At one point in our lives, growing up as kids we would have participated in the very popular game called “musical chairs”.
However, for those who are not very conversant with the game, which at times is even played by parents when they go their children’s school for social functions, “musical chairs is a game of elimination involving players, chairs, and music, with one fewer chair than players. When the music stops, whichever player fails to sit on a chair is eliminated, with a chair then being removed and the process repeated until only one player remains”.
So you might be wondering what has musical chairs got to do with this piece? Well, expatiating on the meaning, Wikipedia says: “It is also a metaphor for pointless shuffling of personnel in an organisation; a fruitless, repeated scavenger hunt-like experience; and cyclic replacement of political leaders…”
And this currently the situation dominating our polity with people crisscrossing from one party to the other and vice versa all primarily with one aim – putting themselves in the best position to achieve whatever is their goal in the run up to next year’s general elections, which are barely five months away.
As to be expected, because they are the ones haemorrhaging more than the other parties, the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) is the one shouting blue murder – an irony considering that when they were the major beneficiaries of the same process some five years ago they did so with so much glee.
But now see how the narration has changed with the chieftains of the ruling party now not only condemning the “defectors” but also insisting that Senate President Bukola Saraki must vacate his exalted position because he is no longer part of them.
The National Chairman the party, Adams Oshiomhole insisted that it was a matter of honour for Saraki to leave “the crown in the family it belongs to.”
Speaking further he said: “But whatever is the reason, we can defect from the party but we can’t defect from Nigeria. The only thing is that there are other consequential issues that every man or woman of honour who had taken such decision would be expected to follow through.
“I mean you should not collect a crown that belongs to a family and wear it on behalf of the family if for your personal reasons which he has enumerated that he has gone to another family.
“It is just a matter of honour to leave the crown in the house that the crown belongs to.”
Ironically, when the shoe was on the other foot and members of the then “New PDP” defected to the APC, the then opposition party accepted them with so much glee and backslapping.
In November 2013, five governors of the then ruling PDP joined the APC in Abuja to begin the death knell of the PDP.
Initially, all seven governors (G7) in the breakaway faction of the party led by Abubakar Kawu Baraje, were to have moved but in the end only five including Rotimi Amaechi (Rivers State), Rabiu Kwankwaso (Kano), Murtala Nyako (Adamawa), Abdulfatah Ahmed (Kwara) and Magatakarda Wamakko (Sokoto) jumped ship.
However, governors Aliyu Babangida (Niger), who was the chairman of the G7 Governors’ Forum, and Sule Lamido (Adamawa) did not for “strategic reasons”. Before the exit of the governors, PDP held sway in 23 states, but the defection dropped the number to 16 while APC swelled to 18.
And the communiqué released after the merger and signed by signed by Bisi Akande and Kawu Abubakar Baraje, said: “A meeting of the leadership of All Progressives Congress, (APC), and the new PDP met this morning at the residence of the Kano State Governor, Dr. Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso, in Abuja. After exhaustive deliberations the two parties agreed to merge in order to rescue our fledgling democracy and the nation.”
But five years down the line, the politicians have failed to “rescue our fledgling democracy and the nation” but instead do to their love for personal gains have only succeeded in further threatening the fledgling democracy and the nation.
For instance, in jumping ship recently, Tambuwal, who was a major beneficiary of the merger, had very caustic words to say about his former bed mates.
He said he earlier left his then comfort zone as the Speaker of the House of Representatives and member of the then ruling PDP, to join others to form the APC with the hope that it would usher in a better society where peace and justice would reign.
But: “Now, almost four years into what ought to be a new order as desired and elected by Nigerians, the nation is unfortunately going through the most difficult and precarious times, since the civil war; with ethno-religious and regional distrust at its highest ebb.
“This development had often been blamed on political opponents. Meanwhile, there are issues of brazen inequity and capacity and questionable distribution of appointments/projects. This is in addition to lack of statesmanship in responding to national issues, among other things that are aggravating the anomaly.
“It is because I am convinced that no nation can thrive while there is inequity and bad governance; because I am saddened by the fact that lethargy, incompetence and sustained denial of obvious leadership missteps have become the major raw materials with which the Nigerian state is being run today; because I am unwilling to be part of a frightful conspiracy against the cohesion of the Nigerian state, Nigerian youths and peoples; because I am unable to feel at ease in the face of a progressively divided nation and, above all, because I am totally unable to reconcile myself to a national leadership that offers no redeeming moral beacons that I am here with you today; to announce withdrawal of my membership of the All Progressives Congress and return to the Peoples Democratic Party.”
According to him, it is equally disappointing that the APC has been unable to manage whatever good it inherited from the previous administration but has instead taken the level of impunity to heights never before known in Nigeria.
While accusing the administration of failing to break new grounds, he said it had also turned itself into a sanctuary for the corrupt and a machine for rigging and for the rape of democracy.
Sadly even though many of what he said may be true, however, the million naira question is who contributed to the sorry state we have found ourselves in – the politicians!
All through the rigmarole of the musical chairs played by politicians dating back to the First Republic, the generality of the populace has not benefitted correspondingly.
Only time will tell if this time things will be any different.
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