By David-Chyddy Eleke
The Igbo have this popular saying about bad knives. They say – nma di nko enwero Isi, nke nwere isi adigho nko. This is translated as; the knife that has a handle is blunt, and the one that is sharp has no handle.
What does that mean when related to the current political scenario in Nigeria? Simple, the two most popular political parties in Nigeria have faults that make them unelectable.
The candidate of the Labour Party, Mr Peter Obi has been written off by some political analysts. Their argument are numerous and full proof too. Labour Party is a featherweight political party, with no structures, and no noticeable political bigwigs, and it will be hard to come from the blues and upstage a dominant and already existing structure.
Their arguments are true, and what this means is that the choices on ground are just two; the All Progressives Congress, APC and the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP. While the APC has Asiwaju Bola Tinubu as its candidate, the PDP has Alhaji Atiku Abubakar.
Are both men electable? Yes, but currently realities have put a cog in their electability. Now, see the knives in these men. One is blunt, and one is sharp, but the sharp one has no handle at all, and the blunt one has a handle, but can not be used for anything.
There have been evidences, especially from some very bigwig politicians from the PDP, where they attested that there was a plan to field a southern candidate by PDP, until Atiku emerged and arm twisted them all. For a party that seriously needs the goodwill of Nigerians to upstage the APC, nothing would have been more sensible than fielding a southerner as the candidate of the major opposition party, PDP.
Fielding an Atiku Abubakar, a northern Muslim, and hoping to use him to succeed President Muhammadu Buhari; another northerner, and a Muslim, after eight years of APC, in a heterogeneous society like Nigeria makes a total mockery of the oneness of Nigeria, in a country where there already abound, fears of marginalization.
Nothing would have been better than having an Atiku as a President. Good health, sharp intellect, even though without any record of having performed before.
How will an Atiku, who promised to do one term and hand over power to the South (Igbo) if elected in 2019, still comes to contest again? To make matters worse, same Atiku during a recent meeting of South East PDP stakeholders in Enugu, repeated the same promise. Who will even take him seriously?
Atiku is a sharp knife, but has no handle, and as such can not be used, else Nigeria incurs blisters.
In APC, the party can be commended for atleast looking south for its candidate. The choice of Asiwaju Bola Tinubu as a presidential material is not it doubt, but he has issues in his way already. For a multi-religious society like Nigeria, which has two dominant religion – Christianity and Islam, it will thoroughly surprise anyone why a major religious bloc like Christians will be shut out, by opting for a Muslim-Muslim ticket.
Accepted that the 2023 election in Nigeria will not be about ethnicity or religion, but about competence; would you rather brazenly slap a set of people and dare them to do their worse?
This is the reason I think that even though the Asiwaju presidency is a complete knife, it is still very blunt and will not cut anything. It is also capable of giving blisters.
The option available to Nigerians after now are not many. Labour Party has no structures, Peter Obi her candidate comes from the ‘unwanted’ ethnic group, but when the best available options are flawed, the nearest to it suffices.
Nigerians from all hew have already volunteered to be Obi’s structure, and the little known Labour Party is now the beautiful bride. Nothing stops Nigerians from voting right. The time to vote party and ethnicity is gone, but no ethnic group should be so brazenly slapped and dared to do her worse.