Broken Covenant In Season Of The Masquerades | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Broken Covenant In Season Of The Masquerades

Posted: Sep 6, 2015 at 12:00 am   /   by   /   comments (0)


It shouldn’t be strange that it took even the intelligentsias and so-called socially enlightened so long a period to realise the facileness in the much-touted but now aborted ‘Covenant’ in the Change Agenda of the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC). It is not unexpected that a people so desperate for change would end up victims of some scams; even if the consequences of such repudiation appear benign or readily excusable and chewable. What should however be of concern is that stranger things may be in the offing as times and events may unfold in the months ahead. While it was well within the trivialities of political propaganda for campaign promises to pass without some measures of scrutiny that bothers on hard facts and undiluted figures, there was however something extra-ordinary with regards to the sophistry that sustained public interest in the questionable Covenant long before the masquerade was finally laid bare of its over-hyped subterfuge. 

Interestingly, the APC is not alone in the business of breaking faith with the electorate when it comes to politicians saying something and doing exactly the opposite. But what is amazing about the broken covenant as it is now known is that politics in our clime still remains largely a game for the dogs regardless of the hue and cry about change mantra and the anti-corruption crusade. While the worry is really not that the competitiveness of politics has long been reduced to a ‘dog eat dog’ venture, the concern is that the business of supposedly serving the people is literarily going to the dogs as integrity of even the most refined of the actors would now appear at stake.

To be sure, politricks as against politics is when politicians repudiate, with so much impudence, a covenant that helped them secure the mandate of the people. It is amazing that policy direction of government on the basis for which to be held to accountable at the expiration of a mandate still remains a subject of propaganda as though the country is perpetually on the threshold of electioneering process. Rather than telling the electorate why the government could no longer provide N5, 000 monthly stipends for the unemployed and offer school children a meal-a-day as promised in the covenant of change, politicians have suddenly turned masquerades consumed in bouts of entertainment. Now that the futility of over-exaggerated politics of power gambit has dawned on some of the most ardent of the drum-masters of the change mantra, what thus appear a strange coincident is that masquerades are out in their seasons; entertaining in all manners that evoke comedies rather than depicting the absurdities.

First it was news about a handful of masquerades engaging in the business of armed robbery along one of the express ways in the eastern part of the country. If such heinous masquerading was not enough effrontery in the season of change, a group of masquerades were reported to have wantonly unleashed terror on Christian worshipers in the Akoko area of Ondo State. Not done with strange happenings in the unusual season, pictures of masquerades purportedly caught elsewhere violating movement restriction on a day set aside for environmental sanitation should be the icing on the cake; at least for now in the season filled with entertainments. And so much for our politicians; especially the elected political masquerades doing the unusual and keeping the electorate surprisingly busy and entertained!

Not unlike masquerades, our politicians appear up to stranger things in this season. No one is really sure the extent of the rude shock that await credulous citizens in the journey ahead where grandstanding and praise-singing seem unending. Whatever the case, the lesson is that our politicians are more like masquerades who probably understand the audience far more than their true identities could ever be predicted. Some hardliners or enthusiasts only begin to doubt the sincerity or integrity of politicians when the unusual begins to happen as some masquerades are wont to exhibit when consumed in the acts entertaining or when they simply overstayed their welcome. But trust that the same audience, as electorate are wont to behave, are sure to be available for another round of entertainment when politicians like masquerades come out with their game next season.

Unfortunately, holding politicians accountable on electoral agenda comes with huge challenge and demands eternal vigilance from the electorate owing largely to the fact that politics is about the most lucrative business. Detached political engagement with genuine focus on results beyond aesthetics and glamour of media visibility is hardly feasible when politics and political engagement offer actors flexibility of entrance and exit with huge prospects for sinecure. With lines between the vociferous stakeholders in the civil society and actors in the political space getting thinner and if not blurring, democratic engagement may become more challenging in the foreseeable future. Maybe it just about time that new champions and voices of the real change begin to emerge with the view to investing democratic engagement with renewed vigour and fresh air of uncompromising integrity. Until then, political masquerades would continue to entertain with broken covenant.