud suddenly thickened. A heavy rain accompanied by strong winds started. The exercise was disrupted as everyone ran helter-skelter. Then heavy rain followed.

Little did the Ekiti APC delegates know that the sudden thickening of the cloud within the stadium and the windy rainfall that followed were natural signs of an impending political catastrophe. The voting started peacefully. Suddenly the political cloud thickened around the stadium. Hoodlums appeared from nowhere. They kicked down the ballot boxes and scattered the ballot papers. The police and other security agents were helpless. The primary was suspended immediately to avoid escalation of the violence.

The APC ward congresses in Oyo, Imo, Ebonyi, Bauchi, Zamfara, Cross River, Rivers, Anambra, Delta states and some other states were also marred by violence, snatching of sensitive materials and other electoral malpractices. There was a free for all fight in the Anambra state congress. The Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr Chris Ngige, was almost lynched. He was smuggled out systematically. If the ward congresses were so, what will happen in the APC Local Government, State and National Congresses? Later on the APC state office in Owerri was partially set ablaze by unknown persons. The green snake is really lying dangerously in the green grass. Many of our politicians are desperate to ascend to power. For them, the end justifies the means. But in moral parlance, the means justifies the end. Out of desperation they jump from one political party to the other. The monkey remains a monkey even if it wears dress.

During the APC just concluded Local Government congresses, the story was not different. An innocent student was shot dead in Oyo while one person was killed in Lagos. There were gunshots in Edo state and Rivers state. In Ogun state, hoodlums disrupted the exercise. There were protests in Bauchi, Imo and Niger states. On the other hand, parallel congresses took place in Enugu, Zamfara and Abia states. There is fire on the mountain, run, run, run!

The political cloud around the 2019 general elections thickens every day. The senseless killing of innocent Nigerians in the Middle Belt and in other states is politically masterminded by the powers that be. If not, why have the perpetrators and their sponsors not been arrested, arraigned and jailed? Some desperate politicians can spill blood to achieve their goal. Also the appointment of the Service Chiefs and the Inspector General of Police from one tribe and one religion does not help matters. Nigeria which is a secular state is assuming a tribal dimension.

It is not a story if a dog bites a human being. But it is a strange story if a human being bites a dog. Some strange stories are gradually creeping into the polity. Not long ago, some thugs invaded the hallowed Chamber of the Senate in a plenary session and took away the Mace, which is the symbol of Authority in the Upper National House. It portrays real danger for our nascent democracy. The Senators were helpless during the process. The security agents were nowhere to be found on that fateful day. Many suspected that the thugs acted on a script already prepared and executed by the power that be. Luckily the Mace was later found under a bridge in Abuja. Why were the thugs not intercepted since it happened in the daylight? Up till today, no one has been arrested.

The duty of the Police Force is to maintain Law and Order in the society and to bring criminals to book. As things stand today, the Police seem to be compromised. Hence some criminals are treated as sacred cows while others are punished unjustly. The new trend of the police wheeling suspected persons standing trial in stretcher into the court room is strange. Olisa Metu and Senator Dino Melaye are victims of the wheeling. Why not save life first before the trial? One day the corpse of a suspect will be conveyed from the mortuary in a coffin into the court room for post mortem trial.

The negative attitude of the current Inspector General of Police, Mr Ibrahim Idris, does not help matters. He seems to be above the Law. May be the power that be is behind him, because a bird dancing at the middle of the road has someone in the bush beating the drum for it. The Senate has thrice summoned the IGP to the Red Chamber to come and explain what the Police are doing over the senseless killings of innocent Nigerians in Benue, Taraba, Zamfara, Kaduna, Plateau, Nasarawa and other states. The IGP has thrice ignored the Summon. This is indeed a national disobedience, which is scandalous. Hence the Senate has designated IGP Ibrahim Idris an Enemy of Democracy, who is unfit to stand for any public office within and outside the country. In other words, he has been declared a Non Persona Grata. The image of the Nigerian Police is gradually eroding.

Things have really fallen apart in our country. There is need for urgent actions by our leaders at all levels and the led to prevent the thickening political cloud from turning into disaster. Are we actually practicing Democracy or 'Democrazy'? As we do what is humanly possible to bring the impending disaster under control, let us all fall on our knees and pray seriously for God's intervention soonest.


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