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On being intelligent or merely clever in politics

11 October 2021   |   4:09 am
As many people will know, public health as medical doctors specialize in it, disciplinarily, is the point where the medical profession interfaces with other areas of knowledge and skills...

political Rally. Photo: TWITTER/APC

As many people will know, public health as medical doctors specialize in it, disciplinarily, is the point where the medical profession interfaces with other areas of knowledge and skills, professionally, artisanally or merely mechanically as mere employment or human labour. The harnessing of all of that disciplinary public health with all essential medicine and surgery and applying it to clearly defined units of the populations of a people, country or else as community medicine does, of everybody, every disease or health condition and all of the time until all such communities are served as such, is the only way to achieve health for everybody Health-For-All (HFA), in that community.

Applied unequivocally, bottom-up and with maximum community participation up to the level of community self-ownership, is what has come to be referred to as Primary Health Care (PHC), globally since 1978. Statutory community nursing and midwifery, as the nursing professional counterpart of community medicine and without which such community medicine will be either a farce or a Nigerian 419, is unequivocally needed as the rock bottom basis of any meaningful PHC or HFA. Because of these realities, anybody specialized in disciplinary public health and community medicine is likely to be able to perform as a sort of “jack of all trades and master of them all”. This is despite the usually humble posture that this specialization has to assume among its peers and even in the society as a whole – usually everybody else would usually think that they can do whatever a community physician does; and it would be foolhardy for a properly trained community physician to start to argue or even discuss anything with such a person or persons!

Similarly, in the study of history and politics (as community organization and governance, large and small) as a community physician, it has become clear to me that in truth, “politics is the science and the art of self or group relationships and organization, that enables such a person or group to be able to influence community power and decision making”. In the utmost, the individual or group may strive to even capture such power in itself and not just to influence it. The purpose of all politics, genuinely, is to influence or to use such power for the pursuit of the common good, and evenly, for every component of that community. Thus politics in its right sense and purpose, is a sacred duty from which no adult person in any community is exempt; the more mature and the more educated such a person is, the more his responsibility for the politics of the given place of his existence. Politics is the application of all the talents that nature and God had endowed anybody with, as an adult, for the betterment of whatever community or society that he finds himself in. Everybody, without exception will give an account of this use of his talents on the last day – whether such a person realizes it in this life or not! So, everyone, all of us had better wake up to our universal responsibility for the right order of politics wherever we are – in the home, at work, in the local community, in the churches, in the mosques and in the governments at all their levels of it. There will be no excuse for anyone in these regards on the last day; we must give our personal account thereof!

As we may all know, if we expect to serve the common good of everybody in the polity (that is, the community of such governance), we should do our best to be non-partisan, a-partisan or multi-partisan when we are among those who prefer or are compelled to do politics partisanly. In other words, we should be principled enough to vote or go against our own party if the better option for any action for the polity is coming from a party other than our own. But in doing so, we must do our best to remain in that same party, be fully faithful and to promote it in all the other good or even excellent things that they do. To fail to do so, or to start playing prostitute for the other party or parties, or to start swinging from the one party to the other, is the ultimate political prostitution that equates only to what only devils do! People who do such things routinely are such despicable people; far much worse than frank prostitutes. Again, as we may know, in the most politically civilized parts of the world, in order to encourage politics to operate as ought, the place of independent political candidature is guaranteed. In many such places, local government politics is on the basis of political party independence; and anybody remotely identifiable with any membership or affiliation to any political party is barred from local government politics. However, in the most primitive polities of which Nigeria remains a most “shining example” all these finesse of politics are not only outlawed but every effort made to be sure that nobody says any such thing. So, our political miseries continue.

Now, what has all that I have been talking in the above three paragraphs of this discuss got to do with the title that we started with? I believe that it would be obvious to anybody who decides to think about it that active political leadership and participation is meant for truly intelligent and gifted people; such as would value their intelligence, apply it to the common good and not try to use it to trick, cheat or undermine anybody else – singly or communally. Such people do their best to remain non-partisan, a-partisan or multi-partisan as the situation may need to be. However, as we all will appreciate, those who try to be merely clever in politics, do their best to out-reach their intelligence; and so to do more than that their intelligence is actually able to do well.

They tell lies in order to get political advantage of the others and when such people try to expose their lies, they try to tell even bigger lies; and thus end up less than 50% of the intelligence that God had endowed them with! Such merely clever politicians are the ones who switch political parties as they do in Nigeria, have no iota of shame, dance for or to the highest bidder; and are always partisan! They do things that are deliberately wicked to others in the polity – singly or communally – and are yet unable to see the devilishness thereof.

They continue on such evil paths, cheating and undermining the other members of the polity, even when everybody sees that it is no longer working. Instead, they think that even higher levels of such wickedness, impunity or devilishness will be all that they will need to succeed in the new deadly situation; even in the face of the gross failures of all these wickedness, partisanship, working against the common good as true politics requires. They thus literally walk themselves into the hands of the devils that they had been serving all along!

As all can see, this is where Nigeria is today as a country. It will be good for everybody of goodwill in the place to advise all these politicians, that doing good to all is the purpose of politics; but not wickedness of persistent evil. All of us should both pray as well as advise them as privately as possible (or even publicly) that no one can continue to fool himself about changing these their styles against the greater Nigeria. That is all the duty left for us in their regard, including these advises and education in this article. What nature and God Himself will do, if they refuse to change these wicked ways are accessible to common sense. May it please them to change these ways in their personal and loving families’ interests. Amen.