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By Michael John
Chief Eze Chukwuemeka Eze reminds one of Aideas Banc. He is some kind of human bank full of curious political ideas. In case you never came across Aideas Banc, it was one of the wonder banks which packed up in the early nineties when such banks were collapsing like a pack of cards. So many people lost their hard-earned money but a friend said they should have known better than to bank with an institution which spelling of “Ideas” was corrupted and the spelling of “Bank” was corrupted. Eze’s political ideas are not too far from corruption either.
Eze may not collapse anytime soon -unlike Aideas Banc, he is one of nature’s sturdy works. Yet he belongs to a party which is not registered and which name is wee little bit confusing. He is the National Publicity Secretary of the New PDP. Now what in the world is the New PDP? And if this intractable problem between the two factions is not resolved which of them would the Independent National Electoral Commission recognize? One guess that it would be the one with the President in it because INEC should know which side their bread is creamed.
But then the group is so-called because the last time someone tried to form a new Nigeria, he called it “Biafra” and it did not work. So instead of changing the name, add ‘new’ to it and run with the old crowd. Do some kind of grandstanding and when the issues are resolved you go back to business as usual.
Last week Eze went a step further to prove that he is a really interesting dude. He spat fire and brimstone and claimed that the New Peoples Democratic Party’s position before any kind of peaceful resolution with the “Old” PDP was for President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan not to run for office in 2015. It was his considered opinion that the world would be a better place (the sun would shine brighter and come up earlier, the air would be fresher and the water would be tastier) if only one man he does not like would pack his bags and head out of Aso Rock in 2015.
Haba Chief Eze! Someone should have told you that you cannot have life at your own terms. If Goodluck is bad luck to you, then learn to bear it because one man’s honey is another man’s vinegar. Goodluck Jonathan is not all bad. A President who allows everyone to call him names (from governors to bricklayers not to mention an Eze) is a refreshing counter narrative to the Abacha Regime which enemies had a high mortality rate. So let Jonathan plod on and if he wants to run in 2015 fair and good, he is qualified to contest and his right to do that is enshrined in the Nigerian Constitution. So let him contest for whatever post and we Nigerians would decide.
But it appears that Eze does not think that our opinion as ignorant Nigerians matter. Even if majority of Nigerians want Goodluck to stay, so what? One is reminded of the World Wrestling Federation in the days of Ox Baker, Mighty Igor, Tex Mackenzie and co. The commentator interviewed giant Ox Baker and asked him what he thought of the fact that the people did not seem to like him because he was always cheating in his fights. Ox Baker took three tentative steps away from the man in feigned disdain then he turned, much like an after-thought, and asked rhetorically, “What do they know?”
What do we know? Those who know everything there is to know are the politicians. Oh wait a minute! Who is a politician in Nigeria? Someone who is unsuccessful in his chosen profession and has taken refuge in politics. A successful lawyer would tell you that he is a lawyer even though he is involved in politics. Then you have the lawyers who have never won cases, doctors with blood-stained hands who are fed up with bungling medical treatment and killing people and have consequently wrapped up their practice and taken a foray into politics. Like someone asked, “When you say that you are a politician, do they award degrees in politics?” Such men who claim to be full time politicians are dangerous and they are the ones who try to think for us, rig elections and vote for us. To them, politics is a life and death matter because they have no fallback position. They are the most dangerous of the species.
But Eze’s case is more complicated. Folks with one “Eze” for a name or title have been causing us a tonnes of trouble. Now along comes a dude with two such names and “Chief” for a title. That is the colour of trouble. The last time we had someone called Alhaji Alhaji as a minister, he proved as tough a nut to crack as you would expect of two “Alhaji’s” joined together.
A double-barrelled “Eze” is like a double-barreled shot gun. He fires multiple salvos when triggered. Since the new PDP triggered him with the title of National Publicity Secretary he has become a permanent feature in our media space. He has come out of the shadows and like a matador he is a compelling circus act.
He believes that there are two sides to every issue – his side and the wrong side. He does not give a hoot about the rights of folks like Goodluck Jonathan because in Nigeria might is right. Some people should decide who contests and who does not. It is a throwback to the military era when Ibrahim Babangida, as a military dictator told us, “I do not know who would succeed me, but I know who would not succeed me.” Such patronizing thinking is still a part of our politics, otherwise why would you want to stop a fellow Nigerian from seeking office simply because you do not like the shape of his nose?