Still On The Stomach Infrastructure, Time For Ribadu’s Share By Odusote Oluwakayode

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We are still measuring the strength of the stomach infrastructure in our political landscape. It’s a truth that can’t be ignored because it guides the life and decisions of both the rich and poor. Before now, the incursion of stomach infrastructure is perceived to be the burden of the poor, hungry and deprived people in the society. Some would have imagined people in the remote villages, stricken with poverty. It is easy to have such thoughts considering the fact that the larger part of our population dine and wine in penury.
We must agree however that the burden of stomach infrastructure has its roots well connected to the extent that it is not only the poor that grasp for its fruits, the rich also does. For the good of democracy and beauty of governance, a viable opposition is always needed to gauge the temperature of government. Such opposition party is expected to be fortified with resources capable of delivering the promises of good governance if given the chance.
With such fortification, the party must show leadership and coordination while members of the party, no matter how highly rated in the society, are bound by codes to submit themselves to party rules and regulation. For effective coordination of activities, party members are guided by set of laws and membership of a party is expected to be based on ideological leaning.
Our politics is fully enshrined in the famous genre of “awada kerikeri”. Strategic moves are easily predictable; politicians float organizations to promote themselves, and platforms solely sponsored by wealthy associates spring up to lure while the roles of decision making expected from the electorates is left to the perception viewed in adverts rather that the conviction of performance.
We are more or less driven in a convoy of deceit heading to ojuelegba where vehicles come from the east, west, north and south without a warden controlling the traffic. Before long, the word of Fela Anikulapo Kuti reverberates – Confusion!
How would an opposition party be viable when it consists of multiple memberships highly powerful but driven by self interests? Each of this dominant factors within a party want to be President, Governor, Senator, Member of Reps and so on while their family members or close associates are designated for juicy appointments. The persistent question is what do some of these politicians stand for and what do they represent – the people or themselves? When political decisions are taken, what comes to mind is in whose interest are those decisions taken? What was the basis of our democratic struggle?
The ruthless economic exploitation and political oppression of the people by autocratic leaders forced numerous non violent protests against bad leadership. It was these struggles that constituted the real motive force of our historical democratic development. These battles were fought to pave way for a country where Nigerians will be guaranteed their inalienable rights, unfortunately, and as it is witnessed in the over 14 years of our fragile democracy, the benefactors of the struggles are mostly remnants of the reactionary ruling circles who connived with autocrats in the adventure of the people’s oppression. In what way therefore, would they be desirous to represent the people interest?
In Nigeria, most of our politicians join political parties that will guarantee their slot to contest and win election at all cost while party leadership scout for candidates with cash to backup political campaign. These events don’t happen in error, it is always deliberate that our political parties don’t base their political action and program on an ideology. They care-less about the ethical set of ideals, principles and doctrines of how a party is expected to operate; explain how government should work and how political blueprint of institutions should be.
Instead of their political ideology to concern itself with how to allocate resources towards development and to what ends it should be used, theirs is concerned with grasping positions to extend political family dynasties. Nuhu Ribadu, like some others will love to proclaim himself as a progressive. He is just the latest of the vocal politician to decamp into the ruling party – “who know like better thing”?
Who is a progressive? This is a question of the first importance for the electorates. The basic reason why all previous elections in Nigeria achieved so little was the failure to distinguish between genuine commitments to service from a designed commitment to self. The elites adopt emotions of the electorates to assume power. Ethnic regions are appeased to follow candidates with promises of turn-by turn; friends with these interests unite in order to realize ambitions.
When APC was given birth to, it was believed and celebrated in some quarters that the monopoly and impunity of the PDP would end; that the era of a de facto one-party state was about to end and there was a good chance for the opposition to not only offer a constructive critique of the ruling party, but more importantly to present itself as a viable alternative ready to take up the reins of power on behalf of the people.
The ruling party seems not to relent in its effort to be the only party Nigerians will have no choice but to look up to. Series of impeachment moves, luring aggrieved APC members, winning of some states and intimidating the opposition is just enough information to keen watchers of political development that the PDP is unshaken!
It is not totally disappointing though that some politicians have taken time to decamp; at least their interest to cater for their “stomach” comes first. There are lists of states, people and politicians that have earned a place in the “stomach infrastructure” hall of fame.
For whatever reason that may be given for porting, the clear one is of a self interest and that latest entrant into the hall of fame is no other person than Nuhu Ribadu.
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