By Babatunde Obele
I just read an article written by Dr. Gbenga Adefulu tilted “7 Days to APC Primaries; Who’s for Whom?” Anyone who reads the said article superficially may run off with the impression that Dr. Adefulu was doing an independent analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of each of the APC presidential aspirants, but a more thoughtful analysis of the same will reveal the real truth behind that highly partial piece.
To begin with, how can any informed mind who understands the realities of the times assume that Professor Yemi Osinbajo, the Vice President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, “currently has no state decided in his favour.” It clearly shows that it is either Dr. Adefulu’s mind has been bought by a moneybag whom he favours in his jaundiced analysis or he is simply sleeping through a revolution. I will tell a little story to explain what it means for one to sleep through a revolution before I spare a little effort to expose his sophistries.
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., the late American civil rights leader once told a story about a man named Rip Van Winkle, who slept for 20 years. While many who have heard that story are amused about the fact that the man slept for 20 years, there is another point in that story that is almost always completely overlooked. It was a sign on the inn in the little town from which Rip went up into the mountain for his long sleep.
When he went up, the sign had a picture of King George III of England. When he came down, 20 years later, the sign had a picture of George Washington, the first president of the United States. When Rip looked up at the picture of George, he could not recognize who he was because he was busy sleeping while a revolution was taking place in his nation.
The most striking fact about the story is not that the man slept for 20 years, but that he slept through a revolution. While he was peacefully snoring up on the mountain, a great revolution was taking place in his nation which would change the course of history and he was not aware.
Sleeping through a revolution means that one refuses to understand the times and develop the new mindset that supports social progress in times of great social change and there is nothing more tragic than to sleep through a revolution. Anyone who has been following the social and political events in Nigeria in recent times will agree to the fact that our nation is going through a social revolution and that social change is redefining our political dynamics.
The most profound manifestation of this social change was the voice of the youth which echoed across our nation in what is now known as the EndSARS Movement— a youth-led social crusade that made it clear that the days when moneybags decide the outcomes of elections are gone for good.
Dr. Adefulu’s analysis which favours a known moneybag like Tinubu, whom most delegates are clearly apprehensive of because of his dictatorial tendencies, shows that he is living in the past and is not aware of the current political dynamics which favours candidates like Professor Yemi Osinbajo, SAN who have the smartness, physical and mental strength to lead a great nation like Nigeria.
In fact, one responder to Dr. Adefulu’s piece, Emeka Ugwuowo, rightly exposed the misleading intention of that article. Below is what he said;
“This article only suggests that the ticket is meant for the moneybags, the highest bidders and professional politicians who have invested tens of billions and would still spend hundreds of billions to eventually clinch the ticket and perhaps the presidential seat. What this portends is that those moneybags would have to loot 10 time of what they have invested and spent from the national treasuries to recover the ‘investments’ and make huge profits. This spells doom for the country in coming years… We are not yet serious in this country to stand firmly to elect people who are clean, have the capacity, capability and the integrity and the intelligence. People who have the smartness, the physical and mental strength and healthiness…” This statement shows the genuine aspiration of the broad section of our citizens.
When one even considers the fact that Dr. Adefulu wilfully ignored the “Buhari Factor” in his analysis further shows that he is still sleeping through a revolution. He may wake up on Sunday, the 31st of May after the primaries and discover that the old has passed away and it is a new day. We can only pray that he wakes up before it’s too late.
Obele, a sociologist, writes from Abuja
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