Nigerian politics is pure madness. This is the declaration of a strategic source of mine, a grand old man in his eighties who had seen it all in the game of politics in Nigeria. I was in the great man’s house over the weekend when he came up with his idea on Nigerian politics and madness.
The man had a throaty laugh when he said to me that the demands of madness are beyond the ken of the children who masquerade as present-day Nigerian politicians. For instance, a young lad gets high after smoking a joint of marijuana and mistakenly thinks he is mad. Madness is made of sterner stuff. The hard work, or walking, that proper madness demands is beyond the powers of the young wannabes of lunacy.
The correct madman can walk from Lagos to Maiduguri and back again without making any noise whatsoever about it because that is the nature of his trade. This is quite unlike the publicity-hunting young pretenders who deign to walk from Lagos to Abuja in congratulation of Muhammadu Buhari’s presidential victory.
Any bloke sane enough to announce to the whole wide world that he is undertaking a long walk for political purposes eminently lacks the qualification for madness! The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) could be likened to the old past masters of madness while the All Progressives Congress (APC) remains a gang-up of children not up to scratch in the power game of madness.
The PDP in its heyday No Comment overwhelmed the land with a heady madness that was spellbinding. The ancient party boasted of devil-maycare godfathers who undertook swearing-in oaths for governors in the dreaded Okija shrine. The party had garrison commanders that superintended over state governors and their security votes with military jackboots. The impeachment of party chairmen and senate presidents became the rule rather than the exception in the sanatorium of the PDP. It was only the PDP that could make a man unfit to win a ward election its presidential candidate, and the selfsame man won the national election with aplomb.
The PDP had everything going for it that its stalwarts croaked that they would rule the country for all of 60 years. But as Greek tragedy teaches us, overweening pride becomes the downfall of all super heroes who believe they have achieved it all.
The PDP was so full of hubris that it even believed that it could make a president out of a dead man! It’s in line with the madness of the calling that the PDP actually asked its then presidential candidate: “Are you dead?” The dead-man-walking that was shot to the presidency through the charade could not ally with the madness of it all, and he told all willing to listen that the election that brought him to power was maddeningly flawed, in short, a madman’s arrangement. Then the man died.
The void of his death could well have equally killed the country until the so-called doctrine of necessity had to be called forth to save the day. And thus the minority of the south inherited power for the first time in the history of the country. In the delirium that followed, the PDP appointed the referee for the power contest from the home of the opponent. Of course the PDP ended up being worsted in the presidential contest such that the APC took over the mantle of power. Now the catch is galling. It is not a pretty sight watching children playing at madness. Power intoxication can be very psychotic for the new tyro in power.
This led to the neophytes to fix a meeting on the morning of the inauguration of the National Assembly. Before they could wake from slumber the deed was done, leading to the anointed figureheads of the party playing second fiddle. The party cried foul, stressing that only the madness of forgeries could have defeated party supremacy when matched with the independence of the legislature.
Whatever that means, it is all so confusing for these new tots of madness. The derangement of kids is all the rage now. One of the new avatars of power had to travel all the way to America to shake hands with President Barack Obama; whereupon he decreed like a maniac that huge billboards of the intercontinental handshake be placed all over his state capital. Devastating inferiority complex when promoted to the higher realms of madness can indeed be befuddling. Our children are indeed coming, as Eze Chukwuemeka Ike would write… Another of the new lads on the block celebrated his party’s arrival at national power by taking a new wife from abroad.
As if to impress his new bride, the bloke has since gone ballistic with verbal and numerical diarrhea, accusing former female ministers of stealing all conjectures of humongous sums of dollars. The vertically-challenged character apparently hopes to gain a measure of height via noisemaking. Madness is indeed not for children.
The culmination of all the maladies came together when the leader of the clan made the following pronouncement in faraway USA: “Constituencies that gave me 97 percent cannot in all honesty be treated, on some issues, with constituencies that gave me 5 percent. I think these are political realities. While certainly there will be justice for everybody but the people who voted, and made their votes count, they must feel the government has appreciated the effort they put in putting the government in place. I think this is really fair.” Please meet me at “Yaba Left” for I too have gone mad!
-UZOR MAXIM UZOATU e-mail: email@example.com