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2003 election: New equations bigger than ordinary aspirant

By Kunle Awosiyan

Achilles kills Hector and drives the body away in the presence of a sobbing father. The princes and princesses of Troy cry their hearts out, the slaves and freemen of the small country groan as Achilles reaps the heart of the heir to the throne.

It is a shameful night. The Greek Army led by Achilles had always troubled Troy but on this occasion, it is a test of strength between two Trojans, Achilles, and Hector.

I also cry each time I see this British epic movie that premiered in 2004. To pay his last respect to his dead son, the King of Troy has to visit Achilles in the middle of the night to bow for the release of his son’s body for a royal cremation.

He said, “I touch the hands of the man who killed my son.” There he reveals to Achilles who his own father is and how brotherly they had lived before his demise.”

Achilles cries sorrowfully as he loses Hector’s corpse from the horse’s back. It was a story of a man, Achilles who is fighting for himself, his own glory, and a man, Hector, who is fighting for his country, his country’s freedom.

Today, there are scores of presidential aspirants in Nigeria’s political parties who want to lead this country. Many of them never fought a single battle, yet they shout, “Give me this country and let me rule it”.

The leadership of this country has become so cheap even though the expression of interest form to become a president is expensive and sold between N40 million and N100 million.

This leadership is cheap because it is not measured by the price an aspirant has paid to want to lead but the best opportunity he has to grab power. It is quite unfortunate that our fathers who taught us democracy never had the opportunity to lead us at the highest level.

Chief Obafemi Awolowo, Ahmadu Bello, Nnamdi Azikwe laboured. They paid big prices, including going to jail and death. They built human and material structures to become the president of this country but failed. What they struggled for fell cheaply on the laps of Alhaji Shehu Shagari who never dreamt of becoming Nigerian president.

And the military took over, using its guns to snatch power. It went further to impose one of its own, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo on us in 1999. Just like that, cheaply without any struggle. To worsen the situation, Obasanjo imposed on us Umoru Yar’Adua whose tenure was inherited by another lucky deputy, Goodluck Ebele Jonathan. Hmmmm.

It took the audacity of former Governor of Lagos State, Ahmed Bola Tinubu ACN to merge with CPC and a few other political parties as APC in order to bring a tired presidential aspirant, Muhammadu Buhari to power.

All of them came to power either by luck or a push. It takes leadership to look so cheap and uninteresting. The present political permutations if well worked out will favour those who have studied so hard and are very good in differentiation and integration, an equation that may not lead to a definite answer but will be based on how many seeds have been sown by each aspirant and how many have germinated.

It will also depend on how many of these germinated seeds had produced fruits. It will also depend on how many of these fruits are viable, edible, and are not poisons.

It is going to be a battle between two warriors, first at APC presidential primary. Between one who has been planning to lead a country and had been planting seeds over the years and another one who believes he has the opportunity based on his current position and qualifications.

It is going to be how many delegates Ahmed Bola Tinubu had helped in one way or the other to become senators, federal lawmakers, state lawmaker,s and so on. It will also depend on how many of these personalities had gained something from Vice President Yemi Osinbajo to become what they are today.

Now as delegates, it is payback time. It is time to see more delegates who will vote their minds instead of emotion and many who will look back and yield the best fruits for thee benefactors. It is a battle between Hector and Achilles. It is a battle between BAT and PYO and other aspirants.

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