Many consider the lion as the most powerful animal because of its fearlessness and aggressiveness; this probably explains why it’s mythically tagged the king among other animals. But I consider snakes as probably the most dangerous animal in the world. It slides and creeps unannounced and attacks its prey without notice. Nobody leaves a snake on his roof and goes into sleep. It is suicidal.
The house, Nigeria, left a rattle-snake on its roof in the 1960s and went to sleep completely. The politicians ignored the snake balanced delicately on the roof watching all events, calculating and waiting for the best time to strike. The political spectators were aware of how precarious the situation was and therefore were not surprised when the snake finally crept in and struck in the wee hours of January 15, 1960. The landlord and tenants of the house were not to be seen again until October 1, 1979.
The same mistakes made in the First Republic were repeated in the second Republic in 1979. The politicians neglected the agricultural sector, bastardised the economy, and ruined our education sector. They forgot completely about the snake until the snake came in again, pretending to be working towards the interests of the spectators and refused to vacate the house until 1999 when the house became democratized again.
However, 14 years of uninterrupted civil rule, Nigeria has not shown that we’ve learnt any lesson from the mistakes of the past. In fact, the situation in the 1960s was not as bad as they are now. The 1999 general election that brought in Chief Olusegun Obasanjo and the rest was neither free nor fair. That of 2003 was globally condemned. The election that brought in Umaru Yar’dua was worse. In spite of Prof. Maurice Iwu’s abracadabra and claims that the election was free and fair, the chief benefactor of the poll (Yar’Adua) himself rubbished the exercise.
President Goodluck Jonathan brought in Professor Attahiru Jega to bring some level of sanity to INEC. Virtually all Nigerians applauded Jega’s appointment as INEC boss because he was well known for his principles and uncompromising stand, especially with the reputation he earned during his term as ASUU chairman in the early nineties. Nigerians were at least hopeful that Nigeria would have a change of scene in 2011 general election. He conducted the election and the rest is history.
As 2015 approaches, we are all aware of all the present political shenanigans and the “roof-rofo” fights characterizing the political landscape. Politicians had better beware! The snake on the roof is still alive.
Comrade Abdullateef Ishowo,
Ilorin, Kwara state