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The coming of Internally Displaced Politicians (IDPs)



President Buhari’s Interesting Interview With Al-Jazeera

By Sam Ibemere …
The very long wait is over! It came to an end Wednesday, September 30, 2015. On that day, on a very sober evening, the troubled Senate President, Bukola Saraki, took to his Twitter handle and announced that he was in possession of a highly priced item. It was the much-awaited list of a few privileged Nigerians who President Muhammadu Buhari had described as ‘noise makers’ in the course of a recent trip to France.

It all seemed a race against time. There had begun a count-down in July soon after Mr President, again, confided in a foreign audience that he would constitute a cabinet at month-end, September, to drive his administration. It had been five long months since the elders of the All Progressives Congress (APC), led by Jagaban, extracted a forced ‘honey moon’ from us. It wouldn’t matter that the tardiness clearly raised concerns as to the ill- preparedness of the ‘groom’ for conjugal bliss many months after the marriage had been consummated.

So, here we were on the eve of our 55th anniversary still enveloped in suspended animation. Not even Saraki and his co-travelers in the Senate were hopeful about a new beginning until the ministerial list arrived, long after they had signed off on the task of the day. The ‘noise makers’ were ready for unveiling!

Is the waiting truly over? Not quite, in my view. Castrated and crippled by years of mediocre leadership, the hyped ‘love note’ from Buhari which Saraki has pledged to transmit to the National Assembly on Tuesday holds little or no surprises. It is déjà vu, if media speculations turn out right. Expectedly, it looks like a gathering of the same team who spared nothing in helping to consign the GEJ administration to the dust bin of history.

Special mention has been made of the likes of former governors Amaechi, Ngige, Fayemi, Fashola, Onu and also- ran, Aisha Alhassan. They make up the ‘initial’ batch of 21 ‘noise makers’ and one wonders what ails Mr President to warrant a shoddy delay in the remaining list of the chosen few. It is hard to postulate but his ‘body language’, as espoused by Buharians, is helping to build an ever-growing community of cynics.

One such cynic has described Buhari’s speculated foot soldiers as Internally Displaced Politicians (IDPs). He likens most of them, especially those from the South-east and South-south flanks, as political refugees seeking and needing rehabilitation. How true this is! It is, indeed, a desperate situation. Or, how would one score the Amaechis, Onus, Fayemis, and Fasholas whose political bases appear sufficiently threatened to warrant new shelters? Yes, they do need the jobs even at the risk of being dressed in the robe of ‘noise makers’, as sculptured by their holy principal.

Read also: Of Kano ghost workers and kindergarten wives.

One thing is clear though, political parties live to share the spoils of victory. It’s not a feast for commoners but a meal reserved for cultists of some sort. The distribution of offices has never been the sole prerogative of the head of fraternity. Buhari’s hands are tied! He knows it and is wise to accommodate the good, the bad and the ugly. Therein lies his dilemma, and the tenuous battle against the corruption monster that has afflicted the nation.

It would seem all is well but nothing is farther from the truth. A bigger and tougher schism lies ahead as early struggle for territories indicate. The battle that raged in Bayelsa is a sign post of a deeper malaise. There are many Timipriye Silvas waiting to blossom and confront the party. In this class would also be found the ensemble whose ‘candidates’ may fail to make the ministerial list.

Now, the greatest fear is that APC might yet turn out a troubled franchise as the brood of disgruntled party stalwarts grow to carve little fiefdoms and dare the party to attempt their impenetrable fortress. Of all the battles, it would be interesting to witness the ‘roforofo’ that would play out in Lagos as the ‘pigs’ take to the mud. As for Amaechi, Fayemi, Onu, Ngige and co, I can’t wait to see how their empowerment disrupts the power matrix in their states.

Welcome, our dear ‘noise makers’! Rehabilitation awaits.


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