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OP-UNEDITED | Tyranny Is Fighting Back – By Favour Afolabi

Former military ruler and presidential aspirant of the opposition All Progressives Congress (APC) Muhammadu Buhari speaks during the presidential primary of the party in Lagos on December 11, 2014. Members of Nigeria's main opposition party voted through the night to choose a candidate to challenge President Goodluck Jonathan at next year's elections, with a result expected later on December 11. AFP PHOTO / PIUS UTOMI EKPEI (Photo credit should read PIUS UTOMI EKPEI/AFP/Getty Images)

By Favour Afolabi

As Tyranny as Corruption: indeed, the phrase “Corruption Fights Back” is true but it should also be noted that “Tyranny also fights back” and, sure ‘an excuse of fighting Corruption’ can be used by intending Tyrants to eliminate all those they consider, past, present, and future enemies – all under the cloak of fighting corruption – political history, in Africa and other parts of the world is littered with such examples of supposed patriotic leaders who come into Office claiming “to want to eradicate Corruption and Waste” – who then begin to focus on certain people, jail them, leading to them receiving praise from a section of the polity even sometimes from outside the country only to go on to become despots that end up turning their respective nations into Pariah states!

This was the same route traveled by the likes of Ghaddafi, Mobutu Sese Seko, Gnassingbe Eyadema, Mugabe, Hitler, etc – these people always came in “as the saviour of the nation” – people idolized and hero-worshipped them – as they used the excuse of cleansing the nation to eliminate certain people within the nation while those that adored them kept saying “that’s exactly what the nation needs; let him continue; we support him once he will deliver us from these problems.” Well, what all of these individuals did was to ride on the emotional energy they got from their people to become impregnable behemoths that could no longer be questioned or removed from Office – they converted all the state institutions to become an extension of themselves and put in figureheads to run them – and they made sure that they systematically killed the Opposition or anyone that would challenge their powers” – sometimes literally and in other cases figuratively – even those that at some time in the past helped them secure Office were not spared – they moved against those in their own parties that seemed to oppose them when they noticed such people were either becoming too independent-minded or were planning to run against them in the future.

You see aside from Christianity, and Global Economics, Enterprise and Politics, History is next biggest thing that I love – and how sad it is that men never seem to learn from History but always seem to end up having history repeat itself at their own expense – to the point that they work so assiduously to reproduce that history still claiming to others that “this case is not the same as the other one” – that’s the case today with those accusing those trying to call President to order being labeled as Beneficiaries of Corruption claiming that “Corruption is fighting back” – and it has now gotten so bad that it seems all the 12 million plus people that voted against Buhari in the 2015 elections are all “beneficiaries of Corruption?”

I came across the #TyrantBuhari hashtag on Twitter a few days – this was coming a couple of days after the #BudgetOfYams tag had also trended and then I discovered a Lawyer lady had equally led an online petition calling on the President to resign – three simultaneous blows to a 7-month old Presidency – ranging in degrees of claims being made by concerned parties to which the supporters of this President returned fire-by-fire with #FireOnBuhari and #GoHarderBuhari – and what struck with these responses was that apparently over the course of the last 2 years, the then Opposition Coalition led by the current President went to town to do all it could do – legal and immoral – to secure Office; and even though they achieved Aso Rock eventually, they had also created a monster within this polity – kudos to them, they created an inhibited space for Nigerians – at home and abroad to have a go at the President, the Presidency and all the powers that was associated to these – worse off – they taught the people to become totally impatient and unreasonable with government and its policies.

As they did this, they couldn’t imagine the same people would quickly turn against them as they are doing now – so how could they have been so naïve? How difficult can that be considering the same coalition made unbelievable promises to this polity – they raised the tempo of the space to the point that it seemed they were going to move the nation from third world to developed within the first six months of being in office and now that some of those people are reacting to these failed promises, some of those people are being muddled up with those who legitimately feel they were robbed of the last elections by the propaganda sold by that coalition as “Supporters of Corruption that are fighting back a clean President that is fighting Corruption.”

Well, I am not surprised about this blank categorization – the support for this leader who is going to make all things right in Nigeria has happened with other leaders in the past in Africa – in the days when there were no hashtags, there were placards and there were rallies and there were demonstration walks in solidarity with such leaders and government officials went everywhere selling this same logic of “our government is being fought back because we are trying to make the nation better and only those that do not want the nation to make progress are trying to hinder our work” – at the end of the day, it almost always ends up in the production of a Tyrant and a Tyranny – and the script is always the same – Tyranny will fight back!

In 2016, Tyranny it will pay for and sponsor bloggers to push hashtags to prove that it is doing the right thing – it will get civil society groups to endorse its work – it will use its powers to silence those that want to work against it – that want to expose it – and it will continue to move fast to sow fear in those that might want to think of challenging it in the future – it will suspect anyone – even with the best intentions that might offer it advice away from the path it is towing and will continually look away from the sins and offenses of those that applaud it while those ones would continually say “show any evidence against us and we’ll submit ourselves for probes” – knowing that if you do, Tyranny will move against you as well – so indeed, Tyranny fights back as much as Corruption fights back – and in fact, Corruption would always eventually find its way to become the twin brother of Tyranny – because as Tyranny begins to systematically protect Corruption when it is committed by those that are close to Tyranny leaving everyone else to focus on those committing corruption that are not close to Tyranny – Tyranny always ends up being than Corruption because it later goes on to legitimize Corruption while equally allowing itself to be fueled by the proceeds of Corruption as perpetuated by itself and those close to it.

Today, in Nigeria – tyranny is already fighting back – it is diverting the attention of the polity from it by suggesting that “Corruption is fighting back” while it is using that opportunity to unleash massive damage on the nation’s democracy, the rule of law, its institutions, political groups, civil society, the opposition, and the people – Tyranny is creating so much fear within the polity that even otherwise dissenting voices within its own ranks would now have to think twice before they can call it to order – effectively leading to the possible creation of a one party state in which Tyranny is both the ruling and opposition party – and there is no one left to challenge it – this polity can continue to deceive itself that “corruption is fighting back” leaving out the very obvious reality that Tyranny is the bigger emerging monster here – or it can come quickly to realize this and come up to respond to Tyranny that it voted for Democracy and not for Tyranny – history would come back to judge these events in the very near future.

Favour Afolabi is a political commentator. He runs in his spare time; and owns a real estate brokerage services company. He tweets via @favourafolabi.



Inspired by Steve Biko’s ‘I Write What I Like‘, OP-UNEDITED is the citizen opinion segment of SIGNAL. All opinions posted on the OP-UNEDITED page are unedited and the raw opinions of the writers.

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