An average Nigerian would probably tell you that the killer herdsmen are the toughest menace they know that is threatening the country’s democracy. In 2018 alone, there has been more stories of herdsmen wrecking havoc in wanton fashion accross the country.
Here, however, Adéẹk̀ọ́ Olùṣẹǵun thinks otherwise. He highlights the most pressing challenges in Nigeria. He calls them the Ruling Comrades of Nigeria. They are KILLER HERDSMEN, DEFECTION, CASH FOR VOTES. For one, his choice of the word “comrade” is quite significant for meaning. It shows that these challenges work hand in hand.
Perhaps the most symbolic feature of this piece lies in Adéẹk̀ọ́’s hierarchical arrangement of the comrades. He places them on a medal podium. Killer Herdsmen to the left, Defection at the center, and Cash for Votes to the right. Of the three, DEFECTION is the winner, followed by Killer Herdsmen with a raised platform and Cash for Votes as the last. Adéẹk̀ọ́ seems to be suggesting that the challenges of killer herdsmen and cash for votes are not as brutal and threatening as political defections.
It’s also instructive to point out the fact that only both election- or politics-related Defection and Cash for Votes involve money. This is not strange, money is a huge factor in Nigerian politics. Many politicians run for office because of the juicy remunerations that come with being a public office-holder. And people come out to cast their vote because of the hope of being paid by politicians.
It is also important to point out that both Killer Herdsmen and Cash for Votes look up to Defection. Overall, while these comrades are related, Adéẹk̀ọ́ believes defections among politicians is threatening the democracy of the country. It is in a class of its own.