OpinionOPINION: Nigeria’s Forgotten And Fallen: Power, Politics And Fame

OPINION: Nigeria’s Forgotten And Fallen: Power, Politics And Fame

GTBCO FOOD DRINL

March 24, (THEWILL)- In Nigeria’s complex socio-political landscape, there exists a phenomenon often overshadowed by the glitz and glamour of political power and fame—the plight of the forgotten men.

These individuals, once wielders of influence and authority, find themselves relegated to the sidelines of society’s collective memory once their time in the spotlight fades. This essay explores the fallacy of power, politics, and fame in Nigeria, emphasizing the transient nature of these constructs and the tendency of Nigerian politicians to fade into obscurity once they lose their grip on power.

Power, in its various manifestations, is often perceived as the ultimate prize in Nigeria’s political arena.

Glo

Let me explain briefly and with a smile…I say if you don’t know you can know. In Nigeria, a governor is entitled to some mysterious humongous amount of money called security votes, sadly in most states no one is secure.

That same governor amongst the humble ones are those that are privileged to have at least 20 advisors, some have been known to have as much as 500 advisors with designation ranging from Special Advisers to Senior Special Advisers, this is for offices that have commissioners already, and in cases also personal assistants and advisers.

I have excluded the retinue of security aparachik, the Nigerian politician while in office does not do any work, and pays literally for nothing. I am not discussing the cost of governance but the opulence of governance.

Politicians invest significant resources and effort into acquiring and maintaining power, viewing it as a means to attain wealth, prestige, and influence. However, the reality is that power is ephemeral, subject to the whims of electoral cycles, shifting political alliances, and the unpredictable tides of public opinion.

Nigerian history is replete with examples of once-powerful politicians who have fallen from grace, their names consigned to the annals of history as mere footnotes in the country’s political narrative. I will come back to this before I drop my pen!

Politics, too, is characterized by its transient nature in Nigeria. The pursuit of political office is often driven by personal ambition rather than a genuine desire to serve the public good. Nigerian politicians engage in cutthroat tactics to ascend the political ladder, forming alliances of convenience and betraying erstwhile allies to achieve their goals.

The AD-PDP-ANPP-CPC-AA-APC phenomenon where a politician has belonged to all these political parties in barely two decades of power.

However, once in power, many politicians prioritize self-interest over the welfare of the people, using their positions to amass wealth and consolidate their grip on power. Consequently, when their tenure ends, they are swiftly cast aside by the electorate, their promises forgotten and their legacies tarnished by allegations of corruption and malfeasance.

Similarly, fame in Nigeria’s political arena is fleeting. Politicians bask in the adulation of the masses during their time in office, enjoying the trappings of power and the privileges afforded to them by their positions.

However, once their tenure ends, they find themselves relegated to the margins of society, their once-glittering reputations tarnished by scandals and controversies. The Nigerian public, ever fickle in its affections, quickly moves on to the next political sensation, consigning yesterday’s heroes to the dustbin of history.

So, do we remember that governor that fought with his deputy, finally impeaching him for owning a poultry, I mean it, for owning a poultry. How about that governor that became a governor because the owner of the seat went on to become a Vice President that has been trying every electoral circle to get the big prize. The last I heard of him, he was the leader of the Association of Former PDP Ex-Governors.

There is another one I know, in fact a woman, and trust me in Nigeria forget all that noise of gender equality, I tell you, our women have not done badly, I know that was a councillor in the 70s, Commissioner in the 80s, Minister in the 90s, 20s, and even doubled as a deputy governor, and was still a minister a year ago. I don’t recall where she is now.

There is one, a big masquerade, he was all over the place, he always gifted you a statue of yourself if he was pleased with you, his home-state has been unfortunate in governance, from a palm wine tapper to the current one lovingly called in the past, the Supreme Court Governor.

There was this other one in a state in the North, at some point he was in the Senate, and his wife was equally in the House of Rep, he had been governor, and at some point the wife was a minister of state for foreign affairs.

This is just a little click of a mouse between “me and my family group of big political office holders”, a conglomerate of father in power, wife in power, and family members in power simultaneously.

They come with all kinds of slogans from engineering to re-engineering, redemption, to redeemer, they had their caps like the kwankwansia, in all colours but they all faded with time, in many cases no legacy.

I was talking the other day about Mallam Kachalla, and someone asked me who he was…the one-time governor of Borno, now a man from yesterday.

Another was and is the man who was popularly called SAS, he was party chairmen of two different parties, and has belonged to four at my last count. These days a whole six months and no mention of his name in the papers.

Where is Adamu Mauzu…where is Bode George, I am not sure where our one time VP under Jonathan is, very nice man, but nowhere to be found, where is Rochas Okorocha, Achike Udenwa, what does Babagida Aliyu do these days, Boni Haruna, or Mimiko…I remember the most handsome governor in that class, that Cross River dude, very nice guy with his Saxophone. My friend who left his state better than he met it…

Where is Suswan, and these days one hardly hears from his successor Ortom… What does Imoke do, and even a handful of the most current of them are fading, where is the professor of big sounding budget names Ben Ayade, Rotimi Amaechi is now a Barrister, I hopefully will drop by his chambers one of these days.

My dear friends Isa Yuguda, Danjuma Goje, Hashidu, and Orji Theodore, and Ipeazu, are all silent these days, and indeed the silence is loud, extremely loud as their times are fading away. Life is in time and phases, whether minister, legislator, head of some important parastatal, slowly we forget you all…

In conclusion, Nigeria’s forgotten men serve as a poignant reminder of the fallacy of power, politics, and fame in the country’s socio-political landscape.

While politicians may wield considerable influence during their time in office, their power is transient, and their legacies ephemeral. The true measure of a leader lies not in the pomp and circumstance of political office but in the enduring impact they have on the lives of the people they serve.

As Nigeria continues its quest for democratic consolidation and socio-economic development, it is imperative that its leaders prioritize the public good over personal gain, lest they too be consigned to the ranks of the forgotten men—May Nigeria win!

About the Author

Prince Charles Dickson PhD
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