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The Mace, Morality and A Dove on the Mast – Jimi Bickersteth

“It is terrible to speak well and be wrong”.-Sophocles.

This evening I laid sleepless, staring into darkness, (yes, the PHCN,
a derivative for light, was on strike,) my mind began a postmortem of the Third Republic,it was all like been caught in a spiral like a squirrel in a cage. Going over the past. The nation’s past, from circa.independence, its military interregnums,
through to the second Republic and now.
I saw a prosperous past, in
relation to an uncertain present and a future that is non existent. Why couldn’t one leave the past behind? Why drag the past all through life? What does it matter anyway? Why remember the cheerful atmosphere of the past. The fun of it!
Still, my mind went longingly over the catalogue of delights in the past in glorious technicolour. The whole street with their affordable sandwiches and bottles of pop all night,compared to the ugly sight of the present and the sore and sour images of our compatriots atop moving trains, Shawarma with Tramadol and Lacassera.
The Idumota, Ijora,Cappa,
Oshodi etc confusion. The tug-of- war in the nation’s legislative chambers, the silent war between the executive and the legislative, the apparent misunderstanding in the
tripartite arrangement of separation of power that was expected to birth peace and progress.
That had been life, that had! In the thick of things and the nation became a dead and alive place where nothing is happening. Soft soap,meaning nothing.
In the darkness I expelled my breath in a long hiss. This Third Republic politics is a challenge to the nation’s most, to morality, good conscience, creative intelligence and ingenuity. One bore no grudge to the nature and character of the (dramatis) personas that found themselves at the helm of affairs, primarily because the nation’s transition to democracy and its institutions, everything seems slick-mass-produced
as the contents of a supermarket, and you must be loaded to the hilt to buy in the supermarket.
Transactions in the supermarket bellied common sense, choice or taste,it’s not even a passion for justice and needs and or efficient service delivery. I think it’s- yes,mainly curiosity, though perhaps there’s a better side to it than that. There must be, because the people deserve better than they’re getting.
” Nothing is ever settled until it is settled right “-Kipling had said.
The nation’s democracy and its institutions insofar as it concerns representation at the highest level thus calls for a prophylactic postmortem in the light of reason and its experiences.
To say that the nation’s supposed to get full value
out of its politics and politicians is stating the obvious.
The nation’s ever growing expectations is for the politicians to open to all a whole wide world of pleasure, imaginative experience and intellectuals stimulus, after all the prominent task of a politician is to ease,or widen or deepen the peoples response(s) to providing dividends of democracy.
Politics is what it is or what is, and the nation is to enjoy it proportionately. But, not,
the mere transition from one administration to the other,and in the face of might and main, not, what the nation’s body politic, public administration and policy making had become – a conflict of the mace,politics and morality.
The Mace that was designed as a symbol of authority and conferred power and seal to legislation has been turned by the very legislators perlocution to a Mace- a liquid ( used as a spray for riot control) causing tears and nausea to the nation and its good people.
A people that suddenly have on its hands, political scoundrels rather than artful and shrewd,wise and prudent statesmanship. The nation now know that its politicians are never guided by morality, the distinction between the right and wrong or good and bad.
The copious refusal to adhere to conventionally accepted standard of conduct is having a psychological rather than tangible effects on the nation, its psyche and soul.
The non-conformity to conventional standards, poor moral conduct in the polity and with no point of honour, principle and social honour is not a great idea of democracy and it’s killing the people instalmentaly.
With the lay of the land, its la-di-da politicians are putting the nation through the hoops and the people have had to endured a long,difficult and complicated test. This in its denouement brought to my mind Edgar Allan Poe’s ‘The Fall of Usher'(1839) and its themes of death, decay and madness.
Now,with apathy and
fear the nation could see the cracks not only in the structure of its political parties and gladiators, but also in the political economy structure of the nation, and it appears there is absolutely nothing that anyone can do about it. The extent to which the politicians
sublime devotion to the cause of the nation now and in the foreseeable future can fly is yet to be seen.
But right now,the nation is in a confused era, yet an outstanding period of quiet and bitter confrontation between several opposing camps that dovetailed into two -the one getting to the end of it’s extinction and the other just emerging. In the meantime, they’re all working on a premise of presumptions while the houses on each side are changing into blurred ribbon.
The politicians in the nation’s future of 2019 and beyond, apparently, are by and large ending something, and giving a different end to a chapter already written, and one could see that instead of ending something, the politicians sponsored lack, poverty, injustice,and were starting something. Something altogether new.
The politicians, without making any amends are purely responsible for bringing a new factor into the nation’s political landscape and must be eager to take responsibility of their actions and inactions and for the results of same.
The nation is assisted by a remote system a set of people with hitherto unsatisfactory livelihoods to be celebrated and have the state gave them free money and had everything done for them, only that in spite of the advantage and opportunities, if environment counts for anything they should have gone far.
They were given luxurious homes and one remonstrate with the nation, as it was going to be difficult for such characters to return from their
‘government luxurious’ surroundings to their ordinary homes.
Things were never the way you imagined them to be as everyday the nation found itself confounded and less attracted to its politicians and their politics; again, in spite of the fact that they
took much trouble to vindicate on ego, reason, intelligence, partisan lines and postures; leaving
behind them permanent shadows on the people soul and spirit.Yet,the people appeared to display no permanent resentment,so to speak, it was all as if the politicians behaviours had been perfectly natural- sour grapes and the green-eyed monster!
Its daily looking like the politicians want the people to be tired with their problems and hang-ups that they become weary,and lose the desire and will to overcome them. The politicians
I) go scot free because the human brain doesn’t like blank spaces, so when it encounters questions of lack, poverty, injustice, inequalities, without answers it searches for something to put in the blank spaces.
ii) because the human being were driven by their own perceptions, needs and prejudices, learned or not, they’re not always objective, and often times blinded to the blind spots and think ‘we know’, meanwhile, much of our ‘knowing’ are merely our own judgemental spin on things.
iii) Those who are more of a realist,there is this certain detachment among this ones,between the people and their no-charm-no-passion politicians who apparently see themselves as social necessity.
The combination of one or more of (i)-(iii) makes the nation uncomfortable. This is not mere curiosity, as the nation had at the table since 1999 bread and butter that was stale,the jam a curious jellyfied substance, the cakes garish and unappetising. The tea was weak. At this point, I began to think of those words in Magna Carta,”To no man will we refuse justice”.
With the stakes set high and the political juggernauts haggling for the nation’s jugular, forces are been triggered, set and placed in between the political class; conservative or progressive does not matter, since it appeared the nation pursue and adore no ideals,no principles politics but just passionate quest for power,and in their sough like the wind are angling out of square in a tangle.
The artificially produced political tremors to politics watchers are threatening to be like the real earthquakes which result from two tectonic plates on a fault line shifting against one another, then lurching in opposite directions, with both believing each carried equal force.That’s what happens when you bond with the wrong people and with wrong inclination.
It’s high time the nation take cognisance of a salient fact, that, when a relationship is not working and if instead lifting the people up ,they’re been dragged down, releasing
such politicians is the next best option,and that could easily be done with the PVC. This is a matter of political survival and significance. Discern who belonged in your past from those who belong in your life now.
The nation has placed everything right for beneficence-democracy,liberty, freedom, justice, equality in an egalitarian society to take root – now, ethically, that was right. The time has come off, it never went as the nation thought it would.
The answers never are what you think they will be. But the Chinese who held that beneficence is not a virtue, are quite right. Beneficence does things to people. Ties them up in knots.
We all know what human nature’s are like; but the politicians who’s had the good turn done to them;free meal,free house, free air,free money, money! money!money! The word seemed to dance on the wall in gigantic letters,like a motif in an opera;the politicians, do they feel kindly to the nation; kind enough to give of themselves in an environment that overdid the beneficence.
Let’s get to the core of the postmortem. Do the politicians like the nation? No! To this crop of politicians, the people were just a pleasant abstraction in the background, while they go on their doping and padding spree,taking eight months to pass a budget,complacence followed suit. A plain,honest-to-goodness neglect.
Politicians were pampered and fussed over and in many ways it’s not doing the nation any good. Did you say the worst civilian regime is better than any other regime, I concur. Added to this is the fact that the people were often not together, suffice,it is,to say that, none of the people really belonged to themselves, religion, ethnicity and poverty saw to that.
The people, hence, have had to cultivate through the years of insecurity, hunger,deprevation,
personal and group fears, entirely different instincts, feelings, aptitudes, needs.
Some of their demands are religious, some political, some social, some economic, all of which aimed at social justice and social security,values on which they have been consistently shortchanged by their politicians.
The people with an eagerness and naïveté that so much that needed doing, so much that was worth doing, who with little vanity in their gaze with behind it the humility of a people who are unsure of themselves, of their future and ruined socially by their politicians. Curiously, their unseen, unspoken criticisms of the political class could not be felt.
The politicians must felt in their hearts that there was much that needed doing, much that was worth doing; though with a gift of natural irony of all politicians that made them doubtful whether work worth doing is always as successful as it ought to be.
But, the people keep yearning for government
to do the right things with integrity of mind the beneficial results would follow automatically. The people with the notion that “To whom much is giving, much is expected”, and with every normal human being peculiar idiosyncrasies and high thinking had always expected so much from their politicians, and so always had been thoroughly disappointed. Even as the politicians with their mask like face and its lack of expression indulge in their own personal activities.
One began to feel a vague uneasiness instinctively at the falseness and lie in the nation’s political arrangement and the many lacunae and assumptions that would provide succour and guarantee abundance for the society in the face of wholesome poverty.
A preposterous risk!
You ask what does it matter if it is a risk? Its worth doing. It’s the global practice. Yes! But, the nation is yet to clear its augean stable of filthy lucre,corruption even as it began to lay the proper foundation for true federalism and true representation at all levels.
Now that the people are going so far away, and the politicians so aloof in some cold misty region of their own full of triumph, happiness, making crossover plans, scheming intrigues in the game of the throne in a failed and disillusioned society in dire need of integration, you recognise that there had been those seeds of weakness which had brought them together in the first place, and under stress those seeds might bear flowers.
That was exemplified very fully in the ‘charming’ politicians, with their merry quips, their charm,easy habit of twisting everyone round their finger, in lies,scandals, scams, even as the nation gave them the assurance of their love and confidences with warmth, enthusiasm and great expectations.
The politicians seems uneasy as 2019 approaches. Apprehensive about the future. I think it could be true, only one don’t know that it is. But it appeared some of the politicians are bitter.
The people on the other end are smeared with phlegm and semen into their mouths down their throats, choking and gaggling from the overripe giant grapefruits of sorrow, unfulfilled promises and large scale pilfering and social injustices. The people are climaxed into exhaustion, panting heavily like a bitch running in the heat.
Goodness knows what realms of fancy they’re floating in. They should be told that if PMB was as they are trying to make the nation believed a failure, all,all of them without any
exceptions contributed in no small measure to make it so.
Nigerians are getting it hard and rough and in a very difficult position. Looking frazzled and bored,that is PMB’s relationship with the NASS. Some odd angles had come to light, for the present, the merest
shadows of angles, but if it continues the way it is, PMB might find himself in something very odd indeed, as he would be permanently held to ransom and or blackmail.
The nation has been ‘No melon’ spelt backwards. I shrugged it off my shoulders. There would be some drab solution that had been embroidered by overheated imaginations and the usual hysteria of deceit and tension.
PMB was quiet, yet perhaps emotional behind the quietness, as they watch one another with a touch of belligerence in their manner,envious, jealous grievances real,imagined and or fancied -all instincts of self preservation. Yet, in spite of the copious differences of opinions and dissensions which ordinarily were quite healthy for democracy and if handled right can make things better.
All must do a lot of souls searching, deep,critical examinations of the third Republic. It must be a deep painful self analysis. The Change agenda is a fine idea,but it appeared dead in the water,as none of the politicians wants it. But PMB’s stubborn and won’t take no for an answer,so he gets malicious compliance instead.
Politicians don’t resist him openly, but they sabotage the change agendas, even his own party men. He must change enough to solve the problems so that he doesn’t lose what matters far more. In times like these it’s helpful to remember that there have always been times like these. It is thus becoming quite necessary to know things about our democracy and its challenges, of knowing them quite certainly once and for all.That’s becoming
Things aren’t going very well in the House and very soon may be getting worse. What do I mean? So many contending interests are up in arms, at a time the people thought the APC got a chance of granting them
real happiness. Autumn happiness, if you like.
Things aren’t going too well between them – the politicians, 2019 business and tickets, is shoving them further apart everyday. And there could be three valid reasons for that. Suspicion or guilt or ambition. Suspicion of each other. Its suspicion on one side and consciousness of guilt of poor performance of theft on the other and vice versa and as you were and as you like it. What that meant was that the culmination of a long train of repressed rebellion to party policies and or supremacy.
The mists and shadows of the self-contained world that our politicians have managed to live for so long is lifting and giving way to clarity. It must be pretty fair hell and comic in a way,to be born plain, especially if it’s not compensated for by having any special talent or brain and leading a gross of people- a replay of the so much overused trite “a people deserve the leaders they get”.
The nation’s politicians should have a goal and a good mission for the nation and be persuaded that it’s very much in the nation’s interest that they should get down to it. Jean Racine’s,” Venus toute entière à as proud attaché “.literally translated,’ It is no longer a passion hidden in the heart’ passed through my mind – how did it go.
Enough of this politicians with their airs of infantile leisure, just kicking up heels. Apprehensive of the bridles, of the saddle of control. The nation must come to its end. The tone deaf politicians love doing a line of talk,patter,patter,all the smarmy bits and nothing tangible for the people at the end of the day.
One has no instinctive knowledge of what goes on in the closets of the politicians mind. You judge them,by thoughts and feelings, but it’s wise to recognise that those thoughts and feelings may be very widely divergent from the politicians- accountability, stewardship and everything else must be black and white. No half tones. It must be said of them that they have exhibited no moral discipline and etiquette. They can’t as they say in theatrical circles, take production. They are too busy dramatising themselves.
The dove on the mast is ready to bring peace if the Third Republic’s  mace can be found restive in its unending infantile processes and crime of passion, hate, avarice, greed,fair,which were all passions and politics have a way of inspiring passion in the actors and the air of
desperate tragedy out of it all.
Jimi Bickersteth is a blogger and writer.
He can be reached on Twitter @BickerstethJimi
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