By Laz Apir

If it looks like a duck, swims like a duck and quacks like a duck, then it probably is a duck.

When the 2019 election comes, go to the poll to elect worthy candidates, avoid the ducks. The ducks got a chance in 1999 but failed, rather than admit, show remorse and make recompense, they got excited and started the game of throwing bones to the people, while feasting on the real sausage. That is how they left no stone unturned in 2003 for their reelection nay, re-selection bid. Still, we the people allowed it and even celebrated it. Sensing our conniving inaction and docility, their grip on our common wealth tightened. When the 2007 general election played full cycle, the ducks were not tired, they in fact, got warmed up and what did they do? They brought one who appeared on the outside; everything like an alternative but much a willing duck on the inside; by the name Professor Maurice Iwu.

They handed him the leadership selection empire called INEC, but fueled his avarice beyond satisfaction. In simpler terms, the ducks gave him no chance to succeed. That was how Iwu became a duck and led one of the worst elections ever conducted in this entity called Nigeria. The entire time, the ducks grouped together in PDP.

After 2007, the other ducks in AD and ANPP got really desperate and started the regrouping game. They disappeared and materialized in APP, CPC and ACN and their ultimate plan was not to work for the people but to prove that all ducks are equal and none should be left out of the water. Unfortunately, there was a small dint of twist to the tale and the ducks in PDP once again captured the swamp and left the other ducks hanging dry. Innocent Corp members and other hard working Nigerians were killed in the aftermath of that election. All for what? So that the other ducks would realize that ducks do not leave their own in the desert. For a moment, the Presidency of Late Umaru Yar’Adua gave the people hope that not all were ducks in this swamp of a nation. Unknown to us, the grand ducks had a script that would shock us all. Yar’Adua was a sleek chess move that lets the opponent lower their guard so they don’t see what’s coming.

Checkmate! And President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan emerged, but before that, the ducks added to the political lexicon of the swamp…Doctrine of necessity. And this came about only when the ducks were getting anxious and unsure of where things were headed with an ailing president they could not access. Following the timely or untimely death (depending on your view point) of President Yar’Adua, a GEJ was both president and candidate for the 2011 elections. What the people did not know before going to the polls in 2011 was that the ducks assembled and made a deal about who was next in line. Did the ducks consider what the people would want? No! Did the ducks consult with the people? No! Did the ducks even discuss this deal publicly? No! Then came 2015 general elections.

Backtrack to 2014 and pay very close attention to how the ducks started flying all around the swamp. Boom! We had some many flying ducks perch in APC, some flew back to PDP and joined the sitting ducks who got used to leaving other ducks out of the water. As expected, the people got excited and lost in the euphoria of watching ducks fly about. The people once again suffered collective and spontaneous amnesia in 2015 and elected a whole pack of starved, threatened and near extinct ducks. What was the catch phrase again? Change… damn right, it was a change of one set of ducks for another.

Fast-forward to 2018 and pay very close attention to the flying ducks. Who alive was involved in 1999, 2003, 2007, 2011 and 2015 that is not part of the 2019 gimmick? Is any of the flying or sitting ducks new to the game? What really is new in the narrative of the ducks? This, I ask candidly. The entrenched corruption is as green as is real. State of infrastructure is as decayed as ever. The health and education systems are as broken as before. The talk about diversification of the economy is as loud as can be, but the conduit pipe is still deeply plugged into the crude oil well. So I ask again my fellow people; what has really changed since 1999 in tone or coloration of PDP or APC and their duck composition?

As you ponder the above thoughts, spare a moment to also ponder the age long maxim “If it looks like a duck, swims like a duck and quacks like a duck, then it probably is a duck”. 2019 is upon us and so are the same old same old shenanigans. Defections, alignments and realignments, hollow promises upon bogus vocalizations. Someone treks less a kilometer and that becomes fitness enough for presidency. Someone has built an empire on what is best corruptly acquired wealth and employs a few young folks and that too is qualification for presidency. As usual, the core attributes of character, capacity and competence matched with the discipline to always take the moral high grounds are not being used to interrogate the next leaders 2019 should produce for Nigeria. Instead, unsolicited rapt attention is being paid to the ducks as they play their game of APC or PDP.

For what’s worth, here is what I think. 2019 should be about a major snap out of the hypnotism of the ducks. Five times they have tried and five time they have failed in quantum measures. This can only mean that their thinking as well as capacity is only creating problems for us as a people and a nation. And it was Albert Einstein who said “we cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them”. The feeble hearted would have you believing that it cannot be done. The willing to be enlisted as ducks will have you thinking that you are limited in choice to APC or PDP. The gullible will threaten you to bend in honour of the ducks. Water is no longer wet as such truth is not truth anymore.

In this very moment that we mourn one of Africa’s greatest…Kofi Anan, let his words inspire you to start believing that it can and will be done when he said “every new idea and initiative meets with resistance. We have to find the courage to take risks, even to fail, if the goal is worthwhile”. Dare to make 2019 about alternative leadership to the decadent political class whether APC or PDP. Make it about the new breed of leaders who are not lacking in character, capacity or competence. 2019 is not and cannot be about zoning. Zoning is not even real, if it were, Saraki of Kwara, Ibrahim of Yobe, Abdullahi of Narasarwa, Akume of Benue, Ekweremadu of Enugu or any former governor for that matter will not be contesting any elections. Other segments of their states should have been zoned to take the elective positions of leadership. A word is enough for the wise.

God rests the soul of Kofi Anan and may his legacy of sterling leadership of the world at a time continue to inspire generations unborn.

@lazapir an election enthusiast, writes from Abuja.


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