Merchants of Nation? (Part One)

By Bolaji O. Akinyemi

In our search for a Saviour for our nation, persons must be shown and supported. A group whose activities must be unravelled and resisted must also be identified. Such persons who must be shown are those whose mission must precede our political Messiah with similar ideology.

Fervent in their calling for order and daring to Governments, they will speak from the wilderness against the terror of thrones in palaces. Their massages must be Messianic, fervent and audacious. They will seek nothing for self but all for the nation.

I have chosen to pitch my tent with genuine pathfinders, to cry as loud as I can, armed with the touch of the Spirit to beam the light on “LAGOS: Leaders After God’s Own Spirit”, wherever they are found for Nigerians to choose from in 2023 without regards for gender, tribe or religion.

The peril of our nation are the claimants to political pathfinding, but who are pretentiously self seeking and have manipulated the minds of the public with the notion of seeking the good of our nation.

They are backward but dress in progressive garments; political investors who have nothing doing yet gallivant in outlandish glamour and stupendous wealth. The search for our national saviour must lead away from this group and genuinely will begin the day our real pathfinders are revealed, for they will lead the way to the “Messiah”.

The other group is an assemblage of professionals, but dishonourable. Propagandists, whose words unfortunately are counted for honour in the public but hireling of evil enterprise of the satanic political investors in the dark.

They are appointment seekers who in the hope of what they stand to get from the Government, tear down castles with their words and build sand castles in exchange; with blocks moulded with spittle that can’t endure even the dews of a night. With their tongues they paint good bad, and bad good.

King Herod was the evil pathfinder of the Messianic plan of God for Israel. He was to find Jesus and stop Him, by killing him. This has been the fate of our many “Messiahs”, an example each will suffice in the military and in the course of our democratic struggle.

Muritala Mohammed was one. He came in military uniform. MKO Abiola was the other, prepared and presented in democratic regalia. Both were traded by our “merchants of nation”.

John the Baptist should serve as our model of a good pathfinder. He first used the phrase “O generation of vipers” to reveal the curse the elite class of his day constitute to the mission of finding the Messiah. The elite class are still an hurdle today as they were in John’s day. They form political parties and shop for the highest bidder as their candidates. You pay them to reign over the people, their gain our loss.

At them, John screamed, “O ye generation of vipers, who has warned you from the wrath to come”! Wrath indeed await those who stand between the possibility of good governance and the search of the people for leadership that will make it happen. They shall be consumed in the day of the anger of the people which shall be the day of the judgment of the Lord, a day so close we can smell it, so strongly.

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Of this proponents of good governance but saboteurs of it, Jesus agreed with John. He said, “how can ye, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh”.

We have had our share of this class of men in Government, lofty speakers but evil doers, who will compromise the sovereignty of our nation and commit huge resources of our country as payment to their ancestral foreign Fulani brethren to stop killing our indigenous tribes in Southern Kaduna, but have had more people killed with their payment than at any other time in our history.

These groups were at their best before 2015. They pounced upon the desires of the public for change and appointed themselves Agents of that change. Technocrats and professionals alike, hired to merchant the future for their present moment. They speak of a nation sold to them by the political investors, bloggers and social media gurus, all took the public space to sell an expired product.

Trapped in the midst of these groups were genuine change seekers, consistent apostolic stewards, who yearned for true change. Like the rest of us, they were loud and zealous. They gave their best to the struggle not for the pay like many in the group, but for genuine change.

The Government came and greater evil was unleashed on the people. But the paid proponents of “good governance” went mute in the face of incompetence and ineptitude. The genuine change seekers became agitated, they cried the more and wouldn’t be consoled. The CHANGE which they tirelessly worked for is still denied the nation and her citizens.

At the end of 4 years, many of them saw it as an opportunity to cash in on the frustration of the people with the Government to present themselves for public stewardship which they did.

A strategic group among them came up with “Not Too Young To Run Bill” but when the push came to shove, they were no where ready with their shovels. So lost to the reality of our need for leadership shift that too old to run grandfather whose memory was failing was endorsed as their candidate.

Others with strong motivational garb also came into the race, what do I say of Kingsley Moghalu; hifalutin speeches where delivered on campaign grounds. Fela Durotoye came in the spirit of Kris Okotie; interesting rhetoric but far removed from realities. Obadiah Malafia came with high sounding bites but hollow in connecting with the to see corruption for what it is.

The ferocious, Oby Ezekwesilli who promised us their Government was going to bring back our girls saw more girls taken. Till date, for her faith, Leah Sharibu is still held down in captivity.

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Our tigress came in contest against Atiku, as if he was the President but had nothing to say about the Government the people wanted out. Her campaigns were riddled with words against another in the race. Never the incumbent.

The opportunity came for them to align forces and harmonise their positions. But no! Their Individual ambitions was greater than our collective need for leadership and everyone held to his/her gun.

The election came and was rigged in a manner unknown to democracy anywhere in the world. Institutions of Government were deployed not to aid rigging but to lead it. The Police, Military and other Para military agencies were saddled with the task to forcefully impose on the people a Government rejected by them at the poll. INEC was culpable, wired to the Villa, from where they were being remote controlled.

Osun election brought to the open the role of the Villa in our elections when the President who was away when that election held openly acknowledged the efficacy of their wire system to effectively control INEC servers and services. The judiciary came with the icing on the cake. Not only will affidavit suffice for a certificate, but the office of the Vice President was joined in mandate and fate with that of the President, but remains subsumed in duties and responsibilities. Thus silencing the “star boy”.

Elections over, rigging concluded, nothing more to do. Like the four year seasonal storms that Jimmy Agbaje, loved by all in Lagos has become to our political climate, our aspirants have all gone back to work. The financial technocrats and Bankers have since returned to money making.

The motivational speakers among them also sounding high on different radio frequencies, the woman/man back to muscle flexing, but non of them saying nothing about the evil they brought upon us since 2015. Same for their political middlemen/women. They all went back to the corridors of power hanging out for crumbs that will fall from the table. Pity!

Those who can’t dare to stand up and be numbered in the fight for the soul of our country now! Dare not offer themselves to lead us for a walk over that 2023 election will be, like it or hate it, there is a generational shift.

A young man however stands out, consistent like the Northern sun since 1993 when he came to limelight during our mass struggle for the restoration of our mandate given through a free and fair election to Chief MKO Abiola. He was then the Student Union President of the University of Lagos. Till date he has been at work on the side of the masses; unwavering, undeterred, “unbuyable”.

Having reason to be content with life and work in New Jersey, but who like Moses chose to suffer affliction with the commoners of the Nigeria nation, he left all behind for the jungle to wrestle along with us with the beasts of power.

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In a recent chat with Dele Momodu on Instagram, the publisher of Ovation Magazine listed out for him some very great Nigerians and given the struggle, asked who among them he will like to step into his shoes. His words, to paraphrase, “they didn’t fail, they came, did their best and left the rest. In the rest they left, l have found the mission to give my best.

Par adventure l may see the harvest of their labours, but if not, l will simply want to be numbered with them as men who gave their best”. I guess he was of no intention to put his legs in their socks not to talk of their shoes.

Among the living, he singled out Prof Wole Soyinka and Mr Femi Falana; who twice came to his aid pro bono when he was rusticated for student union activism at the University of Lagos. But for him he wouldn’t have graduated. Till date he remains his lawyer defending him against the evil charges of our draconian democracy.

His words on the late Statesman, Chief Obafemi Awolowo should prick consciences. It was his policy of free education and aggresive investment in education by the Unity Party of Nigeria that changed his life and destiny for ever. The best six pupils from the primary school in his village only made it to the secondary school in another village annually to continue their learning.

The fate of the rest were sealed to farming. But that was to change in 1980 when a secondary school was founded in his village and he became a beneficiary of free quality education along with other 300 pupils who would have ended as peasant farmers.

In those words, I saw through the unparalleled energy that has driven this horse in battles for almost four decades. What the nation owes over 13 million Almajiris and countless children of peasant farmers across the country is good quality education. It was his saving grace and one he will rather die than see it denied the children of the poor masses.

He also didn’t fail to recognise the immense contributions of Professor Wole Soyinka, the literary colossus and Noble Prize winner who came to sit with him in courtroom for 4hours to pledge his support for the struggle.

A destiny demystifying stage play pointing to 2023 took place in that courtroom when the generation of Professor Wole Soyinka bent over, leaning on and whispered to the next generation, “Omoyele Sowore, where are the young people?”

Watch Out For Part Two of “Merchants of Nation” Subtitled: Where Are The Young People?

 

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