A Date with Karma
By this time in 2014 the stage was set to upstage the Goodluck Jonathan administration in the 2015 elections. Already alliances had been formed and the fruits of trees planted in the secret of midnight meetings were already ripe and dropping. Then Governor Rotimi Amaechi was so sure of the infallibility of his group’s plans that he was excoriating the sitting president with fanfare. Chorusing in the background was Lai Mohammed. Sometimes also he did solo performances to the admiration of the cheerleaders on the stand. Tinubu and Dino Melaye couldn’t stop drumming for the duo.
While Amaechi was singing missing 40 billion dollars from NNPC coffers written and composed by Sanusi,then CBN Governor, Lai Mohammed was freestyling on hooks like kindergarten president, clueless one, corrupt and wasteful administration etc. Many Nigerians, especially youths, were taken in by these performances and inspired to write their own songs. They added drunkard and fisherman from Otueke to the lyrics while the president’s wife became resource material for comedians.
Meanwhile somewhere off stage a side attraction was snowballing into a command performance. Oby Ezekwesili, a former Minister of Education, was the lead actor and director in that play. The subject matter was Kidnap of Chibok Girls while the theme was insecurity. The main plot was Goodluck Jonathan’s administration was weak and irresponsible while Boko Haram provided intriguing subplots. At the end, the playwright’s intention was to create mass hatred for the sitting president at home on the one hand and disdain and disrespect from the international community on the other hand.
Did they succeed? Well judging from the outcome of the February 28, 2015 election, yes they did. Were they able to sustain the narrative and negative perception of Jonathan as a complete failure, weak and clueless president? Definitely not. At least some of their biggest fans and distributors of their record labels like Dele Momodu went back to apologize to Jonathan and mended fences with him after watching on the sidelines the gaffes and denials of the APC administration. Of course the initial narrative was the rot left behind by Jonathan was so humongous, let me borrow Momodu’s favorite word, that four years of Buhari’s administration was not enough to clean them up therefore Buhari needed more time to fulfill his promises and in the event that he wasn’t able to fulfill them, Jonathan should be held responsible because he was the one that messed things up in the first place.
This tactic actually worked for a while until the same Boko Haram and their filial Fulani Herdsmen began to make the country ungovernable for Buhari. When soldiers began to die in their hundreds in the North East, farmers and villagers massacred in their homes in the Middle Belt and Nigeria overtook India as the country with the highest number of extremely poor in the world, people’s brain began to reset and return to their default mode while some were forcefully reformatted.
All the indices of development since this present administration came to power in 2015 have pointed south. Corruption is on the increase according to Amnesty International, Nigeria slipped into recession in 2016, National Bureau of Statistics, our educational and health systems have collapsed, ASU, NMA, JOHESU and Aisha Buhari, poverty has spiraled out of control, etc. In fact the recent survey by Brookins Institution, USA, says six Nigerians get into extreme poverty every minute for the past couple years and more than 87 million Nigerians are now in that hellish bracket of extremely poor.
But that is not the focus of this discourse.
Yes, a date with Karma was set from the day politicians came together and swore to takeover office from a sitting president through the backdoor. Rather than win fair and square they resorted to propaganda, outright falsehood, and connivance with the umpire to deny some regions PVCs and disenfranchise them while others were inundated with the same PVC to the extent of registering and encouraging children to vote. But that was 2014.
Four years down the line some of the protagonists of the political dramas are crying foul. Obasanjo is traversing Nigeria, mending fences and desperately looking for allies to unseat the same Buhari he said he would prefer to jail him instead of Jonathan to be reelected president. Saraki has the hangman noose dangling just over his head after he was conveniently implicated by the Offa Robbery Suspects. Well yes, he had a breather recently when the Supreme Court saved him from his false access declaration saga. But it is not over. Governor Ortom from Benue State has cried himself hoarse and wailed to the high heavens for relief but it appears help is far so he has resorted to self help. He has openly denounced his membership of the APC, same party he joined after dumping his party, the PDP to win elections. Dino Melaye’s case is epic. He was leading protests in the build up to the 2015 elections screaming on top of his voice saying Jonathan and the PDP were corrupt, inept, clueless, weak, rudderless and full of impunity. Today he is singing a love song to PDP begging to be reabsorbed after a running battle with the police. We hear he has recently been invited again by Force Headquarters. Aminu Tambuwal, former Speaker, House of Representatives and currently governor of Sokoto State is looking for a sign from Allah on where to pitch tent. As it is, his days in APC are numbered.
Was Jonathan or the PDP guilty of the accusations against it? To some extent, yes. So why do we talk about Karma? Simply because we all must reap what we sow. It didn’t matter if PDP did wrong or not. What mattered was that the APC used negative means to come to power. The APC sowed hatred, anger, division, election malpractice, tribalism, ethnocentrism, religious polarity, etc to win elections. These same factors will make it lose next year’s election.
All the signs are there. The massive defections have begun. Disgruntlement is on the increase. Some will boldly walk away while some will remain to betray Buhari. Already the nPDP that depleted the ruling party when they joined APC are one leg out of the ruling party. Same faces different nomenclature, they are now known as rAPC, from New PDP to Reformed APC. Who else is not seeing the hand of karma here?
The PDP won Ekiti in the governorship election in 2014 and lost the presidential election in 2015. APC has just won the Ekiti governorship election in 2018. In 2014, the retired generals were on the side of Buhari, their colleague. Today, most of them are against him. Jonathan appointed a trusted Jega to preside over the 2015 elections. Today Buhari has appointed Professor Mahmood Yakubu, his own kinsman, to preside over the general elections in 2019. I can bet that Buhari trusts him but following our karmic pattern, Professor Mahmood Yakubu will fail Buhari the same way Professor Attahiru Jega failed Jonathan. It’s called Karma. So February 2019 is a date with Karma. None shall escape it except those who don’t need the experience.
By Gogo Iyalla.