The #VPDebate: An Illusion Called Paradigm Shift By Adebayo Raphael (@Asorosobioro)

Adebayo Raphael Speaking at a public function.

“So, this is how they plan to end the whole thing without talking about the other issues?”

“End the whole thing? How do you mean?”

“Yes na. Did someone borrow your ears?”

“Come on! Don’t be rude like that.”

“Oya, Sorry. But really, the moderator just said the five of them have one minute each to give a closing statement.”

“ Wow! They must be really tired of talking.”

“Yes. It seems they are all tired except for Obi who appears to be calm and unfatigued.”

“You mean the man from China?”

“China? But all of them are Nigerians na…”

“Really? You mean you have not been hearing the unending “in China, in China” quips?”

“Oh! That’s silly of you. Methinks, the man has quite a handful of information on China. Perhaps he has businesses there. You know he is a Businessman.”

“I see. But why are they ending the debate when they have only spoken mostly on the economy and a little on foreign policy?”

“I am amazed, too. Perhaps, they want to save the other topics for the presidential debates…”

“Oh! That’s probably true.”

“Yes. You know they have to let the other man in “za oza room” come and give a personal account of his performances on security and most especially his favourite anti-corruption campaign, as a hero of anti-corruption.”

“Hahaha! I see what you did there. But hero for where? Abeg just leave dat matter for Mathias.”

“What did I do? Please leave me. You know the man has been fighting corruption rigorously since 2015. And, in addition to that, I personally want to hear what he has to say about the Boko Haram menace, the senseless herdsmen attacks, and the incessant kidnappings – on the spot and without reading from a book, at least.”

“Ah! Na serious disaster be that o. “On the spot and without reading from a book?” I think you are expecting too much from a deadwood o. Just leave the guy, abeg.”

“Deadwood? really? I don’t think it’s that bad though. I mean, look at the ones we have been watching all night; except for Obi and Osinbajo, the rest are just stressing our eyes and ears.”

“Well, you are right on that one. Abi, how do you even explain their inclusion in the first place? They are a complete disaster.”

“I wonder what their respective number one candidates were thinking when choosing each of them.”

“See ehn, it is just good to be quiet sometimes…”

“Quiet? Since when did you start being quiet about issues?”

“Ah! Me I Just don’t want to offend anybody o…”

“Don’t worry, my friend. It is just the both of us talking for now. And, you know you can always trust me.”

“Well, you can see everything yourself, too. Abi, can’t you see how the young lady from YPP keeps struggling with the ideas she crammed from Moghalu’s book?”

“Oh! That…”

“Yes, that! And look at that one with seven children, too – completely vacuous with all her body tensed up!”

“Hmm… it’s unfortunate, my friend. I mean, even I was expecting something better. These were supposed to be the faces of the paradigm shift, you know?”

“Taah! the paradigm shift my foot. These ones are not shifting anything. At least, not in 2019.”

“I agree with you. And, I must say that I am very disappointed, too. It seems Moghalu and Durotoye are terrible with insights and making qualitative decisions…”

“Is it only the two of them? What about madam “due process?”

“Wait, who is that?”

“The BBOG woman na! Abi, didn’t you see how her VP too was just stammering and spilling gibberish all through?”

“Hmm… My friend, I think you were right that some things are better left unsaid…”

“Ehn ehn, it is now you know that one abi?”

“Well, the shell is half-cracked already. So, let’s just get it over with.”

“What’s that?”

“Well, I think the best way we can help our fellow “paradigm shift” seekers is to flay them when necessary. And, I think today is one of those days.”

“Abi? What are we even scared of?”

“Well, it is not fear, really. I think it is courtesy.”

“Courtesy, ehn? May it not be well with courtesy! The same courtesy they had for us when picking these deadbeats as their running mates?”

“Please, take it easy, my friend…”

“There is nothing to take easy here. You remember that that was how they dashed our hopes with that PACT nonsense they did? See, these guys are not different from the old people we are trying to chase away.”

“Maybe they are just inexperienced.”

“See, my friend, lack of experience is one thing, gross incompetence is another. What Moghalu, Durotoye and Ezekwesili have shown us so far is that they lack both. And as if that’s not enough, they are doing as if they can change the world alone, especially that madam due process.”

“But why her?”

“Oh! You mean you cannot see the game that she and the two others are playing here?”

“A game? Is there something you are not telling me?”

“See, my friend, those people deliberately went to look for dunces to be their running mates so that at the end of the day, when it is their turn to debate, people can say they are smart as a whip. Abi, you want to tell me that these ones are the best youths our country has to offer for the “New Nigeria” revolution?”

“Hmm… my friend, I think you are going too far though.”

“Is it your far? Let me speak my mind o. I know I am speaking the truth. Or am I not?”

“You know, it could have actually been an oversight on their part. Let us give them the benefit of the doubt.”

“Did you just say oversight? You see, that is why we should even start looking beyond these guys. This is the second time they are doing this to us. And we have about six weeks or so before the general election in 2019!”

“Second time?”

“Yes na! Or have you forgotten the PACT thing that they did?”

“Oh! that.”

“Yes, that!”

“Well, I can actually feel your frustration. Normally, I would be angry too. But I am just wondering what anger would resolve now.”

“Well, at least they should know that they fumbled!”

“Hmm… to be candid, my friend, you speak of nothing but the truth. I, too, have always thought that the introduction of young and intelligent people to our political gridiron, would largely sanitise the entire space and allow for highly intellectual discussions that will be driven solely by these new entrants. But as it stands now, I doubt they are even an option for consideration.”

“Abi? See how the whole affair has now become a PDP vs APC thing. The two parties practically stole the entire show – the same thing we have been trying to avoid all this while.”

“I know. I know. I think the young guys need to go back to their drawing board and do some sober reflection on all that has happened so far. This cannot be the standard for the New Nigeria we have been shouting of.”

“Toh! Looks like we missed their closing statements o…”

“Well, there really isn’t anything to hear again, my friend. I mean, this was a two-party affair as far as I am concerned.”

“Hahaha… and to think that the errand boy who is often sent to the market to share money was seriously dragged through the mud tonight by Obi!”

“Who is that one again?”

“The guy with the white hair na!”

“Oh, my friend! I think you really need to learn diplomacy before your mouth will put you in trouble.”

“Hahaha… I hear you. What about that your guy that is running for presidency na?”

“Ohh… you mean Sowore?”

“Yes! him…”

“Oh! His party was excluded from the debates by the NEDG.”

“Really? What offence did they commit?”

“I do not know, but whatever their reason, they just vindicated him. Because his running mate did not participate in the eyesore that happened tonight. And since his party was not included, he is probably the only young person left that we can count on.”

“Oh! That’s true o. But they should challenge the exclusion na. They should protest or something…”

“Well, I am aware that they’ve been organising protests since the announcement of their exclusion. But I think they are planning legal actions, too.”

“That’s good. But if they are still not included at the end of the day, they should just organise their own debate, abeg!”

“You are right, my friend. After all, they have a massive following both within and without the country.”

Adebayo Raphael is the National Secretary of the OurMumuDonDo Movement. He writes from Abuja and can be reach on Twitter via @Asorosobioro.

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