It has been said that everything has a code. Casinos have systems, and those who can play smart enough to beat the system, win. Games have patterns, and those who are smart enough to recognize the patterns and make them work to their advantage,
often have the clear advantage over those who cant. Board games have rules and patterns by which they operate, and mastery lies in the knowledge of all possible combinations of the moves. Chess, Draughts, Checkers, and closer home, our own ayo (yoruba) and nchokotoro (igbo) all have strategies. Grand masters spend years studying the moves and combinations of other masters, trying to uncover a flaw in their strategy wherein they may be beaten. That is why unschooled old men who seemingly do nothing but drink palm wine (or its available equivalent) and play draughts can attain a mastery that baffles the casual observer. Even the so-called games of probability and chance, Ludo, Snakes& Ladders, and Monopoly, have patterns and systems. Half of the winning of any of these games is simply knowing the game and how it operates. Card games are the worst of the lot, depending on which side of the money you are on, ie winning it or losing it. A simple matter of observation and elimination of each card as it is played can put one in good stead of winning most card games, except where it is poker, in which case facial expressions and the ability to keep a straight, or “poker” face, becomes an asset.
Naija politics sef can be like a game of sorts.
Imagine with me: in 1999, military rule gave way to civilian rule, and a democratically elected president was sworn in. Remember OBJ? As in, chief Matthew Olusegun Okikiola Aremu Obasanjo, the Ebora of Owu? Okay. Remember when he was touted as the next Mandela, whose prison-to-palace story was supposed to be inspiration for every other person who had a dream? And how he led, or shall we say ruled the nation, for like four years, going on to eight, before suddenly realizing that eight years were not going to be enough, and thus began the third term agenda.
Roll the dice, move ten steps.
And the house members decided to oppose him, feeling that a third term would not be in their interest…
General Market (read: share money for them)
And when they still could not make it work…
Okay. Some have said chook hand in the market (read: pillage the treasury)
…and play the cards…
General market, last card, checkup.
Erm, not quite. Change it to a game of ludo to understand it better. He checked out, but not before rolling the dice and coming up with a way to bring out two characters from their “house”
Cue in “Umoru” and the so called “clueless one”
This same architect who didn’t study architecture, the Ebora of Owu, after helping to install them, rather than back them up at crunch time, turns out to something else entirely.
Around that time, newspaper headlines were crowing: OBJ says ABJ, which is short for Ebora Owu says “Anything But Jonathan”, all in a bid to ensure the election of a certain fellow geriatric, an election veteran, a fellow military man, King Baba Bubu the first.
Games, regardless of how they might be played by rules, are primarily things of chance.
Which is why the safety and security of a nation of over 170 million (or 160 million, depending on how many you believe that Boko Haram have killed off, and how many have run off to exile in other countries) cannot be left to chance.
From IDP bombings to Boko Haram killings to the looting and pillaging (and land grabbing) by Fulani men from Hades, from the irrational acts of the guy with “Roof” in his name to the spate of arrests and imprisonment of those who dare to challenge the government, it is beginning to seem like the country is being run like a bunch of pieces on a game board. Too much is left to chance, and the gesturing and posturing that is claimed to be body language is slowly being revealed for what it is, a sham.
Nigeria, we hail thee. I only hope that when 2019 comes we will vote with our hearts and brains, instead of our pockets temporarily made fat by bundles of naira notes and the weight of bags of rice and gallons of oil that are now a staple in Nigeria during elections.
Politics should not be left to rolls of the dice. Lives are at stake.
What do you think?