by Debo Adejugbe
If the President could put politics aside and commiserate with the ElRufai family on their painful loss, but as an unknown foot-soldier you make fun of someone who just lost a son; you should hang your head in shame.
When you consider yourself pretty good at writing nonsenses, like many of us do, there comes a time when someone takes the mickey out of you, prompting you to accept that there are still few rough edges to be smoothed in your anticipation of being a ‘rubbish legend’. Those were my thoughts on Tuesday, April 29, when I saw some responses to the news that former Minister of Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Nasir ElRufai, had lost his son Hamza in a car crash.
For someone who wrote, supposedly indifferent, about the kidnap of Prof. Mabel Okonjo on December 9, 2012 and actually listed what the kidnappers’ requests should have been, I understand the template of BS writing and how to extract an ounce of anger against someone who just suffered a major misfortune. Hence my opening line in this piece. I stand by my pronunciation that “no one life is bigger or better than the other” but the dimension those who had one or two negatives to churn out against ElRufai took, after he lost his son in such painful circumstance, was highly disturbing and callous.
I agree that we are all politicians and have one interest or the other that we unapologetically align with. It is the reality in Nigeria and to think otherwise is naïve at best. When do we agree that we have crossed the line? Or, let me frame it this way: where exactly is the line? Recent events are confirming the age-old belief that, for this generation, the line is conspicuously blurry. If the President could put politics aside and commiserate with the ElRufai family on their painful loss, but as an unknown foot-soldier you make fun of someone who just lost a son; you should hang your head in shame. There are lines that shouldn’t be crossed. It is no one’s business how a man chooses to break the news of his son’s death.
This is a broken generation!
The deal in this column is that I have to give my opinions on political maneuverings in the country; irrespective of how much I want to swear or lash out, I have to keep it civil. It is highly painful that youths of my generation are majorly concerned about the crumbs from the tables of the older generation. We run their errands as Social Media boys (irrespective of age), fight to be their ‘Special Assistants’, fall over ourselves to be in their good graces and ultimately forget that at our age they were already administrators, heads of state, federal commissioners et al.
We hardly have any pure opinion of how governance should be. There are different shades of governance out there and we just pick the ones that actually pay the most for our opinions. How else do you define the grandstanding after disputed elections? An election where, at best, we were given various categories of evils and we were expected to pick the most favorable? We huff and puff in the run up to elections and run mad with sketchy analysis when the results are out; where we lean depends on who we supported and not what the facts on ground suggests. But we still expect the older generation to take us serious.
Maybe Ekiti is the new reference point in Nigerian elections; time will tell. If you still don’t understand why I said that, please read my last Y! Politico piece on the subject [ HERE]. The militarization of Ekiti as a reason for the woeful performance of the opposition is one of the fallacies that survived the analysis on the elections but as an observer of other recent governorship elections in Edo, Ondo and Anambra states where the same heavy security presence did not result in the emergence of the ruling party, it is important to ask the right questions. Something my generation is averse to.
I remember the case of Edo vividly. In a piece by Okey Ndibe, two weeks to the elections, he predicted a PDP win using the ‘readiness of the IGP and CDS for Edo’. He was right to be apprehensive though. The Nigerian terrain and the over-exuberance of our security outfits in trying to deliver for the President cannot be discounted but events proved otherwise and the opposition comfortably reclaimed Edo. My problem with the aftermath of Edo was that the opposition went silent over the militarization claims because it won. Ondo and Anambra were the same but it is hardly surprising why Ekiti was different, PDP won!
To be clear here, I am no fan of the PDP; not even a fan of Mr. President but it shouldn’t cloud the debates going on. Most of the spurious analysis and lopsided pieces on these events are still a design of this broken generation I talked about. Rather than take rein of the narratives and write new chapters that will make them take us serious, we miss it at the most critical points. It isn’t a coincidence that we get passed up when Youth Leaders are being elected (or selected) at party levels. There is a narration to it. They have the understanding that a toss of the coin, some wired transfers and a promise as a ‘Special Assistant’, we are all in. we cannot even get the most basic of positions.
It makes you wonder: what exactly is special about being an assistant? Maybe you have
The truth here is that 2015 is not our uhuru! We can only get close in 2019 if the discussions start in earnest now. I will be surprised with a result other than a Jonathan win on February 14, 2015. This has nothing to do with his incumbency or formidability. The fact is: he is prepared. He is doing everything possible to milk the squandered emotional capital that the opposition has lost. He is trying to position his party as a new breed of the old PDP. Yes, I agree that it is the beautification of the antichrist but people revel in actions they can feel. People are tired of hoping the rhetoric works; they want to see it work or they would go with ‘the devil they know’. A valid alternative is required, not a repackaged imitation.
I understand why it is important to have a Social ‘Media’ presence but those who need the message are in the villages and towns. They possess neither smartphones nor laptops. Their needs are basic and they respond to those who guarantee such basic needs favorably. They move and think together, like a herd. Remember I said Ekiti is fast becoming the new reference? It has already changed the complexion of the run up to Osun gubernatorial elections and the focus has shifted to those who matter: the people. People now understand the aces they hold and are ready to bargain with it.
You see, for the educated and suave few, we have to discuss the Amnesty International video [WATCH HERE] on ‘military abuses’, the Boko Haram scourge itself, the President’s jetting out of the country in the wake of a 3week-plus doctors’ strike amidst the looming Ebola crisis and the possibility of things not improving. While deliberating on that, remember that we don’t all belong to the PDP or APC. In all of these, the future is excruciatingly bleak.
Let’s continue this rant next time… My editor already feels this is too long.
Debo Adejugbe is a trained Telecommunications/Electronics Engineer and a certified IT professional living in Lagos. Dad to amazing Hailey and an advocate against Sexual and Domestic Abuses. Debo has political sympathy for the Labour Party. He tweets from @deboadejugbe
Op-ed pieces and contributions are the opinions of the writers only and do not represent the opinions of Y!/YNaija