PACT – Word For The Week

A pact is defined as an agreement or covenant between two or more people. When some of the people we consider as leading erudite in Nigeria decided to align themselves politically, they redefined PACT to mean Presidential Aspirants Coming Together.

Their move was met with euphoria on social media, and the youths believed that this pact will take our nation from the brink of oblivion into Eldorado. How wrong we turned out to be.

Ego has been a stumbling block in the way of the progress of individuals, this time around, it was the stumbling block in the progress of pact and how it could have made an impact.

Nigerians have watched opposition after opposition try to take over the incumbent at different levels of government and flamboyantly fail. The few times that the opposition have successfully toppled the ruling party, it has often been more about implosion within the ruling party, rather than the ingenuity of the opposition.

A couple of times, the opposition does come together and get things right. This we witnessed during the lead up to the 2015 presidential elections. Beginning with implosion and discordance arising from the result of the primary elections within the PDP. Subsequently, there was a mass exodus into the APC, this I will refer to as the first “Pact” in this democratic dispensation.

The addition of a section of APGA, AC and CPC resulted in President Buhari’s rise to power and the ouster of President Goodluck Jonathan. Fast forward four years later and once again a pact was rumored to be in the pipeline.

When the participants of said PACT began to unveil themselves and publicly commit to it, Nigerians immediately got on social media to show their support and celebrate a rebirth of hope and belief in a new generation of technocrat-politicians.

It was going to be great, seeing young Nigerians who had succeeded in professional and business endeavors, come to the political fray to make a big difference. How disappointed we were to witness said pact implode at the moment when they were supposed to prove that they were truly here to make a difference.

How could one of eighteen people have successfully rigged an election that involved only eighteen of them? Did someone share dollars or did someone vote twice? What dissatisfied the “big boys” that made them have to opt-out at the last minute or after their election had held? Did every one of them believe only they were deserving of being Nigeria’s next president?

Leading up to the PACT “Grand Finale”, I had expected not only the presidential candidate to emerge, but also the Vice President candidate to also be unveiled. More importantly, I expected these smart minds to have realized that they weren’t here to cater to only their personal ambition, but also the group’s ambition.

Truth be told, half of the “PACTees” are relatively unknown, the other half share the same support base. Your average market woman doesn’t know a lot about Fela Durotoye, Kingsley Moghalu or Omoyele Sowore. They might have heard about them in passing, but they don’t know about their policies, bright ideas, beliefs or track record. The sons and daughters of that market woman who happens to be on social media would know a thing or two about them though.

Come Election Day, while the market woman will be on the queue voting APC or PDP (She probably closed her store on three to four separate occasions to vote at the APC primaries in Lagos), her daughter will be taking a beauty sleep while her son will enjoy the freedom of the express road transformed into a temporary sports stadia thanks to no vehicular movement. While the father comes out to join the queue to cast his ballot, his children will be chilling with friends in front of their game consoles if there is light, and if there isn’t light, they will come on social media to “monitor” the elections, as well as troll anyone who opposes the candidate they support.

The intellectuals, youths and professionals are currently in the dilemma of splitting their votes between the “PACTees” and Mr Popular, Donald Duke, as well as Madam Due Process, who doubled as the “referee” for the PACT election, Oby Ezekwesili.

After the emergence of Fela Durotoye as a Presidential candidate, I expected the naming of a Vice Presidential candidate, while the remaining aspirants then announce that they’ll be running for different State Governorship and Senatorial positions. This will help build a better base on which the team can launch a robust campaign into the general elections.

A fantasy Nigeria in which Fela Durotoye emerges as President and everyone on the PACT wins their respective contests will see President Fela have Governors in different states that will always support his interest. The pact will also have Senators who will push bills that will start the process of building a legislative framework for rebuilding Nigeria.

Nigerians uneasily witnessed President Buhari and the APC lament for the better part of three years of how the APC domineered Legislature was unsupportive of the Executive. Do any of the “independent-minded” “PACTees” think the Senate and House of Representatives will just align themselves with a young, inexperienced, non-political, President?

Do they expect the ministerial screening as well as budget approval to be smooth sailing? Do they expect men who have spent sixteen years and more on the corridors of power to bow down to a newbie President? How quickly will an opposition-led Senate begin to tinker with the idea of impeaching a President over the most whimsical excuse?

When like-minded, progressive bright minds, decide to come together, ideas should trump personalities. Intelligence should come to the fore and the best of us should be allowed to lead the rest of us.

This pact might not have made a splash, rather it ended with just a soft plop, but when the right pact comes around, hopefully it indeed makes an impact.

Wilson Joshua is a Video Editor, Content Creator and Creative Writer.
Follow him on Twitter and Instagram. @IJoswil