By Sunny Agboju
Many years ago, in my secondary school days, a student would pilfer another’s pen. When the victim complained, the common response he got was, “Ojhi chiojhi”, meaning in Urhobo Language, “a thief has stolen from a thief.” This was because the thieves knew who the thieves were.
The ongoing debacle to outdo each other of who’s the thief between the APC and PDP Presidential flag bearers reminds me of those secondary school days. In their usual votes-theft, the duo know their four-yearly game, and both are trying to undo, if not entirely eliminate the other, as insurance against the only way they know how to win elections – rigging. PDP ruled for straight 14 years and took Nigeria to what we then thought was a terrible abyss. Despondent Nigerians gleefully voted for a redundant, retired general, known for literally being without emotional visceral pericardium, a leader without any iota of the milk of human kindness. Under his watch, Nigeria has suffered the worst form of international denigration and psychic humiliation. In sane climes, APC wouldn’t dare mention it’s name in public places. But this clime is not sane, neither is APC sober. They flaunt their wares with effrontery while some insane citizens applaud with satanic frenzy.
Such, dear reader, is the nature of our country. The parties of swindlers and thieves have put forward their chief swindlers and their chief thieves for the highest office in the land. Without fear, without shame, without the slightest reverence of angry repercussions, in fact, in bold, fastidious arrogance, either party is asking us to vote for its own thief.
Unfortunately, Nigeria is a country where the high and mighty manipulate news, where judges manipulate the law, where smart lawyers keep killers out of jail and smart accountants keep thieves from paying taxes. That is why both parties have the impudence to present two most veritable thieves as their presidential candidates. Two thieves who, in and out of office, stole enough to be able to buy delegates during party primaries and now are seeking to buy the oncoming elections.
My take is that since BAT and Atiku had both variously belonged to the same party and were both in government for the same period (2003-2011), one is not surprised that they know themselves so well as to recognize the innate qualities of brazen thievery and insatiable appetite for power in either. That Tinubu calls Atiku Abubakar a confirmed thief while Atiku calls Tinubu a confirmed drug baron tells us that both of them are saying the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. If nothing else, these accusations are enough to jolt Nigerians to wakefulness. Nothing could be truer than their words. Each of them mean what they’re saying and can attest to each other’s doom. Funny enough, Nigeria is a country of ironies: we spit on petty thieves but deify the large criminals, such as the acknowledged, accredited, and accomplished thieves as haply paraded by APC and PDP.
According to Major Patrick Chukwuma Kaduna Nzeogwu, in his January 15, 1966 coup speech, “…Our enemies are the political profiteers, the swindlers, the men in high and low places that seek bribes and demand 10 percent, those that seek to keep the country divided permanently so that they can remain in office as ministers or VIP’s at least, the tribalists, the nepotists, those that make the country look big for nothing before international circles, those that have corrupted our society and put the Nigerian political calendar back by their words and deeds.” In today’s Nigeria, Atiku and Tinubu lead the squad so ably and evidently described above. These are amongst the key characters that have held Nigeria in the jugular for so long we can’t breath. These are the selfsame persons who in ideal climes should be cooling their tails in jails or, at best, be hiding their heads in shame for the ills and ill-fortunes they’ve foisted upon our fatherland.
Fellow Nigerians, as you prepare to cast your votes, be aware that if you elect thieves into office they’ll not only steal your destiny but also deepen the enslavement you and your family are already experiencing. If you elect politicians who are certified thieves, you’d have inadvertently sold your birthright, thereby being the architect of your own misfortune. And if you’re one of those who ignorantly say they won’t vote, you’d end up being governed by the same thieves that you already know.
Therefore, if you want good governance, where equal rights and justice are upheld, where you’ll have equal opportunities to quality education and employment, vote wisely. I bet you know what I mean by you voting wisely. He who knows what to do and does not do it, is a fool. Likewise, he who desires a different result yet keeps doing exactly the same thing, is mad.
Everytime I listen to APC and PDP supporters, I flinch – because it reminds me of my father’s admonishment, that when a man tries to prove to you that he’s not a thief, guard your purse. The more both thieves struggle to prove they’re not thieves, the more Nigerians are left without doubts that they truly are thieves. After all, only thieves readily recognize thieves.
As both parties whitewash their sepulchre candidates, we can summarize all their words in two short sentences, viz: PLEASE, VOTE FOR MY OWN THIEF. He is better than the other thief.
Fellow Nigerians, please VOTE WISELY – a word is enough for the wise.
By Sunny Agboju
Management Consultant & Digital Entrepreneur.