Fr Pat Amobi ChukwumaSunday, October 26, 2014




an is a political animal. Just recently I travelled by road from Awka to Abuja. Along the streets in villages, towns and cities, I saw many billboards and posters portraying the political aspirations of Nigerian politicians towards the 2015 General Elections. Some are dreaming of becoming the next president. Some aspire to be governors, senators, honourable members, etc. Even those who cannot manage their household are aspiring to these offices. I was taken aback when I saw the poster of a man who has married seven times and divorced seven times. He is now "wifeless" but he wants to be a governor. Since he cannot manage a wife, how can he govern a state? He will divorce everybody in his state.

Even though I am not a politician, I dreamt last night of becoming the first cleric to rule Nigeria as an elected President. In my dream, I saw a multitude of voters casting their votes for me under the platform of God Never Sleeps Party (GNSP). After the voting, counting of votes and collation of results followed Nationwide. The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Chairman, Professor Attahiru Jega was about to announce the result in my favour. I was already dreaming of how to sanitize Aso Rock with Holy Water and angelic incense. As I shouted, "Praise the Lord!" I woke up suddenly, only to realise that I was dreaming. I sighed like a politician sinking in a political ocean. But there is no cause for alarm. As a priest I am also a political animal. I can play active politics but not partisan politics. I have the right of franchise as a Nigerian. I can vote for the candidate of my choice with good manifestoes in any political party at the Local Government, State or National levels. But my office as a priest bares me from standing for civil election.

Our country Nigeria is currently politically charged towards the 2015 general elections. Some are already running mad over the elections. Some see it as a do or die affair. Either they win or Nigeria will go to blazes. The major political parties are bent on putting their houses in order and preaching for political conversion. Some politicians are decamping from one party to the other to make sure they achieve their objectives at all cost in 2015. Honourable Uche Ekwunife changes party like dress. Personally I am dumbfounded at the recent defection of the former Governor of Anambra, Chief Peter Obi, from his beloved party APGA to PDP, after being wooed by his political friends. If a rock can fall so easily, what happens to sand? The late founder of All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA), Dim Odumegwu Ojukw adopted Peter Obi as his political son. Hence Ojukwu pleaded to the people of Anambra State before the 2010 Governorship election in these words: "This is my last wish, vote for Mr Peter Obi." The spirit of Dim Ojukwu propelled Peter Obi to a greater height. If I were Peter Obi, I would carry the glory he got as the best governor so far that has governed Anambra since her creation. I would just operate from the background and carry on with my private business. Would Obi be given a chance to prove himself in his new party? Let him be careful not to be led to the stake for political assault and execution. On Tuesday, 14 October 2014, about 5,000 APGA youths from Anambra State converged at Nnewi and reported Obi at the grave of late Ikemba Ojukwu, the APGA leader. It was reported that Ojukwu sighed from his grave, though his voice was exoteric, reminiscence of the dead. Ojukwu's widow, Ambassador Bianca Ojukwu has lambasted Chief Peter Obi for his unfaithfulness. She described his defection to PDP as a "betrayal and unimaginable breach of trust." The frog does not run in the daylight for nothing. Only Chief Peter Obi knows the reason for his defection. Obi was the major force behind Governor Willie Obiano's emergence as gubernatorial flag bearer of APGA and his success as the incumbent Governor of Anambra State. What happens now that Obi is in PDP while Obiano is in APGA? Will the centre still hold? Will the State be burnt down again? Time shall tell.

The die is cast. The All Progressive Congress (APC) is trying by all possible means to wrestle power from PDP. One of her adherent leaders, General Muhammadu Buhari (rtd) has declared his presidential ambition publicly for the third time and has already disclosed his manifestoes. He frowned that PDP has destroyed the fabric of Nigeria as a Nation. He swore by Allah to bring out Nigeria from deluge to the Promised Land, if he is voted into power as the next President in 2015. By then he will be 73 years old. He is not yet ready to retire from active politics until his dream is actualized. As former military Head of State, he achieved it by the power of his guns. But as civilian President, the ballot counts. What happens if he fails to win the 2015 presidential race for the third attempt? In 2011 he swore to make Nigeria ungovernable if he was not voted into power. Shortly after that oath the Boko Haram insurgency surfaced its ugly head in a serious bloody manner and has made the country ungovernable. Who is responsible? Only God knows.

Bola Tinibu is also eyeing the presidency from the other angle of APC with his round eye spectacle. Alhaji Atiku Abubarkar is also on the APC race. The latter is a no nonsense man. Power will jam power on their primary election day. It may be a do or die affair. Many other politicians are packing their luggage to occupy Aso Rock by any possible chance, legal or illegal.

In the animal constituency, the brutes are not sleeping over 2015. They are sharpening their teeth to contest the forthcoming elections, especially the Senate and House of Representative seats. The bush animals are especially unhappy with Nigerians and the rest of the world for accusing them of being carriers of Ebola Virus disease. Therefore, they are making everything possible to occupy some seats in both Upper and Lower Houses to prove their innocency. The monkey will contest for the Senate. If he wins, he becomes Senator Monkey Adaka. The bat is putting finishing touches to contest the Lower House. If he wins, he will be addressed as Honourable Bat Usu. The Nigerian Animals unanimously endorsed Commodore Jackal to contest the 2015 Presidential race side by side with Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, Gen. Buhari, Alhaji Atiku Abubarkar, Bola Tinibu, Rochas Okolocha, etc.

A dreamer is never taken seriously because he lives in a world of fantasy. The other night I dreamt of enjoying a sumptuous banquet spiced with heavenly chicken. I was already salivating as evident from the wet condition of my pillows. As I was about to settle down on the delicious chicken parts, I woke up like a frog being pursued by his ancestors. I sighed and sighed. I asked myself, "Why didn't I finish eating the chicken parts before waking up." Do you know what? I jumped back into my bed to sleep and consummate my delicacy. But I couldn't sleep again. The dream disappeared into oblivion just like a plane disappears from the radar.

Politics is a game of chance. Some will win, others will fail. The losers should congratulate the winners while the winners should accommodate the losers in governance. Election is never a do-or-die affair. If you lose, lose honourably. If you win, win honourable. Leadership is a service to God and humanity. It is not for self aggrandisement. We brought nothing into the world and we shall not take anything out of it. Nigerian politicians, make sober reflections over the 2015 General Elections. Give peace and justice chance to reign. If you live till then, thank your God.