Buhari, Now a Grandpa of Necessity – By Jonah Ayodele Obajeun
Yours sincerely thought of sharing snippets from his archive. It was a vignette premised on the threshold of APC’s amalgamation – a conglomeration of angry politicians, selfish power brokers, and cheated souls, yet wearing the face of progressive and pseudo-progressive humans. Whether we like it or not, some of them are really progressives, while some are just after personal aggrandizement. Either we like it or not, this same feared amalgamation had thrown up a grandpa of necessity at the most virulent time, a grandpa who had craved to be born in 3 different eras but failed. This is the contradiction of philosophies that had stayed with us from time immemorial. Having worked barefooted with history, we have come to the juncture of confusion where we have to make recourse to wisdom. At 72, wisdom now oozes out of Buhari, spreading like wild illumination to lighten up the dark mood of the country. We are in for a big deal.
The General this time is emboldened in wisdom. This is all we need to keep ourselves from crashing through the world like a falling stone. Wisdom is the vessel unto which he poured himself. It gave him shape, structure. It harnessed him. It contained him. His love. His madness. His hope. This is Buhari, whom the world has suddenly come to see as a grandpa of necessity.
In the below treatise, I made some punching lines about the current opposition fighting machine called the APC. Published almost 2 years ago, I gave some remarkable conclusions and warnings about the party’s ideology, the defecting governors from the PDP and others. As you read on, you will discern the reason why writers should be consulted as oracles, especially for things unforeseen.
APC AND THE BURDEN OF POWER (first published in March, 2013)
Wait a minute, the power of narration is what we have used to break the barriers of misconceptions in the distorted stories, sold to the western public and the African diaspora; of existential doubts posed by methodical slavery and relentless poverty. The Ugandan poet, Okot p’Bitek in Song of Lawino shows the proximity of African values and the parameter on which integration is made–the integration of cultures at the point of contact–how a man’s anglophiliac inclinations made him treat his illiterate wife with disdain–the very instance where the question is asked, ‘Who is the African, and what is the African story?’ This is the mystery of narration that Obajeun is trying to unravel in the ambience of his Oluyole arena when a thought dropped like a thud. Then I veered towards politics and the newly formed All Progressives Congress came like an image.Who is this APC?
Can a progressive weaver of words like me pass for what the APC stand for? I think the task of the progressive writer is an enormous one that requires the art of systematic relation, the kind that keeps the detail for the sociological scholar and the fine sartorial of culture for the artistic tastes of the literary scholar. Progressive writers must never be like the bats that sleep in the same direction, telling a single story of love or of anger, of hate or of revenge, but the dialectical inquisition of the story-teller who sends the child on an errand of a didactic discovery, absorbing the listeners in the mysteries of the ancient wisdom locked in the entrails of the story, telling the story of the African ontological concept of being; of the humanity of detribalized Oyo warriors who look forward to a new way of life, of Nigerians who resist the duplicitous pleasures of graft to help their fellow compatriots. And in the ways only in which magic can be spurn with words would the story be told of the liberated Nigerian whose passion for the country opens the mind to new possibilities.
Is this what the APC stand for? There is never a river that flows backwards to its source but a herd of cattle that sends cattle egrets to herald its nomadic progression. The communion of Nigerian divinity dies slowly to the chromatic tunes of a cultural disintegration, in the name of integration, the reason why a vulture must not be seen near one’s dwelling place. It is this maddening constellation of contradictory forces that has thrown up the APC as the supposed beautiful bride of the current political scene. With an aggressive plan to make it admirable, openly courted by significant sectors of the society and fanatically worshipped by multitude across national divide as the only political party that can confront the PDP behemoth, then the players in the party must revisit the founding ideology of the party. I have a concern here.
There is never a drought in the wineskin of the drunkard. Unfortunately, we are still suffering from curable political kwashiorkor. The continuing shrinkage opportunities for progressive politics in the post-military Nigeria in past years has ended in the consolidation of oligarchic rule; every stirring revolt against the status quo has brought in a worse version of the status quo through the back door. Again, APC has come with the ideology to wrestle power from the PDP goons. This is what we are saying. It should not be about power, it should be about the people that give the power. I am afraid, it is still going to be the same old story. This is a wrong ideology.
Now, APC must not betray our memory again. I have said it before, too much memory, particularly negative memory, often leads to an awareness overloading which compels the mind to downsize negativities as a strategy of containment against unremitting hostility and persistent betrayal particularly in a post-colonial polity permanently rigged against rationality. Given that Nigerians are light-headed, garnished with strange happiness and loss of memory; an antidote against real madness in a nation of self-surpassing calamities and having been serially violated and subjected to serial betrayal by their leaders, what they need now is for them to take back their power.
I heard that some PDP govervors want to join the APC. What is right with this is if they will come as campaign supporters carrying campaign placards and singing campaign songs during rallies under the sun. What is wrong with this is if they will come as decision makers, pointing fingers to the direction we should go. Trust them, what is driving their move is the APC’s ideology of wrestling power from the PDP. Since these are men already drowned with power and seeing a clear handwriting on the wall that PDP is beatable, they have to make a safe-net call. If APC offers them a space, then ‘Goodluck’ to the progressives.
So while Nigerians keep reeking with ethnophobic malice, APC should be ready to be equally militantly patriotic. The APC must convince us to be able to see its puritanical prudence, its ascetic frugality, its stout refusal to cover corruption, its nationalist rebuff of Western interlopers, its economic offensive, its stirring and soulful rhetoric against indiscipline, national self-abasement and the forlorn cravenness of our elite and above all, its heroic attempt to recreate the momentum of the golden mid-seventies. We are waiting.
Jonah Ayodele Obajeun blogs @www.obajeun.com. Reach him on twitter via @Obajeun
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