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Of democracy, good conscience and next level

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President Muhammadu Buhari addressing APC Chieftains after INEC declared him President-elect.

Politics is full of surprises and one of such is how politicians emerge as winners despite low performance.

Election myth as some political analyst refers to it becomes a reality in the eyes of victors even as it remains a source of pride for party faithfuls. But for the opposition parties or losers as the case may be, victory came though the back door with irregularities such as rigging, violence and intimidation among others.

Over the past decades, the heart of Nigerian politicians lies the politics of resentment, which have divided politicians within the same party more than the opposition parties.

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Without mincing words, political betrayals have arguably done more harm than good to Nigeria’s image and politics.

Today’s political styles are not entirely new except that the stakes are higher as technology has become part of the game. Despite that, rigging remains the norm, culture and modus operandi of politicians in Nigeria.

So, it is not surprising that the opposition parties disapprove of the February 23, 2019 presidential election result due to alleged rigging and other irregularities.

Some analysts believe that bunch of the blame should be deposited at the door steps of political class members and the Independent electoral commission’s (INEC) as they accuse it of compromising the electorate’s choice.

I dare say that the Nigerian politicians have not matured going by their actions and utterances. Our politician’s actions and deeds reveal a deficit of political nous.

Hence, politics in this part of the world is usually associated with violence instead of the contest and of ideas. Therefore, those who blame INEC for election malpractice may be wrong as the real problem is with the politicians.

Political leaders ought to build bridges between parties and take giant strides to improve the ethnic and religious bias that have become our political culture. They must understand that the social, political and historical connections among tribes in Nigeria must and should transform the true engagement with one another.

Engagement not steeped in mistrust, doubt or fear but in shared knowledge, recognition and contentment.

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This will help to cement peace and unity in the society as well as it will go a long way to refrain the ruling party chieftains from using the name of the party to justify wrong doings.

Behind these teething problems looms a bigger worry. Nigeria’s politics is built on dominance and rooted on the strength of winner takes all. There is no room to form coalition or to invite the opposition into government.

Hence, with the recent polls victory, the APC leaders seem drunk with glee as they seek to stick a finger in the eye of the opposition.

With comments such as “Atiku will never be president of Nigeria” attributed to Adams Oshiomhole, APC’s chairman who could not deliver his state in the last election.

The APC should not take solace from the election victory and believe that Nigerians are comfortable with their misgivings.

Also, at the level of principle the ruling party must have a strong account of responsibility and social justice.

With the caveat in mind that no individual or party is spotless, politics is fuzzy and politicians all over the world have an inglorious record of corruption.

The Israeli Prime minister Netanyahu is currently been shaken by charges of alleged corruption weeks to election.

Hilary Clinton lost the 2016 presidential election due to the email scandal. If the corruption wind should blow in Nigeria’s political climate none among those grandstanding will come out clean.

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Having emerged as re-elected, President Muhammadu Buhari need not wait for swearing in formalities on May 29 before he could tell Nigerians what to expect from his second term.

This is because his next level campaign slogan was merely to captivate the electorate’s imagination and raise their optimism just like the “change” slogan did in 2015.

In truth, four years after, Nigerians are yet to see any positive change in their lives due to failure of government to deliver basic human needs.

Therefore, the Buhari’s administration should make good use of his second mandate as well as the nation’s wealth for people to experience a good life rather than mere imagination.

‘Trader moni’ among other pockets of sentiments seems to redistribute wealth to the elite and not to ameliorate the litany of suffering among poor Nigerians that it tends to assist.

There is no pretence in the claim neither is it a false alarm that while governments in America and Europe are scrambling and making frantic efforts to pull their people out of poverty, African leaders are digging deeper and wide pits through bad policies for its people to fall into oblivion.

At the moment, Nigeria cannot boast of any glittering economic record despite a decent showing of crude oil wealth and the looted funds return.

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The glorified coming out of recession seems to have gone into reverse. This may likely depress the economy more and worsen an already precarious situation of the masses.

It is sad to note that politicians discount the people too steeply even as they enjoy seeing the masses quibble. This is because politicians words often hinge on the gap between word and intended meaning.

Hence, they are not believable because they tend to speak from both sides of their mouth. One reason it is not good to depend or believe everything Nigerian politicians say, is that they are naturally deceptive.

The efficacy of this curse will be tested on Saturday when the voters in the state go back to the polling units to elect members of the state house of assembly and to conclude the inconclusive national assembly elections nowadays, politics seems to be dominated by charlatans who care less about the people’s welfare. And there is possibility that good and clean politicians get engulfed in the phenomenon by soiling their fingers.

Notwithstanding the above, abandoning politics to the malevolent practices of selfish, self centered politicians would be wrong. It is even more perplexing that young men and women find it extremely difficult to pluck courage and declare their intention to run for elective positions.

Rather, many young folks chose to be political thugs. This is absolutely unfortunate and disheartening, however, there is a lesson that political thugs need to be taught, even if they are incapable of learning it.

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The lesson is that ‘no one should put his or her life at stake for politicians because life is per-head’.

Could there be a ray of hope for Nigerians as populist way of thinking is becoming familiar all over the world? Of course, Nigeria is on the path to greatness and to become a functioning state like it was during the first and second republic.

The country is blessed with oil, fertile land and human capital.

The only worry is that politicians should be more humane and conscientious, never to promise the people a flight to the moon in order to ride themselves to power. Or talk about stewardship and achievements amid asphyxiating poverty with almost no emotion about the impoverished population they govern.

I am proud to say that president Buhari is one of the very few people in Nigeria with a little self respect.

Therefore, his government must be focused, organised and obedient according to the law of the land, the constitution. And not a power show served by the understandable instinct to punish some and pamper others.

Didn’t Buhari say: “I belong to everybody and belong to nobody?” let this covenant be fulfilled this time.


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