Have you watched the movie Sarakick?: Politics in Nigeria

July 31, 2018 Nigeria , Opinion , OPINION/NEWS , POLITICS

Reuters photo



Prince Charles Dickson



You don’t ask a toad to give you a chair. You can vividly see it’s squatting



To say that Nigerians are easily excitable people is stating the very obvious and indeed our political players do not spare any effort in providing the much-needed entertainment. The fever is intense, everyone is talking about 2019, and you will be forgiven to think that it is a repeat of 2014.


In our clime when everyone starts talking, even patients in psychiatric homes air their views.


Many analysts have written and quite a number of commentaries are in the public domain regarding how the so-called implosion of the All People’s Congress APC, like the Peoples’ Democratic Party PDP did just a few years ago.


All this, in the interest of Nigeria—although it equally depends on what context Nigeria is used, the people or its elite or a structure. So the answer to the question, is the implosion a good omen, should be yes and no.


Only a few weeks ago the frenzy was the rAPC, like the nPDP, CUPP is emerging with the usual suspects.


The fact is that what Nigerians are going through at best is no different from the typical episodic irritation of a political system in which groups that seem to have been outsmarted conglomerate. It is not about Nigeria – its future, progress and prosperity, its evolution and integration, it is about ‘them’.


Leadership and followership is in a state of higgledy-piggledy, Nigerians are docile people, despite our acclaimed intellectual prowess, we are largely politically ‘miseducated’, and majorly functional illiterates, we still are naive, it might sound hard and derogatory but we are equally cowards that are quick to celebrate a bunch of self serving, self interest and petty interest infested persons. Political schemes and permutations are largely regional, religious and ethnogeographical. We engage in two psychoses, first is the self-destruct, we are not meant to live together, and we have too many problems – myth and on the other hand, the fallacy of ‘god’ will come down and solve it all, because it is Nigeria.


We are a group of people that would complain right from the meat not being in the soup, to the meat being too soft or too hard, in cases that we do not want meat again, rather we want fish but when given fish we tell people only yesterday, we had become vegetarians, thus denying goats their own livelihood and wasting the soup in the process…after killing the goat leaving the skin to suffer our greed.


What really is a political party, in democratic societies, is people who share similar views and goals often join together to form political parties. They do this to strengthen their ability to influence governmental decisions of the nation. However in Nigeria the reverse is the case, we at best have a collection of anything and everything goes, no ideology, they all stand for nothing other than position, money and power.


With over a decade already gone in our democratic trek, it is sad that we have parties that do not have a defining process, they have not been able to identify the needs and concerns of the people by interacting with the public at different levels of society, addressing these needs and concerns through the formulation of policies and thirdly execute their policies to the public.


Our leaders—so called, are full of newspaper tigers, press conference lions; all the policies, achievements and troubles are only seen on the pages of newspapers. Everything in Nigeria at the moment is only in the newspapers, the ruling party has achieved a lot in the three tiers of government through the papers, propaganda and we have a federal system of governance only on paper; yet cry restructure. The Opposition does not proffer solutions, nor do they ‘co-optite’ (cooperatively compete/competitively co-operate) but take the other half of the hall to address the press and criticize.


A political party ordinarily has three persons called voice, choice and continuity. The voice is the capability of parties to provide a voice for different elements of society, and provide a safe means of competing with other parties without threats of violence.


There is nothing wrong with proliferation of political parties, mega parties, opposition and this I have said regularly and I stand by it, but then in line with the personae called choice, political parties should offer a wide variety of voices to allow citizens to interact among different ideas of governance, these parties should differ in how they think government should work and what it should provide to its citizens.


One strong characteristic of TRUE democracy is that it offers at least two or more strong political parties/ideologies which offer voters a real choice in government. Our case is that of political parties of two sides of the same coin nothing is really different in terms of spending value. This is where we get it wrong; all the present political gladiators are offering the same goods, same price and conditions, so they necessarily would be no different from the party they are seeking to replace. Trading is at the same rate, same old faces, and same ideologies when any is available.


Finally it is continuity, political parties are more effective when they are founded on a set of ideas for governance; this is so because IDEAS LIVE LONGER THAN PEOPLE. If a political party has a strong grounding in ideology, it can keep its members and supporters and provide leadership to the governed even if the leadership changes. This is exactly what is lacking in the political party structure in our nation.


Fundamentally and lastly it is obvious that in virtually all the conglomeration, one common characteristic is that none of these parties are really open and transparent, nor committed to a democratic system of governance including free and fair elections. In Nigeria we have elections that are free yet not fair, and fair yet not free.


So clowns team up and say Mr. Buhari should not contest, he’s old and incapable; instead of working towards beating him square and round at the polls, with better options provided and in the count that he has not performed. The logic stands on its head as an ‘isi ewu’ argument. Meanwhile whether it is APC, CPC, AC, ACN, PDP, PDM, ID, APGA or rAPC until we do something different, the current tide will not be stemmed.


So let me tell you about the movie Sarakick. A young boy between 10 and 15 years with a few of his friends were growing up around 1979 and 1981, defections, decampment and cross carpeting. 2018 this boy Sarakick is at the head with his horsemen and women orchestrating the same episode. Today kids are watching the same movie that we are hailing, what future are we creating.


Nigeria doesn’t have a special problem but lacks common solutions…can the toad squatting provide us a chair–only time will tell.






Prince Charles Dickson

Currently Prince Charles, is based out of Jos, Plateau State, and conducts field research and investigations in the Middle Belt Region of Nigeria with an extensive reach out to the entire North and other parts. Prince Charles worked on projects for UN Women, Search for Common Ground, and International Crisis Group, among others. He is an alumnus of the University of Jos and the prestigious Humanitarian Academy at Harvard and Knight Center For Journalism, University of Texas at Austin. A doctoral candidate of Georgetown University

Born in Lagos State (South West Nigeria), Prince Charles is proud of his Nigerian roots. He is a Henry Luce Fellow, Ford Foundation grantee and is proficient in English, French, Yoruba Ibo and Hausa. Married with two boys, and a few dogs and birds.

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