It is that time of the democracy cycle again folks when politicians gather in a conclave of sorts and scurry like zombies at a buffet of raw human meat in order to secure themselves a government position and ensure their placing in the new administration. As the inauguration draws nearer, it is becoming harder and harder to escape the sense that the sheer desperation, egocentricity and idiosyncrasies of those who are so hungry for a government position, is presently at a scorching fever pitch. Hannatu Musawa

Watching the unpleasant clamor for government positions is comical, fascinating and disturbing. Listening to the clatter and the tussles between the different interests, watching the games and the intrigues that are being set is, to say the least, nauseating and bewildering. Observing politicians scraping the bottom of the desperation barrel and falling over each other in order to emerge as members of Buhari’s government has become almost embarrassing. The scorched-earth desperation on display is a regrettable drama, made light by the hilarious fact that, it doesn’t seem like any of them have really caught the attention of General Buhari, who seems to be observing the rituals quite intelligently, silently and analytically.

Change was and still is the mantra that engendered the unprecedented revolution that was witnessed at last month’s presidential polls, which saw the victory of the General at the election. Teeming Nigerians are still basking in the euphoria of that victory. Never in our 54 years of independence and 26 years of civil rule has an opposition presidential aspirant successfully wrestled power from the ruling party’s clutches; it was a feat worthy of accolades. However, while most Nigerians are still in a trance-like euphoria, it is quite sad to see the very obvious shameful display of desperate office seekers by some who were, recently, yelling for change like honorable screaming Banshees.

Bishop Idowu feron

Of late, the media has been awash with various phantom lists of ministerial nominees. While the incoming President or his party hasn’t categorically made any list whatsoever public, obscure articles with names of certain individuals for ministerial slots are being sponsored on every media platform. Those very desperate and cutthroat measures that we have become all too familiar with in the Nigerian polity are, yet again, rearing their gluttonous fangs. Advertorials, indistinct articles and phantom ministerial nominee lists being sponsored on news outlets seem almost like a form of coercion and pressure tactic that serves as a gimmick for those so desperate for appointments in the Buhari regime to bulldoze their way into the incoming administration.

Discerning Nigerians came out in their millions; they came out in droves; young and old, Christians and Muslims, Southerners and Northerners and voted for change under the leadership of GMB. Change, in the sense that they wanted something different from what was obtainable over the years. They want the “business as usual” attitude and mentality of successive administrations to stay and remain in the past. They want the status quo of corruption, impunity, incompetency, mediocrity and the habit of putting square pegs in round holes to be a thing of the distant past. But, Alas, even while GMB has not been sworn in, cretins orchestrating all sorts of measures behind closed doors and those sponsoring the curious publications are already staking their claim.

One shudders to think of the horrible mistake if such desperados portend what we might witness in the incoming administration. If this is so, then the change majority of Nigerians clamored for may just become an illusion.

If there is one thing that Nigerians should have learnt over our political and government experiences of the past, those who are so desperate to clinch power, those who are so desperate to grab power at all costs, are the major components in the destruction and obliteration of our democracy; of our country. It would be reasonable to presume that those who are so desperate to clinch power and are ready to go to any length in order to secure it are individuals whose personal interest and ambition overshadows the interest of the nation. Penning down ones name in a list which, hasn’t been sanctioned by the incoming President or the party, manipulating oneself into power employing underhanded tactics to muscle opponents out is completely repugnant to the values which represent the movement that General Buhari has established and the message he carried for over a decade.

If nothing else, Nigerians are a people who are very poor students of history. When the late Umar Yar’Adua died, the country saw the heightened desperation of politicians who strived to be named as President Jonathan’s vice president. There was so much desperation in the air that it became almost pathetic to watch. President Elect Buhari must be wary of such pressures. He must do everything to the extent of his knowledge and in his power to resist surrounding himself with the vampires lurking in the shadows of this instrument of change, ready to bleed the country dry, like some of his predecessors did.

It is quite unfortunate that not many seem to embrace the fact that the quest for power is not necessarily a good thing. Apart from being transient, power can be the greatest curse and undoing of those who desire it so. Over time, the quest for power and relevance has brought many a stalwart crushing all the way down to their knees. If there is one thing all Nigerians should have learnt, it is that, being seen to be too powerful within an administration and being identified as the figurehead within a government can be the greatest disadvantage for a person once that administration comes to an end. We have seen this trend all so many times. During the regime of General Sani Abacha, Major Al-Mustapha was identified to be one of the most influential and powerful figures in the administration. After the death of late President Abacha, Major Al-Mustapha automatically became the whipping boy for the errors of the administration and every fault, rightly or wrongly, was lumbered on his head. The same scenario played out when late President Yar’Adua died. Apart from the fact that everyone who knows him describes him as the most, vile, wicked, shady, corrupt, nasty, selfish and reprehensible douche bag and sack of filth, Tanimu Yakubu, once identified as the piece of excrement that was allegedly behind all the major shifty decisions during that regime automatically became the fall guy. Up to this day, when any negativity in the Yaradu’a regime is brought up, blame is often placed on Tanimu’s head.

Now the same scenario is practically playing out with Allison Deziani-Maduekwe becoming the focus with a bright red target smack in the middle of her forehead. It is she, who it appears likely to be made the scapegoat for many of the incongruities that may have taken place under this administration. It seems to be mainly her head that is being sought for placement on the lynchpin chopping board, regardless of the fact there are many other members of government who partook in the administration and who may have also been culpable in any wrongdoing.

Those projecting their names or someone else’s name for appointments and so desperate for power should indeed think of the Tanimu’s and Dieziani’s and heed the warning of history. Power may have its benefits but it may just be a glitter, which isn’t necessarily gold. Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power tends to corrupt absolutely. We have seen how the allure of power has turned some of the greatest men in history into the worst of man. Power is not always a virtue.

Whatever happens in the next few weeks, whoever emerges as part of the face of the next regime, the overriding factor among public officials should be the interest of the nation and not any one persons’ personal interest. The former has got to be the code of conduct guiding the activities of all the public officials who represent change. Those officials must forgo their personal interest for the overall good of the nation.

As we enter into a new dispensation on 29 May 2015, one only hopes the incoming President will look deeply and sieve the bunch of desperate, power hungry leeches who may not understand that moving forward, there will be no more room for random, gluttonous chunks to be taken out of the national cake. One hopes that he will identify the individuals who do not wish well for the country and choose to put their interest ahead of that of Nigeria. One hopes that he will strike out the names of those who are already poised to give a bad name to this promise of change, which so many Nigerians have fought, bled and died for over the years.

This administration must be known for its honesty, integrity and astuteness. And those who will be chosen to form the face of the government must reflect the virtues and values, which this movement has held so strong.

President Elect Buhari must beware of the biblical serpent in the Garden of Eden, who comes with a sugar-coated tongue, but with a veiled aim of derailing the objective of change and providing better for the 170 million people who are relying on this promise of change. The hope of Nigerians is for the incoming administration to be made up of competent individuals, irrespective of party affiliation, age, gender, ethnicity or religion. It must be made up of a team that every Nigerian will be proud of, capable of showing us that better alternative.

One hopes the president elect will tour the length and breadth of this great country of ours and even the diaspora, and put together a team of capable, qualified and professional Nigerians with the competence and compellability to confront the ills that has bedeviled us for so long

So many Nigerians, young and old have placed their trust and faith in the incoming government. They are desperate for positive change. Change is all they ask; change is they we need! As for those so gung ho in hoarding after power at all costs, they should appreciate the need Nigerians have for change and embrace the concept that; their quest for power is not that change but rather, it is the change that is the power.


Written By Hannatu Musawa

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