Nigeria as a nation has tested the good, fair, bad and the ugly in political times. Nigerians have passed through monumental political exercises since the amalgamation of the northern and southern protectorate. A shot at a Nigerian oriented status quo was achieved on first of October 1960 with the declaration of independence and since then, Nigeria has been galloping from one transition to another. Today, one can conclude that Nigeria has been used as a political laboratory to test different political ideologies. Nigerian affairs has been piloted by focused leaders with sound political ideologies, leaders, cut out with developmental strategies, as well as ambitious sit tight surrogates who believe that change is not a constant in as much as there is political power.
Nigerian leaders thread softly and cautiously on certain issues like true federalism, resource control, matters on the exclusive legislative list, concurrent list and other fundamental sensitive national issues because of the fragile democratic atmosphere existing in Nigeria; but there is one phenomenon that does not share such sentiments. It is detribalized, fearless and incorruptible. This arbitrator knows no religion, friendship, wealth, sex, and etcetera. In the international community, this ‘August visitor’ knows no race, nation, in fact it does not recognize any mortal neither does it recognize any institution established by mortal man. This is DEATH. According to Chinua Achebe in on of his celebrated text, and I quote: “Death or evil spirit (as some people call it) can as well strike a man the day life is sweetest to him”.
Today, the importance of death in Nigerian political arena cannot be overemphasized. I reason that death, as a Nigerian is the most patriotic element in Nigerian polity. It recognizes the fact that there is need for a change, that octogenarians should vacate political offices for young vibrant patriotic Nigerians. Death has been very fair with Nigerians in relation to politics. The fact is that it remains an indomitable check in a system that lacks the ideology of change. Certain elements have been in political control since Nigeria gained independence in 1960 and beyond, even when its evident that as octogenarians, they lack the strength, will power, focus, and intellectual ability to steer the affairs of Nigeria, they still sit tight in power to keep pursuing their selfish interest to the detriment Nigerians. They are expired but still aspiring, very tired but not retired. Mr. death reminds me that nobody can rule Nigeria forever. Death helped in actualizing power shift in 1999 and today, death is gradually shaping the way to 2007 and warning the rulers and the ruled that no matter what a group or an individual loots from Nigeria, when the time comes, not even a penny will he or she take along to the great beyond; that no matter how well positioned a politician is or will be, death stares at the face.
Death is quite an interesting mediator. Of late it visited the high and mighty amongst whom was Yessir Arafat the former Palestinian leader, Ronald Reagan former American president, Gassingbe Eyadema the man who held Togo hostage for about 39 years, just to mention a few. Lest I forget, Death has just hovered around Nigeria taking along Major General Abdulkareem Adisa a former minister, Senator Haruna Abubakar former deputy senate president, Mr. Nobody, a peasant farmer in Otolokpo village etc. In a nutshell, death takes Mr. Nobody and Mr. Somebody anytime any day. Death as a politician is the only friend the common man has because death is genuine.
Death also hurts when in its blunt but rational style consumes a patriotic Nigerian, but we are consoled by the fact that a good man’s legacies serve as a springboard and inspiration to others and as such good legacies never die.
In conclusion, politicians should understand that the vanity of life is enough to serve as caution for things to be done properly. Looting of Nigeria’s treasury, sabotaging of Nigeria’s economy, corruption and most especially sit tight political ideology is all vanity. Death will come, whether a man dies in Aso Rock, the National Assembly, State House etc, its all DEATH. Therefore, I urge Nigerians to remember death and be humble. Death triumphs if it sniffs a man who believe that with wealth and political power, he will live forever, but man can triumph over death through selfless service to his fellow man like some members of ANC, African National Congress did.