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VIEWPOINT: INTERNALLY DISLODGED PUBLICANS (IDPs)

Most privileged citizens, considered or supposed wise and trustworthy by the citizenry, when saddled with the responsibility to set and promote standards for best practices and exemplary conducts, for national development, knowingly or unknowingly create loopholes and hypocritically cut corners. The results, invariably, are exploitative and downgrading of established democratic principles and institutions, preceding gross negation of the intendments of avowed laws and constitutions. This further leads to a breakdown of law and order, retarded or stagnated development, violent agitations in terms of insurgency, rebellion, militancy, etc. and worse still, internal displacement of citizens and clamor to secede.
As the privileged class pretentiously strives to resolve the crises they created abi initio: rebuilding villages, towns, cities, public and private establishments destroyed, resettling persons dislodged by insurgency, it also strives, unpretentiously, to cling to power, no matter how incompetent and incapable they have proved themselves to use their power judiciously. While at it, they tussle, worse than terrorists, in their bid for power, even dislodging one another and inadvertently portraying themselves as mendacious publicans.
Peter Obi was the Chief Landlord and Tax Collector in Anambra State for eight years. He rode to power with the ticket of the All Progressives Grand Alliance but threw the ticket away and defected to PDP after installing Willie Obiano with APGA ticket. He probably thought that Willie, like Man Friday, would play along as a stooge, dump the APGA ticket and follow him sheepishly to PDP. Alas, Peter misfired, as his hope for federal rehabilitation and sustenance in politics, with GEJ in PDP then as helmsman, was dashed. Having dislodged himself from APGA, he planned to dislodge Willie, but has failed miserably as Willie could not, or, is yet to be dislodged. So, as it stands, Peter is an internally dislodged Publician in Anambra polity.
Dr. Segun Mimiko used Labour Party ticket to become the Chief Landlord and Tax Collector in Ondo. Like Peter, Mimiko dumped his Labour Party for the umbrella shelter that he believed PDP could provide for him. He is probably yet to realize that the umbrella is no longer as roomy as it used to be, having failed to dislodge his deputy and others from Ondo polity, after dislodging himself.
In the tussle for power, politicians resort to all sorts of intrigues: betrayal, blackmail, backbiting, backstabbing. The intrigues are worse than terrorism against the citizenry. However, such intrigues sometimes boomerang for the plotters or publicans to get burnt, bruised or dislodged. Yet, it is seldom to the extent that they suffer like the victims of insecurity and maladministration that ordinary citizens are subjected to. But the publicans do find themselves in Internally Dislodged Publicans (IDPs) camps, even though the camps are merely political party factions or opposition parties, from which, a good number of them transit to irrelevance or oblivion, or to more atrocious relevance/limelight, or in-between oblivion and limelight. Whichever way things turn out for them, the internally dislodged publicans leave trails of sorrow and suffering for the citizens, bruised ego for many of their erstwhile supporters and treachery for themselves.
Dislodgement of publicans may occur when as political office holders they believe and decide that having overstretched and exhausted their supporters and benefactors, they must leap beyond that foundational environment to ascend to higher offices. Therefore, it becomes expedient for them to dump such presumably devastated and degraded environment and pitch tent with rivals and even enemies of former benefactors. Dislodgement may also result from the over-bearing and demanding tendencies of godfathers. These two types of dislodgement are self-dislodgements.
Another type of dislodgement emanates from ingratitude, betrayal, disloyalty and greed on the part of the beneficiaries. In this case, the godfather initiates or instigates the dislodgement, to the detriment of the dislodged ingrates.
Some politicians embark on the struggle for power with altruistic motive; as angels of benevolence, and eventually achieve their objective of becoming Chief Landlords and Tax Collectors. But losing focus or ill-advised, they appear in demonic apparels, as agents of destabilization, disaffection, disharmony and dislodgement; dislodging co-landlords/tax collectors, the tenants/tax payers, as well as many who provided the ladder or wherewithal for them to ascend to their thrones. This happens, despite the promise, nay, assurance of the supposedly benevolent leader to deliver fortune and wealth to all, irrespective of leanings and persuasions.
Democracy in the Nigerian context is still in the woods mainly because political parties are rapidly proliferated with ambiguous ideologies and manifestos, with the subsequent proliferation of political party factions. Still counting, there are not less than 49 registered political parties. And each of the two or three major ones has at least three factions in every local government area where they operate. The major cause of mushrooming, in terms of party’s structures and factions, is the increasing number of internally dislodged politicians. These dislodged politicians crisscross the parties and the factions with reckless abandon, courting strange bedfellows shamelessly and ridiculously, in a bid to have power to mislead, misinform, misguide and misgovern; for self aggrandizement and for self glorification. Atiku Abubakar is allegedly the primus inter pares in this regard.
Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) are in various camps in Nigeria, due to insurgency or some calamities and they constitute a burden to our patrimony. But most Internally Dislodged Publicans or Politicians (also IDPs), are not only burdens but they also constitute grave danger to the citizens. The danger they pose to the citizenry is worse than those of Boko Haram, Niger Delta Militants, Secession advocates, armed bandits and kidnappers. They may be armed or unarmed, yet they move stealthily, clandestinely; they can be glamorous and showy, pretending to be very benevolent, knowledgeable and clever, much more than other citizens. Long before their dislodgement, that is, in anticipation of it, they start to erect their political structures as leaders who supposedly have followers. But their strength or structure actually lies in looted treasury and comatose economy.
It should be obvious that to promote or indulge in dislodgment in politics creates distrust and leads to mis-governance, as distrust and mis-governance lead to insecurity, criminality, under development and other unpatriotic schemes like armed rebellion. Yet, not many citizens are mindful of this state of affairs. Therefore, in view of the danger they pose to the populace and the economy, it has become imperative for citizens to initiate the process of thwarting political dislodgements, the activities of those who dislodge, as well as those dislodged. Otherwise, cornering of common wealth by the Machiavellian publicans and agents of public penury would be unabated.

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