Ok let us stick to their traditional names. If you were to spell Buhari like Boo-ha-ree and Ebele like Air-Bay-lay then you may not win at all on the Nigerian scrabble table. Simply because you often times, never spell a name in the manner of its pronunciation. However, if you are smart, shrewd and astute, you may yet produce a scrabble dictionary that would approve of your Boo-ha-ree and Air-Bay-lay spellings and God so kind, you placed it on a triple letter word, your score would of course be tripled. That is the way it is done in Nigeria- nothing is ever the same.
Now that we know who the APC presidential flag bearer is, the tripartite is now complete: PDP, APC and Nigerians, in other words, Jonathan Buhari and Nigerians. But this game we are playing is called scrabbles, therefore we must acknowledge and refer to the scrabble dictionary from time to time to sort out any discrepancies or misunderstandings. If the word is not in the dictionary, sorry, you lose a turn and allow your opponent to gain a round. And if your opponent is a maestro of long lettered words, then you will be contending with a master who will be dropping premiums at every opportunity but if your sole advantage is that you are proficient in the use of those annoyingly wicked three lettered or consonantal words, knowing where to place a Z, Q and X where it scores most and hurts most, your opponent premiums have got nothing on your game.
If you have read this article up till this line, then of course you must be realizing that this writer sef is a scrabble lover or enjoys the stimulation of word puzzles. My point is quite simple really; politics in Nigeria is for the dexterous and the adroit, the cunning and foxy. What you thought was your edge on this side may be the very reason you may be hated on the other side.
Now that this truly bothersome and vexing matter of delegates, have been put aside, the first two groups in this tripartite will now be coming for proper courtship activities, they will now be putting together strategies to woo the bride – the third group in this tripartite – the voting populace to support their party flag bearer. I can almost taste the excitement in the air.
Who will the public vote for? How will this election be conducted? What will sway the majority into supporting which party? Will religion play a critical role or will ethnicity rear its ugly head? Will stomach infrastructure be instrumental at the rural level while intellectualism tries to sway the Nigerian elites? Is this game going to get dirty so that Ebele will now be spelt Air-bay-lay or perhaps Buhari can now be spelt as Boo-ha-ree through the introduction of a trip hammer? Will the maestros of three lettered words win or the consummate premium player set the stage for a victory? Are there more skeletons to be unveiled or will everything crumble like dominoes triggered by one masterfully played political stroke?
The Nigerian populace is watching. Some will call this 2014/2015 elections the clash of the titans. Some will say it is the Napoleonic Waterloo of wars. Perhaps it may be likened to Alexander’s battle of Granicus. Still, fantasy lovers like me would like to imagine a warrior’s scene like the one in Lord of the Rings ‘the Pelennor Fields.’ Who will be Sauron and who will be Gandalf? Haha. Whatever our imaginary and fantasy-inclined mind may bring, hopefully, this is one election that will see a lot of Nigerians coming out to decide who will be king come 2015.
Unfortunately, as in all battles, there will be casualties from both sides. There will be persons who will not play by the book or the rules; there will be irreparable fall-outs and rashness in the heat of battle. Many will take it personal and many more will use all manner of measures to score cheap goals in the spirit of politicking.
My advice to us will always be true. Those who want to be gladiators will be gladiators - kill or be killed. Those who will be warriors – be warriors. The non-participants, those who will cowardly remain by the sidelines with slaked lips thirsty for the sight of spilled blood – will be spectators. And those who will simply perform the civic but patriotic duty to cast their vote, by all means do so. But in all our doing, let us not burn bridges of friendship because Buhari was spelt Boo-ha-ree or because Ebele was spelt Air-Bay-lay.
Finally, whoever wins, amongst these two contenders forced on us, I have since decided that I will accept as president (like say I get choice) and pray that he be granted wisdom to be one of the best Presidents or leaders that Nigeria would have.
God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria
My dear readers, I will leave you with the poetic prose below. Remember to live and let others live.
Politics of The Jungle: the Hunt Has Begun
I am weary weary weary of all these talks and arguments
PDP this APC that and everything in between
I am sorry sorry sorry that I do not like your candidate
For reasons small for reasons great for reasons way too much
Whether it’s Abc, or Apc or Pd flipping P
Impatient animals, lurking and growling with teeth sharpened for the Hunt
Revolting smell of blood, not so for predatory folks in the wilds
Instincts thoroughly awakened by fresh smell of blood knows a wounded prey is close
Like sharks circling a prey in sea or vultures stalling for the carcass
Fear fear all around as the heat of contest is brutal and fierce
Cannibalistic desperation desires just a bite into flesh
Chunks of flesh bitten off the defeated are being chewed with relish and glee
The entrails and blood are everywhere
Acquire. Acquire as much
The moment is now or never
Survivability is the sport, greed is the name of the game
The price of honour has gone way higher in a jungle of lust and greed
The harsh light of survival has emptied the mind of sound reason and obvious truth
I am weary weary weary of them bloody politicians
Clothed in suits or kaftans, hats or hulas, shoes or sandals
None is saintly, all are beastly
I cry foul foul foul
It is politrickery and not politicking
Viewers beware and be not carried away
Monies changing hands, transactions is the language and the highest bidder is King
For you see, there is an auction of soul and mind and endorsement is altered on a whim
The usual suspects seem guileless on ground and deceit is all around
The maestro of art and play are masters of images and half-truths
This season will come this season will go
Burn not the bridges of today for fallacies of yesterday
I am so flipping knackered
Of the lack of a structure of merit
Do not care for the pretence of eloquence and oratory
This sweet mind of mine won’t be soured
By matters too confounding for me
Yes I care and I act and I respond
Yet I am no gladiator, nor ever will be
For a gladiator kills for the amusement of spectators and I got no stomach for that
This democracy drives me crazy
Just live and let me live.
The writer is Chalya Princess Miri-Gazhi. Twitter: @signetseal