-By Austen Akhagbeme:
The penchant of Nigerian political elites to always embark on electioneering campaigns based on our fault lines shows their obduracy and lack of willingness for change.
This is indicative of the lack of finesse and depth in terms of what public service is all about on one hand and the true understanding of our political dilemma on the other.
Atiku’s often-declared sobriquet as being the “unifier” and a “Pan- Nigerian” was given a new meaning over the weekend when he brazenly and publicly called on his people to tilt towards a candidate of the northern extraction as we prepare for the next general election in Nigeria.
Pan- Nigerianism presupposes unambiguous altruism and love for the nation without ethnic colouration or inclination, whatsoever. This includes the deliberate demystification of the glitz and fanfare that surrounds the presidency by the simplicity of natural support for such a charismatic occupant or aspirant to this exalted office.
This is why it becomes very paradoxical when a supposedly “Pan-Nigerian” presidential aspirant like the Waziri of Adamawa, wears the tribal toga and appeals to ethnic nuances and sentiments just like he did with his infamous speech over the weekend.
The truth remains that it is nearly impossible for a Nigerian political elite whose candidacy was purchased, not by the goodwill or charismatic allure of the people, but by a personal financial war-chest and shrewd political dexterity to assume the toga of Pan- Nigerianism; that will amount to calling a spade a farm instrument instead of its true name.
In a country with a debt burden of over N35 Trillion Naira, aspirants to elective positions of power must be seen to be above board in terms of sincerity and political brinkmanship.
The general election of 2023 will make it a century old since the very first election was held in the geographical space known today as Nigeria, in 1923. Let us for once, take ourselves more seriously by not attempting to make the next general election ( after a hundred years of elections) in Nigeria, another charade of deception and misrepresentation. Let those who have a provable pedigree and unquestionable love for the nation emerge.
- Austen Akhagbeme is a columnist with Blank NEWS Online