Realpolitik, Game of The Defector
By Hakeem Babalola
A Nigerian political defector is probably the most hard-nosed even "down to earth" fellow in the history of the word itself. He is not afraid to express awareness of things as they really are. He often uses a matter of fact approach to the issue at hand. He is practical but the commonsense part of his game is doubtful and dubious. For him, politics; even life is a game - of winning. He is ambitious but lack vision. Unfortunately, he does not know the difference between a will to succeed and the ability to deal resourcefully with unusual problems. Hence he chunks them together most times. And this is why his game is dangerous and unhealthy to his immediate surrounding - YOU.
He perpetrates schemes - wicked or virtuous. And he has an axiom: In politics, there's no permanent friend or enemy; and he chews this every minute of his political existence. He tells whoever cares to listen his simple truth - my friend, idea is not reality. What seems amazingly odd is the fact that people often mistake him for a man of ideas. They see him as a leader full of integrity, and so people are ready to follow and do his bidding. He manages to dominate his followers and associates because he knows how to be in cahoot with them. He definitely knows how to make agreement on a secret plot.
Tinubu and Obasanjo can be cited as an example - of his axiom. Obasanjo's PDP won the South West states in 2003 except Lagos where Tinubu of AC had controlling influence as the governor. Obasanjo, the then Nigerian president tried as much to frustrate Tinubu by different tactics. It was a battle fought by both men - mentally and spiritually perhaps. They fought each other like gladiators so much that the earth recorded the intensity of their hatred for each other. Today, Obasanjo publicly campaigned for Tinubu's APC against his own PDP's party. Today, the two men it seems have built up a good rapport with each other. They are best of political friends whereas the opposite was the case just yesterday. They call it realpolitik. And this is dangerous to your health; to your freedom.
There is no need for explanation, for it is meaningless. His game allows him to use a carrot and stick approach, meaning his reward can as well be a punishment. His game also allows him to do whatever he likes without being penalized or punished. for him,there's nothing ideal in losing, especially in such atmosphere where winning is considered a do or die affairs? In one hand it is his society that grooms him to be so brutal for he is vicious; even inhuman at times. Yes, it is his society that gradually nurtures him to be wild and menacing. It is his environment that makes him a cruelly rapacious fellow, and he has no apology for that.
In the beginning, his society teaches and impresses him by frequent repetitions of POWER. And now POWER he wants; even double POWER. Or at worst, association with POWER. There's no respite for him unless he grabs POWER. He would rather die than abdicate the throne - of POWER. His society fails him though in the sense that it does not inculcate values - of vision. As disgusting as it may sound, he sees himself as a role model; a god of no equal who can make or mar. Without him, you - YOU - can't feed your belle.
He knows his game and plays it well. This in part because he understands his environment like his palm. He has basically learned what his people cherish in him and he exploits it to the fullest. They want him on top and to remain on top. Anything less will bring him down. Therefore being the head and not the tail is his watchword. This may lead him astray but he cares less. He has no time for things unconnected. It is as simple as that.
Often he wants to be seen as someone who does what he professes; but it is all part of his game, for he is as phony as YOU. But it helps him all the way because of his misleading appearance. A man of ambition no doubt. Let him adds vision to his game and the story may be a bit different. Until then, he seems a harmful man on the loose.
Now, see the breakneck speed at which many PDP members defected to APC immediately Jonathan Goodluck conceded defeat. For instance, a chieftain of PDP in Ogun state and senator elect, Buruji Kashamu, was reported to have described Tinubu, the National Leader of APC as his role model. Kashamu, for those who do not know him, is one of the most vocal opponents of the APC before it won the presidential election of March 28. The man in his game of realpolitik personally wrote a letter to the leader of the party of the moment. "How are you sir? Just to let you know you've always been my hero, my role model, my everything"
He simply enjoys the material factors of his game. Besides, he is ready to collaborate irrespective of the aftermath - as long as he is connected with any powerful man or party of the moment. It is his nature and no one can take it from him. Shame is neither in his agbada nor fila. He doesn't know what it means. Oro defector p'esije! Wetin concern am with moral principles! In his mind he is simply doing his job; blunt and plain-spoken as a result of practical experience.
Femi Fani-kayode for one example. The so-called "smart boy" goes from PDP to APC to PDP to this to that. Interestingly this smooth talking young man could have done the same job he did for PDP for APC in a likewise manner. Tell him about his defect and he will tell you the story of how he had slept with your niece, aunt, daughter and mother; even your grandma. He probably keeps haunting record of such great importance to smooth his game in that line. You never know with him.
Nuhu Ribadu, Nasir El-Rufai, Yinka Odumakin, Olusegun Obasanjo, Abubakar Atiku and others have all defected from one party to other. Some of them do it with sadistic exuberance. As expected, his earthquake game has hit PDP the most. In Jigiwa state, the deputy governor, Alhaji Mahmud Gumel defected to APC. What of a former governor of the same state, Alhaji Saminu Turaki? Even Senators Muhammad B. Beta and Muhammad Dudu also defected. Even a former National Chairman of the PDP, Vincent Ogbulafor, found time to sneak into APC secretariat to congratulate the party of a "job well-done". Haba.
His villainous game has gradually turned him into something else not under the sun. He could be ex-president, ex-governor, ex-lawmaker, local chairperson, councilor and what have you. He betrays and cares less. He just moves on looking for a big political party to devour. That is the life he lives and believes. He does not only love the word "chop make I chop" but has since redefined it in the sense that he talks/eats out of both sides of his mouth. And this to the detriment of his family's name.
He is so recklessly "down to earth" that it didn't take long before the president elect, Muhammadu Buhari, took notice of his game. Buhari has since said that defectors would not be given political appointments in his regime. How sweet is this! Not only should he be denied of appointment but should be denied of joining any political party for a period of 10 years. Yeye rolling! Even if you ban him, I am afraid this guy would still beat the system. You know, it is his game.
Sometimes his game is much more than ambition. He may want to entice his damsels. He needs to remind both his admirers, followers and critics alike. That he still holds the ace, that he remains consequential - in his game. He must prove himself to be; to be somebody. Probably because tomorrow never comes; and because he is sure that in his environment the end justifies the means; since winning is magical and failure is for the so-called idealists. But give it to him if you like.