Politics is played well once rules of engagement are well laid out by gladiators. Smart politicians know when to celebrate, agitate for something and when to concede defeat. Calvin Coolidge was the 30th US president. He was known by the nickname “silent Cal”. His silence was remarkable but his achievement was impactful.
For those criticizing former Governor of Niger State, Dr. Mu’azu Babangida Aliyu, over silence on political happenings under President Muhammadu Buhari, they must school themselves on politics of tact. They must understand that it is better to maintain a thoughtful silence than to throw around early critical views, when there is enough time for government to goof abysmally or gush gracefully on campaign promises.
So many people feel the best way to be politically relevant is by critical attacks of incumbent administrations. In fact, a Nigerian politician in opposition often adorns the toga of a patriot, nationalist, even a comrade to recruit supporters. The subsequent tirades against serving governments are often gimmicks to either distract the government from staying focused or brainwash the masses from seeing clearly. After winning election, they show fangs instead of teeth.
It is true that the former governor of Niger State was vocal, fierce and fearless in his critical opinion against the administration of former President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan. He led the G-7 or the new Peoples Democratic Party to whittle down on the roaring impunity at the time. His purpose was to correct the system heavily polarized, mercilessly raped financially and rudderless directed by cabals.
Not many would recall that Dr. Aliyu, who led the Northern States Governors Forum for eight years, was instrumental to the election of GEJ in 2011, when he rallied support for him through his very powerful northern platform of governors. A promise was however extracted from Jonathan to leave after 2015, which was later reneged upon. For Aliyu, it was political business for the people to ensure the right thing is done and nothing more.
Buhari may be slow and sometime appear bereft of initiatives or direction in steering affairs of the nation but his sincerity of purpose cannot be ignored. It is also true that his administration is infested with cabals, the genuine interest in building Nigeria is all what he has now. Make no mistake he is a sitting duck to critics.
We may not forget that the reason why Governor Aliyu and others fought the GEJ administration was for the sake of preserving Nigeria corporate integrity from the hands of gluttonous cabals. The cabals allowed security malaise to fester, impunity glorified and corruption was almost given constitutional status.
If Buhari fails in holding the economy from its sad free fall dive to and maybe “beyond recession”, one thing remain sacrosanct, he has fought impunity beyond reasonable doubt. If corruption is what the G-7 stood against, then of what moral value will it be for Dr. Aliyu to start throwing critical opinion around for now? He has to give the administration more time to goof or gush.
It is indeed important for those who want the Chief servant to start a war of criticism on Buhari to imbibe Kenny Rogers advice from his song Gambler in a card game where he said, “you’ve got to know when to hold them Know when to fold them Know when to walk away Know when to run. You never count your money when you’re sitting at the table. There’ll be time enough for counting when the dealin’s done.
It is indeed very instructive for Nigerians to understand that the All Progressives Congress may not really be doing well to satisfy the expectations of Nigerians, most critical opinions from certain class of Nigerians must however be targeted for the year of electioneering (2018). Definitely there are gaps in the Buhari led administration which he knows and does not need all Nigerians to chorus it for him.
Opposition should not be all about hate, mischief, lies, vengeance and contempt which many APC politicians carried through electioneering into offices, breeding slimy, odoriferous anticorruption war targeted mostly to witch-hunt. We need a decorous system where the people are placed before self or group interest.
We must clamor for a political enterprise where it is business of the people, for the people and by the people. Sadly, it takes a transition period where opposition largely took over government to get corrupt politicians probed. Interestingly, states where same party platforms exchange baton of leadership turn a blind eye to criminal activities of their predecessors.
African leaders loath leaving offices not because of the official perk alone but on the feared oppression from rival political party. Robert Mugabe is in his nineties, yet his party has penciled him down as candidate for 2018 presidential election. Yayah Jammeh of the Gambia has ruled for 22 years yet he is not willing to leave after resounding defeat.
Let the silence from the booming voice of Dr. Aliyu, the Chief Servant be seen as a metaphor for a purposeful political card game. There would be plenty of time to make the incumbent administration account for their deeds. The government is self-distracting itself already from the myriads of in fights and fragmented interest of cabals and policy summersaults. For now, they need our prayers.
. Ebije can be reached via: [email protected] or @ebijeisrael.com.