By Tazoacha Asonganyi,Yaounde.
Political discourse is like advertising. Both are meant to have an effect on people. For both, the first effort is to get the attention of the audience; the next crucial one is to get the idea across.
The political discourse in town is the divisive issue of the next presidential election. Somehow, the CPDM has used motions and calls about the next presidential election to force the more unifying war effort against Boko Haram to the backwoods!
Their first step was to surprise us at a most unexpected time by presenting the next presidential election supposed to be held in October 2018 as an urgent matter. Bizarrely, they were clamouring to “beg” their natural candidate to accept to be a candidate! When they were sure that we were all attentive, they put the joker on the table – they called for the the election to be anticipated!
They themselves say that it is their “democratic” right to behave this way. Fair enough for the “democratic” environment that their policy of one strongman with extremely weak institutions has foisted on all of us. It has permitted that their desire can become the rational and the irrational can become their desire.
Whatever the case, election is the single most important issue that unites the people with its leadership. Curiously, the CPDM takes it seriously only in the effort its leadership makes to detach the people from the outcome of the electoral process.
The dialectics of the responses of some opposition actors to the “calls” is likely to contribute to this uncoupling effort of the CPDM. Some are engaged in Orwellian doublespeak - saying that there will be war if the election is anticipated,but preparing for the election all the same, as if the “war” will be prosecuted by some outsiders. Others are calling for the revision of the electoral process as if it is a stand-alone problem, not part of the problem of the whole failed system.
And yet others are calling on the actual initiator of the “calls” not to accept the calls. In this, they forget the saying that in politics it is irrational to follow the wishes of your enemies. In politics, you cannot easily make an opponent to change an idea; the more you encourage them to do so, the more you stiffen their resolve to do it!
In the cacophony, the bottom line is the unpredictability of politics – the effect of unknowns. But it is no excuse for those who want to ride two horses at once! Since pity is said to be a kind of affection, we can actually pity some of us! There is no need for duplicity and hypocrisy, or for touting a public persona that is very different from the private self. There is a point beyond which people with deeply felt convictions in politics cannot be dragooned, so there is no need to give the impression that strong willed persons are being dragged in by the weak. Whatever you accept to do in politics, it is all your choice!
Everybody is saying that soon the bandwagon will lay its case at the feet of parliament. Every schoolboy knows that that is where the cacophony will end up. Who does not know that parliament has become not an effective but a dignified element of the political chessboard? Who does not see government ministers giving long and empty replies to questions in parliament, that avoid the questions; giving brief and inadequate responses in the confidence that there can be no follow-up questions? And parliament enjoys it, like we all do!
So, sure enough, the bandwagon is heading to parliament. Like in 2008, this other one will have its way, and all the bluffs floating around will be called by the fact.
Some CPDM people are begging their hero even more frantically not to say “No”. They say such an answer would cause the “house” to collapse on itself because of the feuding factions in the house. In other words, they are engaged in the folly of solving a problem by shifting it forward so that the factions can sharpen their weapons and strategies and prepare for a bigger fight ahead. Or maybe some serious God-sent kaleidoscope may just shake the glass pieces into another pattern that will avoid conflict and disorder?
Time has a way of solving apparently complex problems. Invariably, people with a sense of indispensability always end up humiliated when such indispensability is entirely dissipated by the timelessness of the life of the nation, and the emergence of new leadership that leads differently and much, much better.
My advice is that those inhabited by fear should shed the politics of make-believe, and embrace the only effective political vaccine against fear – the people.