by Frank Ijege
There is a parable told by Jesus about the rich man. The man had recorded a bounty harvest and was wondering on what to do with it. “What shall I do? I have no place to store my crops”, he asked himself. Then he said to himself, “this is what I’ll do, I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones, and I will store my surplus grain. And I’ll say to myself, “you have plenty of grain laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry”. Unfortunately for him, God had other plans for. According to the Bible, God said “you fool! This very night your life will be demanded of you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself”? The man couldn’t make it to the next day to carry out his great plans for the future.
If there is anything that is uncertain in this world, it is life in itself. You are here today the next moment you may be in the hospital battling for life or even in the grave, dead and gone! As a result, I don’t understand the hustle, arrogance, pride, conspiracy, the pull him down antics with which we live through life. Some people make robust futuristic plans to last for several years yet, we are not sure of the next minute. Don’t get me wrong, nobody is saying we should not make plans for the future. It will be really disappointing for one to live a care free life because life is but transient and then God decides to bless him with long life, all he may have to show for the years of existence is probably nothing but just age and regrets. We need to dream great dreams and make magnificent plans; but we must also know that life is but nothing; kwalin cabin, life my Hausa friends also describe it whenever I ask mai’a duniya?
One set of people who behave as if they are guaranteed of the next moment are politicians. They live flamboyant lives, loot billions of naira and make inordinate plans, oppress the poor and lowly etcetera. Imagine that this is just 2016 and the current government has not even spent up to half of its four year term, politicians are already displaying their nature, as we have started seeing grand plot and great scheming for 2019. The recent outburst by Alhaji Atiku Abubakar about being betrayed by former loyalists and the equally swift reply from the Kaduna State governor, Mal. Nasir El-Rufai is all about 2019.
Alhaji Atiku Abubakar has never hidden his desire to be the president of this country. That ambition pushed him to the point of seeking to contest against his boss, former president Olusegun Obasanjo in 2003. Although he was prevailed upon to shelve the idea, the Turaki of Adamawa has not stopped trying from 2007 to date, with his eyes still fixed on 2019. For Mal. Nasir El-Rufai, he also has his eyes on the number one seat. Although he has not openly declared his ambition for that post, there are feelers that he is warming up to take over from President Muhammadu Buhari should the President not be interested in running for a second term. You will recall that the Governor repeatedly denied any ambition to seek elective office in several interviews and even in his book, ‘The Accidental Public Servant.’ Apart from these two, there are others who are no less interested, but are waiting for the opportune moment to strike.
Isn’t it rather surprising that these politicians could not exercise a little patience, before they start attacking each other through various forms of diatribe, thus hanging their dirty linens in public all because of 2019, which is three years away? Are they even assured of living up to 2019?
It is said that in politics, it is never too early; one however thinks that earliness ought to be in strategies, ideologies and policies on how an aspirant intends to tackle and address issues upon attaining and not covert strategies, conspiracy theories and relentless dissipation of energies in absurd activities and diatribes.
This focus by our politicians on the wrong issue accounts for the leadership failure we continue to experience in this country. They don’t plan to work, they only plan to win elections; and when they eventually win, they are not prepared for the challenges of the office they worked so hard to get. Most times, they become overwhelmed by the enormous work before them; they try a number of quick fixes, which see them committing one blunder after another.
And who says one must be President before one can impart lives positively? With his enormous wealth, what has Alhaji Atiku done to better the lives of the people? There is hardly any project or foundation that he has established to help humanity; at least I don’t know of anyone. What has he done, or is he doing for communities of Adamawa state ravaged by boko haram? For Mal. El-Rufai, the best thing for him to do is to settle down and deliver on his campaign promise to make Kaduna great again. It is too early for him to allow himself to be distracted by the 2019 elections. Besides, if any of these men dies today, we will only remember them by what they did and not by what they sought to do or become.
This is not just for Alhaji Atiku Abubakar or Mal. Nasir El-Rufai, but for all those aspiring for elective position in all the tiers of government.
Op–ed pieces and contributions are the opinions of the writers only and do not represent the opinions of Y!/YNaija
Network for Democracy and Human Rights