Osun election: Nigerians are not jokers!

Osun election: Nigerians are not jokers!

Wednesday, July 20, 2022 5:15 am

Dr Promise Adiele

By Promise Adiele

Revolution is a historical reality which bears significance to people’s resolve for a new beginning. Nigeria’s contemporary political dynamics show that Nigerians are not jokers as demonstrated by the Osun electorate. What did Nigerians in Osun State do? They carried out a revolution by altering the apparatus of governance through the instrumentality of the voters’ card. When I use the word ‘Nigerians’, I am not simply referring to all the people living in the geographical entity known as Nigeria.

Rather, I am referring to many people living in that existential space consistently subjected to one of the poorest kinds of leadership anyone could imagine. I refer to a set of people enduring hardship, misrule, pathetic governance, decayed infrastructure, corruption in the corridors of power, collapsed institutional structures, non-existing health sector, submerged educational system, insecurity, official, consistent assault by the political class, and a bedridden consciousness that has surrendered existence to a diverse supernatural realm. I refer to victims of socio-economic rape irrespective of religion, ethnicity, and other nebulous categories effectively used by the demagoguery to balkanize the people. I refer to Nigerians, the masses, those despoiled by need, the people Frantz Fanon refers to as The Wretched of the Earth.

Of course, it is imperative to make the distinction that not all Nigerians fall into the category above. There are Nigerians who live like kings, enamoured with ostentation and overflowing riches. These people don’t use hospitals in the country, their children don’t school in Nigeria too. They can never descend so low to travel by road when they have their private jets waiting for them. They are above the laws of the land, even when they ferry millions of cash with automobiles, a privilege strictly reserved for financial institutions. Although these sets of Nigerians have never worked, tilled the land or through verifiable, humble processes rise through the ranks of business, they are richer than some states in the country, even richer than some West African countries.

They are direct beneficiaries of Nigeria’s robust political industry. Their hands are not far away from the exchequer, those who became billionaires after a short stint as governors, ministers, political appointees, and other public offices. They are the grand custodians of Nigeria’s overflowing gold pot. I am not, in any way, referring to these sets of people as Nigerians. How can I refer to them as Nigerians? What sort of condescending impudence is that? I dey craze? No, these people are not Nigerians because they don’t live and operate as Nigerians. They are crippled by surplus and driven by a morbid desire for vainglory. They are Nigerians by accident.

The real Nigerians are those I highlighted at the beginning of this essay and these people are not jokers. A joke is an inexorable cousin to comedy, that component of literature that hides under the veil of laughter and jocular indulgences to deal ruthlessly with more exalted, serious social concerns. I am yet to read a better comedy than Ola Rotimi’s Our Husband Has Gone Mad Again. But sometimes, a joke is a joke, no pretence is intended. People joke for many reasons, either to make people laugh or simply to be mischievous. In the 21st century, a joke has become a profession for those we gleefully call comedians. These days, people pay huge sums of money to witness jokers in their art. Indeed, joking is a big business. Some jokers and comedians have made a fortune in the trade. Yet, we call them jokers. The real people I refer to as Nigerians, the ‘people’ are not jokers at all. They are not smiling this time. Perhaps we can say that Nigerians have been roused from their slumber, out of ostensible lethargy and from their comfort zones. They are witnesses to the near annihilation of their existence by the political class. Their awareness is evident in the current reactionary attitude to various tensions in the country.

Last week, Nigerians who live in the South West of the country, precisely Osun State made a huge statement that they are not jokers. If the behaviour of the Osun people in the last gubernatorial election is to be used to gauge the temperament of Nigerians, then one can confidently say that Nigerians have finally woken up, they are not jokers. In Osun State, the people spoke eloquently with their votes. They rejected the non-performing government of Governor Adegboyega Oyetola of the APC. The people made a statement by rejecting a government they see as a composite failure which does not put the interest of the masses into consideration. Although President Muhammadu Buhari was there to campaign for the incumbent governor, the people voted according to their experiences in the last four years. Although Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the APC presidential flag bearer was in the State to campaign for the incumbent governor, the people had their minds made up. Tinubu’s unguarded, recalcitrant, and hate-filled curse that the people will labour in vain resonated with the voters. They laboured to speak with their voters’ cards. Now, we know who laboured in vain in Osun State.

If the behaviour of the Osun people in the last gubernatorial election is to be used to gauge the temperament of Nigerians, then one can confidently say that Nigerians have finally woken up, they are not jokers. In Osun State, the people spoke eloquently with their votes.

indeed Nigerians are not jokers, it means that they are serious. They have become aware of their real enemies and are ready to speak with one voice in next year’s election. If Nigerians are serious, then there is no justifiable reason for any serious-minded person to vote for a failed government in next year’s election. How would any normal Nigerian go to the polls to vote for a party that has practically liquidated the country? How will any reasonable person wake up in the morning, aware of the insecurity in the land with all the shenanigans around it, and vote for the same party that has made these things possible? How will a serious-minded person vote for parties whose twenty-three years of combined effort has dragged Nigeria to the gutters? How would anybody with an active conscience, march to the polls to endorse criminality in power perpetuated by past governors who have turned their states into cash cows, pulverizing the state treasury through humongous pension benefits and greedy appropriation of the state’s internally generated revenue?

Nigerians are not jokers because they know what to do. They are witnesses to how an unscrupulous political class has to midwife their misery with an insincere change mantra that has forced everyone to stand on their heads. The market woman is not smiling, she is not joking too. University undergraduates are not joking. They know the source of their anguish and will never endorse a government that has compromised their future. The youths are not joking too. Having drunk from a common trough of suffering, denial, debasement, and all shades of evisceration, they have discarded the apparel of joke and now are committed to embracing seriousness. No joke o! The Osun electorate have shown Nigerians the way. They have proved that voting out a bad, poor government is possible. Perhaps we can also thank President Buhari for congratulating PDP’s Ademola Adeleke. It seems Buhari is aware of the new consciousness in Nigeria and is tacitly endorsing it. Nigerians are taking over their country. They are wrestling it away from plunderers and wicked men. Nigerians have suddenly discovered that if they do not rise with one voice, they will all die sooner or later, eyeball to eyeball, buried in one huge grave while their traducers click glasses and drink champagne over their heads. Nigerians are not jokers, they are ready! The days of joking are over!! Get your PVC!!!

Promise Adiele PhD
Mountain Top University
[email protected]

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