Opinion

Darasimi Oshodi: Like Nuhu Ribadu Like Christiano Ronaldo, A Case Study In Absurdity

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Could it have ever occurred to Hillary Clinton to defect from the Democratic Party to the Republican Party when she lost her presidential bid to Barack Obama? I am almost certain it couldn’t because theirs is a rational society where decisions are taken based on principles. So, former Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Mallam Nuhu Ribadu, recently defected from the All Progressives Congress (APC), the party that emerged from the merger among some political parties including the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) which fielded him as its presidential candidate in the last presidential election in Nigeria and some Nigerians are still reacting to his action. While the legality of Ribadu’s action is not in question, I am not totally sure about the morality.

When a senior colleague asked me what my take on the defection was, I told him I had come to a point where I didn’t allow anything to surprise me about Nigeria’s politics. Yes, I don’t allow anything to surprise me again in this nation just like I cannot be surprised by developments in the football transfer market. The day David Beckham left Manchester United – despite the circumstances that surrounded his exit – was the day I ceased to allow myself to be surprised by football transfers. So as a fan of Arsenal FC, I was not surprised when the legendary Thierry Henry left Arsenal for FC Barcelona or when the hugely talented Cesc Fabregas left the club, also for Barcelona. But I must confess that though I still have huge respects for Henry, it is not the same about Fabregas. I still admire Cesc though because of his undeniable talent but within me, I am wishing that he does not ‘click’ at Chelsea FC.

Come to think of it. Are we sure Nigerian politicians do not see Nigerian politics like a football league? That if they feel they are not given a prominent role in their team, they can decide to leave for another club? To Nigerian politicians, our politics is like a football league and our political parties are like football clubs. So if a club, sorry, party comes with a mouthwatering offer, an offer better than what they have in their current club/party, they won’t hesitate to jump ship. It is becoming clearer every day that our political parties are the same or how does one interpret Mallam Ribadu’s statement? “In Nigeria, especially in politics, you can’t say that this is an exclusive party for the people who are thieves or this is for good people. “It’s just like saying that all Yorubas are this or all Igbos are this. In every group of people, there must be good people and there are bad people. Of course, the good may be more than the bad or the bad may be more than the good in any group. “But there is no any party that is exclusively for the good people or for the bad people.”

Ribadu’s defection to PDP is not the first in Nigeria and probably will not be the last. The earliest high profile defections I can remember were those of Senators Wahab Dosumu and Adeseye Ogunlewe from Alliance for Democracy to PDP. Just recently, former Governor Olagunsoye Oyinlola crossed from the PDP to APC. Who could have believed that, knowing how bitter the fight between him and Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola some years ago? But who also could have believed that Christiano Ronaldo, Cesc Fabrgas or Samuel Eto’o could ever play for Jose Mourinho? And who would have believed that Nuhu Ribadu would one day be in the same party with James Ibori (I didn’t hear that Ibori has been expelled from PDP)? Or that Ribadu will be in the same party with Dimeji Bankole or any of those persons he hunted down as chairman of EFCC? Or who can ever think that it is possible for Chief Segun Osoba to contemplate ever abandoning his ‘progressive’ friends as it is being rumoured? For those who may be asking, “What about Reuben Abati?” I do not have an answer to that. But between you and me, who could have thought Abati would ever work for President Jonathan?

Alhaji Atiku Abubakar has crisscrossed parties more times than a newborn baby changes diapers in one day. He went from PDP to ACN, from ACN back to PDP, and lately from PDP to APC. What about Chief Femi Fani-Kayode who jumped from PDP to APC only to jump back to PDP? Doesn’t that remind one of Didier who left Chelsea for some years before returning to the club? Current governor of Ondo State, Olusegun Mimiko left the Alliance for Democracy for PDP and from the PDP, he went to Labour Party all in a bid to realise his ambition to become governor. He is probably the Nicolas Anelka of the Nigerian Political League. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi was voted governor of Rivers State twice on the platform of PDP but today he is in APC. I know some may say he had no option but to leave the party but did Thabo Mbeki leave the ANC when he was forced out of power by Jacob Zuma or did Tony Blair leave the Labour Party when he was forced out of power by Gordon Brown?

Governor Theodore Orji was voted into power when he was in prison through the help of then Governor Orji Uzor Kalu on the platform of the Progressive Peoples Alliance (PPA) but today he is in PDP. The story is the same for former Governor Ikedi Ohiakim. What about Rabiu Musa Kwakwanso? What about Ibrahim Shekarau? What about Senator Ali Modu Sherriff or Bukola Saraki? What about Engr. Segun Oni? What about Timipre Silva, Gbenga Daniel, Alhaji Isiaka Adeleke, Aminu Masari, George Akume, Audu Ogbe, Kawo Baraje, Abiodun Akinlade? The list is indeed endless.

Our politician’s shamelessness and inability to stand for an ideology are some of the many reasons why I came to the submission that Nigeria is a case study in absurdity. In my next post, I will give other instances to substantiate this submission that Nigeria is a case study in absurdity.

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Darasimi Oshodi is a blogger. Read his blogs at darasimioshodi.blogspot.com…. Follow him on twitter @Aristotle274

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