By Abiodun Komolafe
In his book, ‘Emergency Politics: Paradox, Law, Democracy‘, Bonnie Honig urges democracies to “resist emergency’s pull to focus on life’s necessities (food, security, and bare essentials).” According to him, “these tend to privatise and isolate citizens rather than bring us together on behalf of hopeful futures.”
To start with, it is an undeniable fact that no society develops if and when the forces inhibiting survival instinct far outweigh the idea, fantasy and the pursuit of development. It is also a fact that this has been the bane of Nigeria’s development and evolution into a nation-state. They are perpetual pulls which focus on unavoidable necessities of life among the citizenry.
Development beckons when the basic needs of life are assured and/or taken for granted. It goes without saying that, for sustainable development to take place, the people must nurture a rich and distinct identity, which must be based on stuff like common interests, geospatial proximity and similar historical and ancestral sociocultural connections.
In a word, spewing out government policies or imposing sanctions aimed at uniting the people without the sustenance of the basic needs of life is a futile exercise. In a functional institution, the first thing to bear in mind is that the institution has assumed abilities and capabilities.
Likewise, a political party is supposed to respond to issues thrown at it, based on the understanding and capabilities of its essence! With a particular reference to Africa, what the leadership of most political parties has done so far is to keep the system perpetually unable to respond to them negatively. It is also interesting to note that politics in this part of the world would not have become a one-man show if society had not allowed it.
This further explains the diverse methods and approaches explored by political gladiators and governments to define and administer public administration in Nigeria.
While personalisation or myonisation of the political institution is an error that’s capable of destabilizing society, the indisputable truth about life is that it is never static! It shifts! For instance, an uninformed commentator, especially one with no deep understanding of politics in the African setting, may argue that Bola Tinubu has monetized the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).
An unreconstructable wannabe may also hypothesize that the AdelekeDynasty has become a leech on the destiny of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) in Osun State; that nobody gets anything in the party and, now, in the government of Osun State without embarking on a ‘deigning’ voyage to their Ede, Osun State ‘Country Home.’
But, if we may ask: how did these suppositions start before we got to where we are? Where did the rain start beating us before it eventually became a manifest phenomenon?
If the Tinubus and the Adeleke were seen as strange or external agents who crept into their respective parties just to satisfy their individual fantasies, why not maim their aims so that what remained would be political parties, purely? But again, will these political parties survive without these gladiators?
If the true ownership of a political party belongs to those who fund it, then, where were those who once went on survival adventures elsewhere when Osun PDP, for instance, was gasping for breath before the Adelekes saw an opportunity and invested their savings as the oxygen for its revival? Now that it has responded in their favour,
is it any wonder that the likes of Olagunsoye Oyinlola no longer have control over a vehicle in which he once rode to become the governor of Osun State? Let’s get it right: political party formation departed from the founding fathers’ ways back, albeit for selfish reasons.
Unfortunately, what we have now is the formation of parties behind personalities; and the personalities are not just personalities, they are personalities with wealth.
By nature, it is not in their objective interest to wait for the people to come together -as members of the party – to pay their monthly dues and levies, for the purpose of funding its activities. No! The orientation is that members are to be fed and placated; which initiates the ‘entitlement psychology’ in the people. Where then is the commitment to the joint ownership of the party, more so as those who came and were fed were only organized to appear at a particular place; and they did?
Once upon a time in Nigeria, how characters like the late Paschal Bafyau rose to become the president of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) was a function of certain conjectures. Adam Oshiomhole’s case was not any different in that he also came through the implications and the complications of the said system.
Isn’t it sad therefore that those who were once beneficiaries of the system’s large-heartedness, so to say, are now the ones destroying its fabric, even within the unit that produced them? Interestingly too, successive governments have so perfected the art that it has more or less become the norm: whenever the government of the day makes a pronouncement that doesn’t go down well with Labour, industrial action is declared.
After some industrial razzmatazz, the government lowers the bar, and Labour suspends the strike, of course, with a warning to the government that a repeat of the act would attract stiffer reactions from Organized Labour. At the end of the day, the general observation is that even those who are remotely connected to the deal would be hugely rewarded, leaving behind helpless and hapless Nigerians who, indeed, can only gnash their teeth.
Emphasizing the connections between contemporary food politics and the infrastructure of consumption, among others, Honig remarked: “we need good citizens with inspirational ideals to make good politics while we need good politics to infuse citizens with idealism.”
This again brings us to the effects of emergency politics. Though politics provides governance and the style of public administration, a prominent feature of emergency politics is its capacity to sink into oblivion at the slightest opportunity.
Shallow in conception and haphazard in implementation, its benefits may come like a thief in the night but, except by some divine happenstance, they pale into insignificance before dawn. Taking our clime as a case study, there’s no denying that dear fatherland is currently a stratified capitalist society comprising the “small flies” whose “socio-economic conditions reveal little or no intergenerational mobility relative to their parents” and the “great flies “who “abuse their positions for private gains.”
The more reason ‘our great leaders’ in this fertile ground for political prostitutes are having nothing straightforwardly great to will; and nothing startlingly special to offer the(ir) small men. It is also the reason the(ir) small men are frustratingly searching the dustbin for their daily needs!
Political parties are created for a purpose, and that purpose is as defined by the political gladiators, and the entire people in the society will have to acquiesce. It is the structure of the society that determines governance. It’s only within the precinct of the set barometer that one operates. One cannot operate outside it.
The tragic truth is that Nigeria’s democracy is presently grumbling in the gulf of dishonesty and contrived promises, even as cohesion has long left our political platforms. Insecurity is threatening our coexistence and the monetary system is diffidently beaming because it is no longer monitoring anything.
That the governed appear left with a feigned or imaginary understanding of the vision of the government is a major problem, which is so real. May the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world, grant us peace in Nigeria!
*KOMOLAFE wrote in from Ijebu-Jesa, Osun State (email@example.com)
Group Calls For Protection Of Journalists In Bayelsa, Imo, Kogi States
The Media Rights Agenda (MRA) has urged for necessary measures to protect journalists and other media workers during this weekend’s off-cycle elections in Bayelsa, Imo, and Kogi States.
The group sent the request to the federal and state governments, as well as law enforcement and security agencies, stressing that the role of journalists in disseminating information about the electoral process is critical to ensuring free, fair, and transparent elections.
In a statement issued ahead of the elections in Lagos and signed by the Communications Officer, Media Rights Agenda, Idowu Adewale, MRA also urged journalists to be cautious and to use its existing hotline (08138755660) to report any threat or attack they may encounter during the process, as well as any obstacle.
Adewale said in the statement: “Given the pattern of heightened attacks on journalists and the media during previous elections, including the recent 2023 general elections, as well as the tense political climate in the three states in the lead-up to the elections, measures must be taken to ensure general security during the elections and provide adequate protection for journalists covering the elections.”
“Access to information allows citizens and other members of the public to have the information they need about political and electoral processes, facilitating effective public participation in elections,” he says.
“Journalists and the media play an important role in ensuring residents and other members of the public have access to information and may participate in the process.
“As part of efforts to preserve the integrity of the polls, it is also critical that the safety and well-being of these interlocutors be assured and safeguarded.”
Lamenting the increased number of attacks on journalists in the run-up to the off-cycle elections, as well as earlier this year in the run-up to the general elections, he emphasised that “a free and vibrant media is fundamental to a healthy democracy, and journalists must be able to carry out their duties without fear, coercion, or violence.” During this vital phase, MRA stands ready to assist them and assure their safety.”
Police Nab Husband, As Mother Of ‘Mummy Be Calming Down’ Boy Takes Own Life
Men from the Edo State Police Command are said to have detained Mrs. Toluige Olokoobi’s husband after he allegedly murdered her.
Olokoobi was the mother of Oreofeoluwa Lawal-Babalola, the tiny boy whose video went viral in 2020 after he pleaded with his mother, “Mummy be calming down.”
Oreofeoluwa rose to prominence on social media after a video of him crying in an attempt to confidently appeal to his mother, who chastised him, went viral.
The film inspired Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, who used it to deliver an Eid-el-Kabir appeal to Muslims and Lagos people in general to remain calm during the COVID-19 outbreak.
Following that, the youngster and his family met with the governor, who praised his bravery and poise.
While little has been heard about the family in three years, heartbreaking news broke on social media on Tuesday that the boy’s mother had committed suicide.
According to an X user, Olokoobi committed suicide in Benin, the capital of Edo State, for unknown reasons.
The X user, who stated that he was present at the site on Monday afternoon, went on to say that she had refused to disclose her difficulties with anyone before committing herself.
“The woman in the viral Mummy Calm Down video has just committed suicide here in Benin,” he stated in an email.
“She refused to discuss her problems with anyone.” She abandoned three children for her husband, including the well-known Mummy Calm Down boy.”
Meanwhile, confirming Olokoobi’s death in a chat with BBC Pidgin, the spokesperson of the Edo State police command, Chidi Nwabuzor, said her husband has been arrested and detained for questioning.
Nwabuzor said the husband reported the matter to the police.
The police spokesperson quoted the husband to have said that “he came home from the market when he saw his wife hanging with rope on her neck”.
Nwabuzor said she was rushed to the hospital and then to the mortuary after she was confirmed dead. (Adapted from a Vanguard report).
Anambra: CP Aderemi Adeoye Decorates Promoted Officers With New Ranks
The Anambra State Police Command Headquarters Conference Hall was a hive of activity Thursday as CP Aderemi Adeoye took turns decorating around 18 promoted officers of the command with their new titles.
The delight of some of the officers whose wives assisted the CP in decorating their husbands with their new ranks knew no bounds, as their husbands duly saluted their wives and the CP for their new positions and responsibilities.
Obi Innocent, one of the officers elevated to the rank of Chief Superintendent of Police (CSP), whose wife joined CP Aderemi Adeoye in adorning him with his new rank, said it was wonderful that the Inspector General of Police thought him worthy.
CSP Obi Innocent, the officer in charge of the Legal Department at Zone 13, Police Zonal Headquarters Ukpo, stated that his new rank was a call to service and that he would do his best to uphold the charge given to them by CP Aderemi Adeoye to respect and protect the citizenry’s fundamental rights in the discharge of their new assignments.
Charity Akharame, who was honoured with the rank of Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) and was the only female officer among the 18 promoted officers decorated with new ranks, said it was not an easy feat but she was grateful to be among those who were decorated with their new ranks.
DSP Charity Akharame, the officer in charge of stores in the Anambra State Police Command, recalled how she began as a Police Constable and worked her way up to her current position as Deputy Superintendent of Police.
She stated that as a very disciplined police officer, she would follow the Police Commissioner’s directions regarding respect for all and sundry in the fulfillment of her constitutional obligations.
Jane-Frances Obi, one of the spouses of the officers elevated to the level of CSP, stated that being the wife of a police officer was not an easy assignment. As a result, she recommended any lady who is married to a police officer to be patient and understanding because the job is quite demanding.
Jane-Frances Obi, whose husband is Innocent Obi, the officer in charge of the Legal Department at Zone 13 Ukpo, believes the promotion is a reward for years of being patient, understanding, and standing in for them when they are not present.
Meanwhile, Emenike Chinenyenwa, who was decorated with the rank of Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) and presented a vote of appreciation, expressed deep gratitude to the IGP and the Chairman of the Police Service Commission for considering them worthy of being adorned in their new ranks.
ACP Emenike, the officer in charge of Medicals, stated that the elevation comes with increased responsibility and that they will work harder in their new tasks.
CP Aderemi Adeoye praised the current promotion winners in his remarks, noting that two aspects make the police career very interesting and eventful. He stated that one is for promotion and the other is for positions.
CP Adeoye, on the other hand, urged the newly honored officers to develop more empathy, compassion, care, and dedication in the performance of their jobs.
The police chief insisted that newly promoted officers must first recognise that they share the same humanity as others, and as a result, they must treat all people with dignity and protect their fundamental human rights at all times.
CP Aderemi Adeoye stressed that without the enormous roles of spouses, they wouldn’t have been successful in their careers. He therefore congratulated all the promoted and prayed that God gives them good health to enjoy the new ranks and the energy to discharge the responsibilities of their new offices.
- Source: Independent