Wednesday, August 17, 2022

How dirty is Nigerian politics?, by Hadiza Yuguda

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Jaafar Jaafar
Jaafar Jaafar is a graduate of Mass Communication from Bayero University, Kano. He was a reporter at Daily Trust, an assistant editor at Premium Times and now the editor-in-chief of Daily Nigerian.
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What comes to your mind whenever you hear the word politics? Is it a game or a business? Is it a reactionary or a power-seeking venture? I believe your guess is as good as mine. Anyway, according to the Cambridge English dictionary, politics is the activities of the government, members of law-making organizations, or people who try to influence the way a country is governed.

While Wikipedia explains Politics as the process of making decisions that apply to members of a group. Let me rephrase it again, it is a process of seeking to have the power to make decisions that become binding to members of a group.

However, having said all these, the first thing that comes to my mind whenever I hear the word ‘politics’, is a dirty game, even as, in other climes, the truth of the matter in real essence politics is a good thing when played well.

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Although there are many definitions of politics, based on my research on politics, I have never come across where politics is defined or practices as unjust, unrest, greed, nepotism, selfishness, theft, loot, ritual, thuggery and highhandedness often obtained in this part of the globe.

Nigerian system of politics is as corrupt, chaotic as any the shady venture, my own perception anyways. Currently, in the country, political parties are fighting one another, national assembly making funny laws and moves: from Mace theft to loss of budget and fighting other forces in the country. Many members in the legislature forget what took them there. Most of them are there to protect their interest, forgetting to carry the people’s interest at heart. It is often said: “When two elephants fight, it is the grass that suffers.” That is not fair to the people. It is such a shame and pity that most of our so-called leaders lack the knowledge and concept of leadership. To me, Nigerian politicians are like the invisible giant elephant in the system. Like John C. Maxwell once said: “A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way.” Unfortunately, in Nigeria, the reverse is often the case. Nigerian politicians lack ideas and ideals.

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However, it’s only in Nigeria that corrupt politicians are given chieftaincy titles and awards. The masses also dance to their tunes while they enjoy their full immunity from the government. Another thing that saddens me is the fact that these politicians always get their votes from these masses each time they go to them for it, regardless of these subhuman treatments they receive from them.

Recently, I witnessed some drama on how a serving senator jumped out from a police car during his arrest. The drama was worth watching. Thugs entered the national assembly to steal the mace, which too was another drama that most people would scarcely forget. There are so many sex scandal and drama here and there among our beloved politicians, though that is a story for another day. Alexander the Great once said: “I am not afraid of an army of lions led by a sheep; I am afraid of an army of sheep led by a lion.” Borrowing from the Great, these crop of politicians are sheep leading us, the lions. This is not the way to go. They should strive to transform themselves into the lions so that the going will be smooth.

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I make bold to say that since the advent of democracy in Nigeria, most of the politicians deliberately employ these gimmicks of playing blame games on each other so that the masses are blindfolded against the true realities on the ground. It is always one problem to another, from Boko Haram, to Militants, to Kidnappers to farmer-herdsmen clashes to armed robbery. We don’t need all this for God sake! The leaders should come out in the open to tell us where they get it wrong and what they are doing to make amends.

Admittedly, however, Nigeria is still going through the process of development. While an average Nigerian is living below average life. How can our country develop when we don’t have peace? Are we the only country practising democracy? So why can’t our politicians be civiliized and behave the way they are supposed to? Our politicians should play their politics with prestige and dignity. They should not be throwing words at each other as market women. I know for a fact that, it is not all politicians that are wrong. We have those that are classy, intelligent, humble, and modest. Some politicians have great minds. Among them, there are men of integrity, charismatic, and disciplined. Ooh yes, that is what they are. They have my full support and respect too.

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A throwback to some decades ago, during the military regime, there was a low rate of crimes, everywhere was peaceful. Muslims and Christians were living harmoniously, no preferential treatment or inter-tribal conflicts, and that was the best part I am missing. I don’t know about you, but peace is the key and the most important thing in every civilized country. Politicians should be good leaders, particularly for the youth “Leadership by example”.

Ms Yuguda can be reached at
and @hadeezahy on Twitter.

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