…I get the feeling we did!
For the past 30 days or so, Nigerians were engaged a battle of succession. No, I’m not talking about Amodu’s successor, but President Yar’adua’s! It was a battle that forced ALL Nigerians to take sides and ensured that the ruling elite or Mafia that supposedly controls Nigeria’s resources replaced Shuaibu Amodu as the most hated person or group of persons in Nigeria.
A sick president was at the center of the jostle. The good guys wanted the constitution upheld and have the president hand over to his vice as he is medical leave. The bad guys wanted him continue from his sick bed. Like a penalty shoot out competition, each camp came out with accusations and counter accusations;law suites and counter law suites; street demonstrations and counter street demonstrations etc.
Each player from the both teams scored their spot kicks, until Ms Dora Akunyili, stepped up and blazed her kick over the bar, by presenting THAT Memo.
Did she miss on purpose? I will definitely like to think so.
Dora, has over the years put together a body of work that will ensure that she remains in the national consciousness for years to come. Her work as the Drug Czar of Nigeria - well, she wasn't a Drug Czar in the strictest sense of the word(like Michael Douglas in the film Traffic), but I like to call her that, it sounds quite sexy and a bit romantic - saw her take on the elusive fake drug problem in Nigeria and won!
This ensured she HAD a near immaculate image among most Nigerians, that is, if you not on the other side of the drugs divide. Now, the operative word is HAD, because she seemed have dragged her image through the mud when she joined the current government as it’s Information Minister or put differently it’s spin doctor. (Whether the information minister portfolio is still relevant in the current democratic dispensation is a discussion for another day).
Her miss was the kick in the bum the stand-off needed to come to its inevitable end and a result in favor of the good guys, a miss that saw her square off with her colleagues in the Cabinet,especially bad boy extraordinaire, former justice minister and AGF Michael Aondoakaa.
Most importantly, the result suggests that we have taken a HUGE step towards loosening the grip of the aforementioned Mafia on the seat of power. Or have we?
Talking about “stand-offs” and “squaring-offs”, Nigeria had a duel with a more dangerous enemy, as the debacle lasted. Like in western (cowboy) movies, we stood face to face, eyeball to eyeball, fingers resting on the straps of our holsters, on Main Street, at high noon, waiting to see who draws the quickest. A duel we won, at least for now, without a shot fired!
It was a duel against our old enemies, the military, who were waiting in the wings for a slip by the politicians and offer them an excuse to swoop in. There were reports of unrest among junior officers and stories of them testing the waters of public opinion on whether they will be accepted back into political life.
The short and only answer to that question is; thanks but no thanks!
I know a few of us would have lost patience with the suits and agbadas in Abuja over the last month and wished we had a quick and military style, koboko wielding, gun totting, boot stomping solution to the problem. Perhaps some of us even voiced these thoughts during this period, well to those who did; I can only say, be careful what you wish for!
Thankfully it didn't end in a military intervention. Democracy lives in Nigeria, even if it is in its most imperfect incarnation, we will take it. We will wobble and fumble until we get it right.
That is the bullet I think we dodged!