Some of us read Julius Caesar in school and ‘beware the ides of March’ caught on. It was the greatest betrayal of all time. Julius Caesar unlike MKO knew it was coming. He said, ‘there is something wrong with that Brutus o’. He is looking gaunt and his eyes are sunken. Me, I am still surprised any how that despite his very perfect body language reading skills, he still was surprised when he turned and saw Brutus at the head of the traitors- he screamed, ‘you too Brutus’.
MKO did not scream but instead kept saying, ‘ na my friend, there is a misunderstanding somewhere’. This was his disposition till he drank the tea and left us.
This was a watershed moment in the life of our country and I must say that the country has not known any better since that time.
So, when IBB, the ‘great lucifer’, some will call him ‘evil genius’ and he would rather call himself ‘Maradona’ after the legendary Argentine Footballer whose dribbling skills were bewitching, came on Arise TV to speak on the nation, we listened.
IBB carries a lot of weight in this country. He has had a frontline seat, almost from the civil war, culminating in running the country directly for about eight years, and emerging a powerful power broker eventually.
His interview has expectedly drawn a lot of attention. People have pilloried him, calling him names and as usual dumped the follies we face in this country at his door step. They have said, he was the father of corruption. They have said, his dribbles weakened the institutions, hence the malaise that we face.
But for me, he said two very instructive things. He said with what is happening today, his regime was a saint. If we really look at what is happening today, we might be forced to want to agree with him. Corruption in Nigeria’s today is facing an epiphany. It is monstrous and looking like it cannot be caged anymore. It has become our national ethos and has, as we used to say in the Political Science class, sipped through the fabrics of the society that even a new born baby is immediately imbibed with the ethos of corruption.
This is so alarming that even the alleged father of corruption is crying. He can no longer recognize the baby he is said to have gifted us. The Baby is now a full-grown hydra headed monster. One with seven lives, and ruling over us, that we send sacrificial offerings to it on a daily basis.
The second thing he said was that the next President should not be more than 60years, must be cerebral, a nationalist and must have friends nationwide.
Some youths have taken him to task by asking if people younger cannot aspire?
I see his point judging from what we are seeing. From Yar’Adua to the incumbent, we have been saddled with old and sickly men. This has led to the seizing of the instruments of government by people we did not vote for.
Age also comes with natural stubbornness and a set way of thinking and doing things. It does not allow for the flexibility and compromise that is expected to be the play in a democratic setting. We suffer for this presently.
So, for me, when it comes to IBB let’s look at the message and not the messenger. We sometimes look at June 12 and disregard anything that comes out of his mouth, forgetting that if there is any other Nigerian, apart from OBJ, that not only understands Nigeria but also understands the game of power, it is IBB.
We ignore him at our peril.
AUTHOR: Joseph Edgar
Articles published in our Graffiti section are strictly the opinion of the writers and do not represent the views of Ripples Nigeria or its editorial stand.
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