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APRIL FOOL AND THE MAY JESTER An old Lion does not roar, it growls because it knows that

its time is up and sooner or later it will have to take the back place in the pride. A foolish Lion King waits for a younger Lion to challenge it in a duel and defeat it. If this should happen it is dethroned and beaten up by a couple of other lions wishing to gain respect. We are in the jungle here and respect is gained by brute force. Young Lions are known to roar uncontrollably when they find their voice newly and discover the fear it instills in all creatures. When an old Lion roars indiscriminately it is often due to the paradox of power. The more power is exercised, the more power is needed. The more power one accumulates, the less benefits of power are available. The less the benefit, the greater need for more power. The ultimate benefit of power is control and respect. There is a curious compensation for the loss of power. Violence and threats of violence are evidence of a loss of control loss of power. A powerful man does not announce his presence; others make the way for him without him having to utter a word. As one loses grip of power, one compensates for it with frequent threats, harassments and use of such expressions like do or die. A man who declares that he is ready to die for a nation should not be taken seriously. He has probably organized his escape already. Those who know the meaning of sacrifice do not use the word lightly. It is a curious sight to see animals grazing close to a roaring Lion and seeming not to pay attention. The creatures know something. The Lion may already be incapacitated. When a Lion roars over and over, it is a sign of trouble albeit it is the lion that is in trouble. Dethronement may be imminent. A parallel is an old boxer. He has to talk more about boxing than actually doing the activity. They know about the human anatomy more than an average doctor and can describe the effect of punches on the organs. The only problem is that they cannot perform in the ring. This has a similitude in the talks of the improvement of power supply, good roads, better education and all the things that make PDP the koko. We have been hearing so many roars in the Nigerian political scene and so much shadow boxing is going on. It is difficult to determine which action is from fear and which is from fight. What everyone needs to understand however is that the law of the jungle does not take captives. Have you observed that of all the Presidents men,only Ribadu is still fluttering? Some reformers have already been compensated with a new job by her masters. Many are jumping ship already and secretly making deals or checking their families out. No condition is permanent. All the great supporters of the man in my staff club are apologizing for their earlier wrong perception. One is forced at this time to remember Kamuzu Banda, Mobutu Sesesekou, Bokassa, Idi Amin Dada, Charles Taylor, Sanni Abacha, Ibrahim Babangida; all discredited and pure water African leaders. One is forced to ask why even the good ones do not finish well. I remember also past Chairs of Electoral commission in Nigeria; all discredited, discarded and totally anonymous. How will Iwu end or where will he end up? Have you heard such expressions like poetic justice, drinking a cup of ones own medicine? Have you ever been told not to throw a stone into the market because you do not know who it will hit? Have you heard it said that those who live in glass houses do not throw stones? the PTDF controversy, the death clause in the electoral law and the administrative panel/ EFCC list may well lead us to an April Fool as far as elections are concerned. Mr. President may end up a May Jester the way things are going. This is why we should not seek to poison the child of a co-wife because our heir may end up eating the food. Oyo state has once again applied the Presidents medicine to his beloved son. Let us see what

will happen. The rumors of death have finally claimed a victim, whether it will claim the elections is to be seen. As things stand today, no one can guarantee elections. Apart from the shoddy arrangements, I see someone saying, the only way we can have fair competition is to stall until after may 29. The legal means to do that is now within reach, provided by OBJ himself. If that happens, we will have The Senate President for one week, then the CJ. What Monumental drama that will be. Except of course the losers sabotage the constitution. We have already received the script of an epic battle of Owuean dimension. The elections are already compromised. It may still be free, but it can no longer be fair. If the courts continue to permit those excluded to contest and INEC insists on debarring them are we not in stasis? If INEC yields, how will it ensure that their names and pictures are on the ballot papers? Will any wise politician agree to compete with a handicap? As far as I can tell, it is not what happens at the elections that I fear, it is what happens after. Anyone who wins is already compromised. Their can be no real governance in the next two to three years because the political community is polarized. There are those who have an indictment over their heads, there are others who were cheated at the primaries, there are many more who are waiting for this government to hand over to seek redress from perceived injustice and there are ordinary Nigerians who will insist on holding various governments accountable for the monumental wastage of resources in the last eight years. Then the Poverty Distribution Party and the Action Coven will carry on their bitter struggle. We need to have elections, but in addition and more important we need a framework that will enhance good governance, guarantee rule of law and solve our current political crisis. Elections will not bring the crisis to an end. There are really no parties in Nigeria, there are personalities. We have Obasanjo and Atiku and what they represent. We may again be at the June 12 junction or in the Abacha square. Even though we have a De ja vu, the solution may not be in a tea cup or the bosom of an Indian Lady, it may be in exile.

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