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When water runs uphill

They say water always runs downhill. I say, no. Water can flow uphill. Forget physics and its replicable experiments. Try Nigerian politics for size and you will throw away your physics textbooks. If electoral victory was water, it could flow whichever way, even run up a pole!

When the elders say that a decapitated hen can still eat corn, don’t take that literally. What they are saying is this — never say never. A totally hopeless case may suddenly find oxygen from the very choking fumes of the potpourri of gases choking it. As morticians prepare a body for the last offices, the patient springs back to life and laughs in the faces of everyone, including the doctor who certified him dead.

That was the lot of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) last week. It had lost the governorship election in Bayelsa State by a wide margin but had victory delivered to it by the Supreme Court on the eve of the swearing in of APC’s David Lyon as governor. A five-man panel of the apex court had ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission to withdraw the Certificate of Return issued to the All Progressives Congress’ candidate as the winner of the November 16, 2019, governorship election in Bayelsa State and issue a fresh one to the candidate of the party with the next highest votes and with the required constitutional spread.

INEC Chairman, Mahmoud Yakubu subsequently announced PDP’s Senator Diri as winner after top officials met to review the results of the election without the votes of the APC which had been voided by the court. “The total votes cast after excluding those of the APC now stand at 146,999. PDP polled 143,172 and had the required 25 percent spread across all the local government areas” Yakubu said.

For PDP, it was a windfall from heaven; it was Sallah and Christmas and New Yam Festival and Easter and New Year all rolled into one. By contrast, APC’s funeral train stretched from Bayelsa to Lagos to Abuja and beyond.

Trust Nigerian politicians. The same Supreme Court vilified by the PDP over its judgement in the Imo State governorship case where victory went the way of APC, is now suddenly “a saviour of democracy”. Remarkably, PDP bigwigs had taken their protests against the Supreme Court verdict on Imo round the embassies of the US, Uk and other world powers. Now that the potato of power in Bayelsa  had been thrown into their basket, they simply embraced the good fortune as if it was the most natural of everyday occurrences.

In the same vein, the APC that celebrated the Imo judgement found the Bayelsa verdict unacceptable and is poised to seek a review of that judgement by the same Supreme Court. That is the way of politics.

I am more interested in what lessons life is trying to teach us with the reversals in fortune aforementioned. A governor who dismisses the case of his opponent who came 4th in the election as immaterial, watches helplessly as the stone rejected by the builders in INEC became the cornerstone of his opponent’s victory. A man rehearsing an inauguration parade on the eve of his swearing in as governor watches the event on TV the next day as a mere spectator while his opponent who came a distant second in the elections is sworn in.

Believe me, if Providence says so, water can run uphill.

RE: IS AU UP TO THE TASK? (Feedback)

Dear Sir,

Is AU up to the task? Put differently, is the present crop of leaders on the continent up to the task?  Does the present class of AU leaders compare favourably with past leaders that pulled Africa out of colonialism?

Where are the new Nkrumahs, the Amilcar Cabrals, the Nelson Mandelas, the Nwalimu Nyereres, the Patrice Lumumbas, the Samora Machels, the Murtala Mohammeds and other great Africanists?Are they not yet born, or are they already here with us and waiting for their good works to point them out?

After the wounds inflicted on Africa by the Trans-Atlantic and Trans-Sahara slavery commerce, Africa suffered colonialism which was only a little less dastardly than the slavery years. Colonialism left Africa in bits and pieces, and sowed the seeds of neo-colonialism, one of the two major scourges currently holding down Africa.

What seems like another ‘scramble for Africa’ looms large on the African horizon. This time the big players are not only from Europe. The Americans and the Chinese are in the picture, and each working hard at establishing their ‘territories of influence’ and dominance, and exploitation of the continent’s near inexhaustible natural resources.

Can the AU leaders forge a countervailing strategy of ‘Africa is not for grabs again’?

Another development in Africa that gives concern is what I tag the ‘new Christianity’. Here Africa, minus North Africa, is faced with a variant of Christianity that hinges success in endeavours of life on prayer rather than hard work. One consequence of this new theology is  that  young Africans of the generation-next are developing the proverbial ‘cargo mentality’ of goodies coming from above, with little or no work but plenty of prayers.  The continent is brimming with pastors of this new theology with an ever swelling population of adherents drawn from Africa’s  generation-next. Frantz Fanon would have asked the younger generation if it will “discover its mission, fulfil it, or betray it.”

Re: Is AU up to the task?

Chris Ngwu, Abuja.

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