One calls the other the Logistician while the other calls his friend, the Actualizer. They are friends and have worked together. Between them lies the most mobile, progressive and solid political base in the country at present. Between them lies the massive upgrading Lagos, Nigeria’s most influential state, has received in the past eleven years. Between them exists a rich coterie of associates, political colleagues and savants and between them lies the very hope for the resurgence of progressive politics in the country.
The Logistician is very versed in the art of politics. He was a huge success also in government. He is a great thicker and a strategic egg head when it comes to issues of politics and power. He compliments these attributes with a very deep pouch of human feeling and these have worked to generate for him so many friends across the country. He reserves a deep pouch of friends and lives for the people, a consummate man of the people who invests so much on building enduring bridges of fellowship with people. He is revered and respected and at the same time loathed and feared in the murky terrain of Nigerian politics. He is fearless and is bristling with guts with which he pokes ceaselessly and tugs at the soft underbellies of the regressing conservative politicians that want the country served them for dinner.
On the other hand, the Actualizer is a safe effacing, very efficient and brilliant worker. Plain and sincere, he feels awkward on the political terrain but proves clinically efficient in governance. He has an honest, simple and easy going approach to statecraft and this has rubbed off so well on Lagos that the state has become a lone oasis in the widening valley of despair, which the country has turned out to be. He leaves you in no doubt of his intention to do good and sometimes ruffle feathers in reaching to an end. He will choose to be a worker than a politician and has proved very inept in imbibing the weird ways of politics in Nigeria. He leaves the politics to the Logistician and this symbiotic union has tremendously worked well for Lagos in the past couple of years.
When the Logistician nominated the Actualizer for the job of governing Lagos, hell was let loose as he surprised not only the legion that looked up to him for accreditation for the job but also the beneficiary himself. The Logistician fangled out the mantra of ‘The Best Man for the Job’ to sell the Actualizer and that stuck in the gritty campaign for who will bear the burden of taking Lagos to the next level from where the Logistician took it. In pitching his tent with that dark horse, which the Actualizer was at the time of nomination, the Logistician spared nothing in promoting his candidacy. He faced a tough challenge from the riotous lot that was displaced to accommodate the virgin candidacy of the Actualizer. He offered himself as a body shield against erstwhile colleagues and friends who fired countless darts on him for picking the Actualizer over and above them.
It would have been really disastrous if the Actulaizer did not justify the trust reposed on him by the Logistician. If he never did, he would have succeeded in burying himself and his promoter. He made those that stuck their necks for him, even when it was a risky enterprise, walk tall with the stellar performance he unleashed on Lagos. He made his benefactor, the Logistician walk with a gait and it wasn’t long before the nay sayers became converts to the wonderful achievements of the Actualizer. So from the lone endorsement of the Actualizer by the Logistician, millions of Lagosians began to rightly claim their governor as their own and the best thing to happen to this dysfunctional democracy. Before long, Nigerians, scorched and parched from lengthy period of arid leadership, warmed up to the poster boy of achievement and the Actualizer became an unputdownable brand everyone wants to identify with. In this state, it was even difficult to acknowledge the brilliant performance of the Logistician, who cleared the way, tilled the soil, prepared the ground, laid the foundation and started building the new Lagos as we know it today.
Among the admirers of the Actualizer were those that wanted to sow dread and mischief so as to arrest the symbiotic union from which Lagos is benefitting. They helmed into the unwieldy club of fans and admirers and they know that the greatest way to promote their cause was to cut through the iron-clad relationship between him and the Logistician. On the Logistician’s side, gathered those that have the primary intent to cause discord between him and the Actualizer. They heckled him and told him that the Actualizer cannot exist without him and he must therefore tighten his grips on the Actulaizer. In this fuzzy state, enough room was created for friction between the two. It was a matter of time before the bubble bursts and the two allegedly became suspicious of each other. Some other extraneous factors came in though but those are firearms for those that deign the complete ruination of the good rapport between the Logistician and the Actualizer as the needed elixir for the rejuvenation of their sagging political fortunes.
So what is happening between the Logistician and the Actualizer now is preventable and I firmly believe it would be arrested before it works to the full satiation of the interlopers that want to cash in from it. I have been very emphatic that the quarrel is normal but would soon boil over and that Lagos and the entire crust of the embattled Nigerian progressives would be the better for it. I believe that any fight between the Actualizer and the Logistician will only work towards strengthening the conservative clique that has messed up all of us. I had also expressed the firm belief that such battle would be arrested before it does great damage because the casualty is neither the Logistician nor the Actualizer or even the people that have spared on their respective sides but the Nigerian polity that faces an excruciating challenge from the stranglehold of the reactionary forces that have digging deep to take.
The fact remains that a fight between the Logistician and the Actualizer would not be an ordinary fight. This is because the enemies are not well marked out, the battle line is blurred and the casualties would be the common acquaintances of both of them and indeed all Nigerians who look up to them for strength in these awful times. Their friends are the same, so also are their colleagues, acquaintances and admirers. They fight the same noble cause and share the same belief. They have the same enemies and these include those that have warmed their ways into their respective hearts for the purpose of causing division among them. These are interlopers and dancers of fortune and both the Logistician and the Actualizer should pick them and ostracize them. They have only one intention and such intention will never elevate both of them, their friends and admirers but would inflate the fortunes of their enemies. I know that both of them are very intelligent and suave politicians and certainly will realize this fact. I know they will not take this spat on their friendship too far and they will know when to rein in their turks and sound the bugle for the end of a needless war.
So far, they have done brilliantly in managing the problem between them but they need to do more and prevent such frictions in the future. They have to iron out their differences and ensure that from the frosty present, they navigate to a smoother future not only for them but for Lagosians and indeed all Nigerians. Both are very relevant to Lagos, to Nigeria and to the cause they believe in. Again and again, I insist the Logistician and the Actualizer will not tear themselves in the market place to please the raunchy permutations of their envious political opponents. I am sorry for those who saw the bright spots for their weary political fortunes in the division between the Logistician and the Actualizer. They will be utterly disappointed because the two will certainly know that what binds them together is far stronger than what divides them. I hope that in a matter of days, this storm will sweep by, the waters will still and everything will come back to normal, if it hasn’t yet.
Peter Claver Oparah.