The stylish dancing mentality of the nation’s current crop of politicians has attracted strong rebuke from prominent Nigerians who have described the situation variously as ‘height of indiscipline’, and ‘worrisome’ going by the present disorderliness, economic problem and intense insecurity in the country, purportedly responsible for the recent postponement of the presidential election from February 14th to March 28th 2015 by the Independent Electoral Commission (INEC).
Rebuking the nation’s politicians for what he called ‘indifference to the saddening plight of Nigerians’, former Kaduna State governor and current chairman of the Conference of Nigerian Political Parties (CNPP), Balarabe Musa, told BD SUNDAY that the current dancing atmosphere created by politicians at every rally was revealing signs that they are incompetent and unable to steer the nation out of its present tight spot.
One political watcher said they are simply insensitive to the happenings around. “They are indirectly telling Nigerians they are dancing on your graves”, he added.
He said: “The dancing culture is a rigging attitude. It is above just dancing. They are dancing for something Nigerians don’t know. It is between incompetence and forgery; and Nigerians don’t seem to know that. Those who know don’t seem to have anything to do about it. They have nothing concrete to tell Nigerians and that is why they are dancing and pointing accusing fingers. Politicians should know that Nigerians are watching them. They must be warned not to take Nigerians’ patience for granted with their dancing mentality. They are supposed to lead the country; not to entertain the citizens. Politicians should stop making fool of themselves with their insatiable appetite for dance”.
Commenting on the recent postponement of the elections by six weeks by the Independent Electoral Commission (INEC), he opined that it was a welcome development, and that it would give the electoral umpire the needed extra time to put its house in order since many Nigerians were already worried if the commission was indeed ready as it had claimed.
“It was already a growing concern if INEC was fully prepared. The six weeks extension is enough for INEC to put finishing touches to its preparedness in order for it to conduct free, fair and transparent elections. I support the shift because it has given INEC the opportunity to do a clinical job without any excuse. It is very unfortunate that people who are supposed to be knowledgeable and patriotic are now the ones calling for the resignation of Attahiru Jega as INEC chairman. Let him complete his work and be judged accordingly. We should avoid a situation where a new INEC chairman would claim he did not have the time to know what he should know. If Jega is removed now as INEC chairman, what would his successor do between now and March?” He queried, adding that, such changes would create an excuse for whoever is taking over from Jega to claim that he inherited the problems that led to his failure, and therefore, Nigerians could not hold him responsible.
Also speaking with BD SUNDAY on politicians’ dancing trend, national publicity secretary, Pan-Yoruba socio-cultural group, Afenifere, Yinka Odumakin, said it was very sad that the current political campaign is no longer about issues that Nigerians want addressed, but rather, politicians are dancing ‘skelewu’ in the name of political rally.
He said Nigerians should call for an elevation in the content of political debates in order to greatly challenge politicians to critically think of what to tell Nigerians, lamenting that, it was unfortunate one of the presidential aspirants decided to opt out of a debate for whatever reason and nobody and any group has said anything about it.
“Rather than tell us what they would do and how they would do it, Nigerian politicians are busy dancing everywhere they go. The two major candidates (Goodluck Jonathan and Muhammadu Buhari) should tell us how they would restructure Nigeria; they should tell Nigerians what they intend to do with the reports and recommendations of the last National Conference. Politicians in the country should up their game in debating issues affecting the country. What they do now is entertain their audience by dancing all manners of style alien to our culture. Our value and political culture are gradually declining. Enough of this dancing”, said Yinka Odumakin who was a delegate at the 2014 National Conference.
Sunnie Amojor, a Lagos based political pundit and president of The TotalMan Fellowship who also lamented the trend, told BD SUNDAY that Nigerians should call for a debate forum where politicians could be compelled to specifically tell them whether the situation in the country worth dancing about or mourning over.
He said: “Politicians should put ashes on their head and wear sackcloth and raise a lamentation over the sorrowful condition of the country. Let us dance when things are better. There is a time to dance; and there is a time to mourn. The current situation in the country does not call for dancing. We should be mourning at every rally. It is insult on Nigerians for politicians to dance at a time like this. Why should politicians dance when $1 dollar is equal to N200? Why should politicians dance when the Boko Haram terrorists are hoisting their flag in parts of the country? Why should we dance when the Chibok school girls abducted in April last year are still being held captive and without hope of their eventual return? There are too many challenges confronting the country at the moment that calls for sobriety; not a dance. It is lack of passion for the fatherland for any politician to be dancing at this time. The current political class is the worst thing to have happened to Nigeria; it doesn’t matter which party they belong. Best Nigerians are not at the moment in any political party”, he said.
He said the saddest part of the ongoing political rallies and campaigns was that, it is not based on fresh ideas on how the country’s obvious potentials for greatness would be harnessed for it to attain the ‘giant of Africa’ status many have come to associate the country with, but rather, it is characterized by finger pointing, name calling, blackmailing, witch-hunting and the digging out of offensive past to discredit political opponents.
He said: “The other day, I chanced upon a ‘Town Hall Meeting’ on television called by the Edo State Governor Adams Oshiomhole and Governor Babatunde Fashola of Lagos and the vice presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Yemi Osinbajo, were there. Osinbajo was asked: How is your administration going to tackle the Boko Haram menace? He said and I quote: ‘We will create jobs. If there is job, there would not be Boko Haram’. But Nigerians know that the issue of Boko Haram is more than that; because the northeast is not the only place in Nigeria where there is unemployment. You and I know that the issue is more than that. Osinbajo did not tell us how he and Buhari would tackle the politics and the division in the army. He did not tell us what they would do to create jobs. He did not tell us what the APC government would do differently from current administration if elected. There was nothing revealing and exciting in his speech. It is the same with the ruling Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP). All they do is to gather gullible Nigerians and entertain them. Politicians who are not naturally gifted to dance would employ professional dancers to do it for them. Nigeria would not go far with these kinds of politicians who love to dance when they should mourn over the state of the nation”, he said.