The much-awaited "Debate" among the major Vice-Presidential candidates has come and, sadly but not unexpectedly, gone without the participation of the current ruling party - the Peoples Democratic Party. According to Press reports, the PDP's vice presidential candidate, Namadi Sambo refused to participate in the debate chiefly because the organisers of the said debate (NN24) was unable to guarantee that the debate will be televised by the local, non-cable TV stations.
It should be recalled that the PDP personnel originally signaled their intention to avoid the debate exercise on the premise that it would not include all 18 contenders in the forthcoming general elections. That excuse was largely panned and ridiculed by almost everyone. The latest "defence" from the PDP camp is the apparent inability of the organizers of the debate to guarantee that all Nigerians will be able to watch the debate, live. According to statements made by various PDP spokespersons, NN24 was unable to secure the blessings and participation of the government-owned, government-directed, government mouthpiece known as NTA, in time for the debate to be blasted through every living rooms and huts in Nigeria. Please hold your laughter.
As if that were not enough of an excuse for such an upstanding bunch of very patriotic and itching-to-debate PDP'ers, they then threw in the "shock-and-awesome" mother-of-all-excuses - scheduling conflicts. You see, according to PDP, NN24's debate schedules unavoidably conflicts with some "rallies" previously organized by PDP in some remote part of the vast Nigeria land. Please, don't laugh.
So, let's follow the progression of the excuses.
- First, PDP threatened to boycott the debate because NN24 was not going to include every contestant and their goats on the same stage. Because we Nigerian don't go small, we really do things in a big way. Why have a fight at all, if it won't be a rofo-rofo fight?
- Then, PDP did actually boycott the VP debate, not because their VP was scared, but because NN24 could not guarantee that it could broadcast the event through the moon. You know, for the watching enjoyment of those Nigerians who don't have that tube-ish thing called TV.
- On top of that, NN24 was unable to guarantee that Nigerian victims of electric "powers" (who have not had anything remotely resembling electricity in the past 12 months) would be able to "see" the event by lighting a candle and gazing lovingly into their mirrors. Not only see it, but see it in vivid colours.
- Or, perhaps it was because NN24 was unable to guarantee that it could deliver both TV and a working generator (filled with enough petrol bought on the "black market") to every Nigerian household - in time for the debate event date.
Or ..... well, however you frame it, PDP was standing for principle. EVERY Nigerian must be able to watch a debate, otherwise no debate for you, EVER!
About that "scheduling conflict" thing? Well, in politics that's called "covering your bases". Or, more appropriately, "covering your yansh”. Because, you see, craw-craw dey for Jonathan yansh.
You don't have to take our words for it. You just have to open your eyes and ask yourself what could be making a man (a President of the most populous country on this continent of Africa) be so FEARFUL of engaging in a simple exchange of ideas and discussion of policies with people trying to take his job away? What could subject a man to such a knee-buckling trepidation and perspiration when asked to come talk to the people he wants to rule in a modern way? It is not like debating is a new invention. It is such a common-place thing to do these days that not doing it is an unthinkable proposition for any progressive, modern day politico.
So, why is Jonathan fretting and sweating bullets? Why are his handlers manufacturing excuses?
"PDP's absence is arrogance of impunity..." said Dr. Tunde Bakare of the CPC, while addressing the failure of the PDP VP candidate to participate in the debate.
We think this Doctor is engaging in a serious case of over-diagnosis, a case of analysis paralysis, if you wish. You see, this is NOT arrogance. It is not haughtiness. It is soooooooooo NOT impu-whatever-or-the-other. It is a simple case of shit-in-your-pant fear. Fearfulness. Fear of exposure of what ails Jonathan. Fear of exposure of the emptiness and vacuity of Jonathan's abilities and capabilities. Fear of being called out on his records, or, more specifically, the ABJECT LACK of ANY substantive RECORDS. The fear of being unable to answer the very simple question of "what have you achieved in the last 10 months since you have been at the helm of affairs". Fear of being called upon to account for his stewardship.
It is not arrogance. Jonathan is not arrogant. You can't be arrogant without any heft or substance to support your swagger. Well, actually, you could try - as long as you are doing it within a given comfort zone, protected from challenges or any sort of push back. Insulated and protected against the commoners, you can pretend. But, once such a lightweight pretender is taken out of his/her familiar and controlled sphere of influence, they get blown away and it is the "blowing" part that scares Jonathan the most.
Jonathan no wan wind anywhere near am. He is not only scantily clad, intellectually that is. This emperor has craw-craw. A very horrible case of crawcraw infestation. The incurable type. He can't afford to have any NN24 upstart putting him in front of the people he seeks to rule and have himself disrobed by his opponents in the public arena. That is why he runs. That is why he hides. That is why he will not debate anyone from anywhere at any place. He had nothing to run on. He is not only naked, he get crawcraw, too.