May 30, 2024

Some prominent Nigerians have, with their engagements in politics and governance, past and present, earned for themselves what I termed as the league of power brokers . A title which, ordinarily, belongs to the ordinary electorates of the country.

They influence, greatly, who becomes who in the Nigeria’s political terrain. Some of these prominent Nigerians are: Olusegun Obasanjo, Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida, Theophilus Yakubu Danjuma, and few others. The likes of: Yakubu Gowon and the late Alhaji Shehu Shagari would have made the list but they chose to play, lackadaisically, the politicking of the country. I think.

Before the transition of power to the late Umar Musa Yar’adua in 2007, Obasanjo engaged in a fierce battle with other contenders of the office of Presidency in a bid to have his anointed, Yar’adua, forced into Aso Rock despite a glaring record of his deteriorating health. This, and after a successful hand-picking of his anointed, marked the enrollment of Obasanjo into the league of the power brokers of the country.

After the death of Yar’adua, his vice, Good luck Ebele Jonathan took over the mantle of leadership. Upon his completion of the first tenure, a second tenure was sought for but with the assent of the men from the league of power. Having accepted to do their bidding, a second term it is. The oil blocks were constantly renewed and staff from the Otta farm were, continuously, paid from the coffers of the nation.

Rebelliously, he steered the affairs of the country solely after winning the second term election, cutting off all forms of god-fatherism. He was proving to be a hard nut to crack, and unknowing to him, he had some Judas working with him, hence his removal from office in the 2015 general election.

Some people would abruptly reject this assertion; stating that it was the people’s votes that count. Yes, people’s votes were of great significant but with the avenue granted by the power brokers for that to happen. Although, that was when they were still relevant in the political sphere of the country. Now, they no longer have a say.

In what I call ‘the Buhari’s tsunami’, the strides of the power brokers came to an end during the 2019 general election. President Buhari, like Jonathan, sought for a second term but they declined. Their refusal to support him for a second tenure was due to the fact that he cut off all forms of god-fatherism by making it succinctly sound to their hearings, right from the day he was sworn in, that he belongs to everybody and to nobody. No renewal of the oil blocks any longer and payments for the Otta farm staff from the nation’s coffers was discontinued.

With the power of incumbency at his disposal and having around him some crooked minds like them who refused him a second term, he was able to defile all their machinations. From that political event of 2019, I came to realize that, as a politician, you ought to cook crookery for a crooked mind in order to defeat him. Buhari brought an end to their god-fatherism mentality and the abolishment of their brokers society sets in.

Not relenting in the quest for a taste of power, recently, Obasanjo endorsed the Presidential candidate of the Labor party, Mr. Peter Obi, and Babangida, salivating, still, from the delicacies of power from behind, followed suit. They are in need of a puppet this time around. Not a grown up politician who can be rebellious in the future. They had a taste of Buhari’s version of political machinations and they are making a come-back which is very weak.

In a letter which Obasanjo titled “my appeal to all Nigerians”, he was quoted to have said that the youths should grasp the power as the election draws nearer. What a deceptive way of making an endorsement! Only the clever ones will ask if they were no youths when he was hand-picking his preferred candidates alongside his fellows. Now that they have been disjointed from having a taste of power from behind, the youths should grasp power. Interesting!

When you are addicted to something, it’s hard letting it go even when it kills. Smokers are told that they are liable to die young, still, they prefer spending on their cigarettes than water which sustain life. Similarly, some politicians prefer dieing while in power than otherwise. I have heard a politician to have said that he prefers the shame of the hereafter than that of this world; emphasizing on why, by all means, he mustn’t lose in an election.

This addiction, the society of the power brokers are suffering from. If only they can give up and be statesmen just like Yakubu Gowon, their lost glory, maybe, will come back into limelight.

They are afraid, if another Buhari should come, their oil blocks will forever go into extinct.

For everything, there’s a season. But if anyone should deny this natural fact, a horrible end he shall meet. We hope that one day, the ordinary Nigerians will reclaim their right of being the real power brokers of the nation, and we hope it should happen in the coming general election 2023.

Yusuf Danjuma Yunus is a student of Ahmadu Bello University Zaria, Kaduna State and can be reached via yunusand82@gmail.com.

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