Political naivety is when people who get involved in Nigerian politics, engagement and analysis have an emotional or intellectual attachment to political parties. Just like when you hear that one politician decamps (defecate) from APC to PDP or PDP to APC and young Nigerians either start calling them saints or demons. Political parties are simply nomenclatures, names, brand logos without any link between ideologies or issues yet. We hope to get there in the near future but for this Nigeria 2019 general elections what we are experiencing is a test of loyalties and the perseverance of personal character to stick to an individual.
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In 2015, Babatunde Raji Fashola (SAN) while undergoing the Ministerial screening said something profound. “May our loyalties never be tested”, BRF said. He was, of course, referring to Asiwaju Bola Tinubu who you can either call his benefactor, mentor, godfather having been Chief of Staff to him (Asiwaju) and later governor of Lagos State for 8 years. In choosing Fashola’s successor, Asiwaju had a candidate that is now Governor Akinwunmi Ambode. In a recent twist leading up to Nigeria 2019, Bola Tinubu now thinks that Ambode does not deserve a second term and Ambode will have to decide whether to fight his benefactor or godfather or mentor or bowed out for the sake of loyalty.
In this test of loyalties ahead of 2019 someone comes to mind, Bolaji Abdullahi who served under Goodluck Jonathan as Minister and had to resign because Bukola Saraki was heading to the newly formed All Progressives Congress (APC) in 2014. August 2018, Saraki moved back to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and in less 48 hours Bolaji Abdullahi resigned as the Spokesperson and member of the APC. The Kwara State governor, Abdulfatah Ahmed followed suit after their principal Bukola Saraki.
This might be the hardest test for one to pass, so it is better to pray like Raji Fashola that our loyalties never get tested. This is what Nigeria 2019 is about; how Akpabio is now the arch-enemy of Udom Emmanuel in Akwa Ibom State, how Uduaghan will now fight his successor Okowa in Delta State and many more ‘defecating’ that the media might not cover.
The timing of Nigeria 2019 is such that there is a struggle for the soul of Nigeria. The alignments and realignments are happening as you and I sleep and wake up. Many have been tested, many will be tested, few will pass, many will fail, either way, it is not about the party as much as it is about interests and in safeguarding your interests, your loyalty will be tested.