The Face of Evil and Disgraceful Logic of Power
By Rev Agbali:
Nigeria is aglow with the issue of the attempt of the Presidency to make constitutional changes in elongating its office tenure. President Obasanjo while yet to public come out in focally and vocally in affirming his aspiration toward self-perpetuation in power has acted precisely in ways that has given credence to such vents. In this, he has put to the back-burner and public shame such of his supporters, like the eminent Catholic Priest and Presidential acolyte, Rev. Fr. Matthew Kukah, who averred that President Obasanjo would not overstay his term limit. Such despicable dynamics indicate the extent of the transmogrification of governance into a scheme of devious behavior and political evil that has continually tormented the Nigerian imagination.
Further, such realities point acutely to the crass amoral and deficient logic that underpins power formations in Nigeria. Power as exercised in Nigeria is rooted in arbitrary schemes that utterly disregard legal and ethical norms. Thus, rather than competence and merit, patrimonial pursuits and prebendal loyalties becomes the means of allocating and distributing state resources. Therefore, the state is stampeded and public service is undermined through the privatization and acquisitions of the state in furthering one’s social position, political relevance, and economic viability.
Thus, the idea of service is truncated and displaced through false-conscious loyalties that esteem the megalomaniac status of the possessor of power. Embodied as deified entities the possessors of power through the prosaic laudatory reifications and deceitful loyalties conferred upon them they too turn ritualize power through the regal display of its fetishes eternally etched to their persons. Within such occult, these deities of power conferred with hitherto unknown loyalties glamorize power illusively as the vivifying and evanescent force of their existence. Embedded in self-serving drives, the incumbent governing class deludes itself confusing the accoutrement of power with existential relevance.
Additionally, within the Nigerian historical portraiture such preoccupation points to the role of class rather than ethnicity in fueling the desire toward elongating hegemonic domination that perpetuates a particular class order. Even when such class establishment is fundamentally devoid of basic legitimation and intellectual capital, it covers itself with the coat of violence within the pursuit of constant domination.
This current has defined the governing class as opportunistic and irreverent incapable of actualizing the aspiration of service to the people. Worst still, the arbiters of such consciousness have often arisen from the military ruling class, whether active or retired. Within this consciousness of the Nigerian historical reality, the military class infatuation with power assert a foundational fact that engages power to cover the fact of its debased origin as a force of colonial and imperial generation. Equally, the readily utilization of violence reveals the nature of its emergence as an entity of domination.
Therefore, it is not surprising that historically since the days of Gowon right to the present moments all military governing actors, except the one exception of the Obasanjo era relinquishing of power to a democratically elected government, characteristically almost all have attempted to perpetuate themselves in power. Thus, it has become surprising that the rejuvenated President Obasanjo, as a civilian democrat is now revealing his persona, projecting his inscrutable malicious evil face without considerations for the future and fortune of the Nigerian nation.
Having circumvented the state and privatized it around his person, and following the ritualistic sacrifice of his wife on the avaricious altar of political ambition, there seems to be no turning back. Such capricious manifestations only go to prove the horrible disservice that President Obasanjo has done to his esprit de corps allies. Nigerians can and should no longer trust any military personality that comes seeking their relevance through their votes. Rather, the time has arrived within which Nigerians must not dangle before the crude illogicality of irrational power seekers, who crave their power through the disgraceful logic and rhetoric of devious machinations, of bribery, and lack of shame.
In this light, it devolves upon all Nigerians, everywhere to arise in scuttling this mapped illusion of domination. Until, we act jointly and forcefully, as it happened in Yugoslavia to the late Milosevic and against General Guei of Cote d’Ivoire, Nigeria would continue to be the chess board, in which each deceitful and self-conceited dictatorship plays their pun of convenience. It is time to definitive assert the power and sovereignty of the people. As Fidel Castro once noted in his treason trial and documented in his book recounting his defence, History will Absolve Me, though he too is accused by the West of dictatorship, no armored vehicles, military planes, and other equipment of military technological sophistication has ever stood against a people, though fighting with stick and stones, are determined to define their fate. Until, Nigerians depart from the attitude of leaving their fate for others, except themselves to define, and until they are ready to build the nations that they want, dealing with charlatans and roguery personalities, by putting them in their place, there would never be any true freedom.
In the light of this, it is my ultimate believe that if Nigerians refuse to be taken for granted and obstinately defy any temptation to prevaricate, the victory of liberation and existential transformation would once and for all be won. In my opinion, what is happening now is a necessary condition toward real building of democratic institutional capabilities from beneath rather than above, given that the present democratic experience, in spite of some of its acknowledged benefits, was a railroaded venture that did not have the time to sift the chaff of democratic pretenders, who in many ways were active, and still are, collaborators of past denigrating oppressive regimes, systems, and structures. Within the current events, these unfolding contradictions would actually mark the virulent undoing and unmasking of the pseudo-democrats, especially among the military class and its ruling political elite class, from the vocational politicians; and between those who are in politics in securing their economic interests and those in it as public servants.
The journey is long and arduous but as the dawn unfolds and the scales fall, the curtain of the struggle is drawn, hopefully and conveniently leading to the dawn of the positive transformation of the Nigerian landscape.
We shall see! For me, there is no more ‘Siddon look’ approach I shall use my agency and different networks and capitals in any way possible so that I can be seen to have lived to the valuable tenets that I espouse. Since no one gives what they do not have (nemo dat quod non habet) as a Latin adage asserts, I want to live up to the ideals I urge others; in being foot soldiers in establishing democracy and rule of law in our land by defying manipulative antics and personalities. I am ready to march, would anyone join in? This is a daunting task and a monumental challenge. Can we take the gauntlet on together on behalf of our nation, and be her knights of glory? Therefore, as I wait, I shall reserve my “requiem” chant for Nigeria, at least for now.