Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar just let go a rather revealing — if disturbing — Freudian slip; that defines his politics as rather opportunistic, if not outright toxic.
He let it out that President Muhammadu Buhari’s newly released ministerial list was timed to blot, from public consciousness, the Shiite violence, and its attendant killings.
Atiku was so sure of the presidential motive by the list. Could Atiku too, as president, have been that Machiavellian, adopting the Soyinka-esque quip of the end justifying the meanness?
An out-of-government Atiku, “pissing” poison inside from outside, just for his political benefit, even comes out more worrying.
Does Atiku get a big kick from bad news, where people perish and there is cry and anguish, just because it enhances his political chances?
That appears the sense of his press release, which suggests that he gets a kick from news of violence and disasters, of anguish and suffering, of blood and gore, so long as it de-markets whoever is in office and gives Atiku a shoo-in to steal in.
What would happen to the polity were everyone to be like that? That would mean perpetual plotting and back-stabbing for power. It would be a neo-Hobbesian state, where life — and governance — is nasty, brutish and short.
That same cynicism would appear to drive Atiku’s attitude to the Fulani demonization hysteria. He is Fulani but his own is a funereal quiet over the whole crisis. Better a loud silence that any word that could prove politically incorrect, in a desperate push for president?
Better: let the Fulani be roasted. So long as it shackles the incumbent and enhances the possible access to power, it’s all well and good.
Politics and governance are basically about people and their welfare. Any ambition that treats both as a cynical means to an end is scandalous and should not be encouraged.
That is what Atiku’s release on the ministerial release suggests. It is nothing but toxic politics. That will lead neither the former Vice President nor the people he hopes to lead anywhere.