When A Leopard Bequeathes Its Spots


Lucky Alade

The political sphere in Nigeria is now an open arena where hardcore politicians, like Athenian Gladiators, display salvage cruelty, amid the cheer and glee of their supporters, in a bid to satisfy their selfish political intents.

In a country like ours, where political power equates supreme power, the masses are nothing but pawns on the CHESS BOARD of our political leaders. It would have been a great relief if this ‘I-must-win-and-you-must-lose’ disposition is confined to our role-model political fathers alone but sadly,the cubs of a leopard will always be a leopard.

It is very shocking for me to realize that the same gloomy climate that has enveloped the outlook of our political scene at the top,has also left a dark smoggy and threatening shadow at the bottom. A clear example is the just concluded departmental and faculty elections in the University of Lagos. Students, who stood as flagbearers of their various political parties on campus, now employ brutish tactics such as intimidation, vile threats and blatant lies just to put down their opponents in the same manner their role-model political fathers do. This is no longer a game but a slaughter arena in the making!

I watched them present their manifestos and they all virtually repeated the same cliche promises I have heard two years ago—such as ‘if you vote for me, I am going to make sure I cut down the rate of our school fees as well as our faculty dues’, ‘I will ensure I conduct tutorials for all the students in my faculty, among others. I am sure they simply went to a nearby photocopier and xeroxed all the manifestos of their preferred predecessors which, according to some political commentators, is what has constituted one of the ginormous political problems plaguing the political landscape of this country. They have always been recycling the manifestos of their predecessors since independence just as they hardly take a second thought of the protracted negative implications those redundant manifestos might have on our polity. Looking at it in a way,that single disposition of recycling manifestos has made it almost impossible for our political parties to have a genuine sense of direction, thus perpetuating the status-quo which is well-designed with impunity, corruption, high-handedness and God-fatherism. Get me right. I am not kicking against party agenda nor the completion of other uncompleted or abandoned projects attempted by previous tenures but that the concrete manifestation of our various parties’ manifestos, must appear at the vanguard at all times, in the lives of the masses. Continuity should reflect all-round improvements in every sector and not failed commitments by successive administrations.

When will our politicians desire to soar above their recycled promises? Promises of constant power supply, good roads, free health care services, revamped economy and millions of employment opportunities for youth are like sharp objects forced into my eardrum. It has made no sense to me anymore,because they are all well-articulated blabs. Why do they always fail to tell us their fate if they eventually fail to materialize their promises within stipulated time? This goes to show that power belongs to our political leaders and not us,the masses. But I must not fail to give my unreserved credit to few exceptional leaders like Gov Raji Fashola of Lagos State and Godswill Akpabio of Akwa Ibom State for their brilliant feats in a polity designed with all shades of corruption.

I bumped into one of the contestants on my way to Unilag Fm. He told me how some thugs(students) from rival political parties on campus threatened him and also rent his campaign posters into shreds. I was shocked to the marrow! ‘When did this start in Unilag,I asked myself. But when I thought about their role models,my shock instantly ended up in a sheepish grin.

Truth be said,our political leaders are just too insensitive to the kind of examples they are setting for our future politicians. The young are observing and they may turn out to be deadlier than their fathers if maximum caution is not exercised.

The big question now is: If the Nigerian Medical Association recently recommended psychiatric tests for all our national political figures who want to contest for various electoral positions,what will be the case of our future political leaders? A rehab centre?

It is high time our political fathers started showing better examples,or else water go pass garri for this country someday