The almighty politicians
All powers belong to Olodumare, the Almighty Adiitu, and the Supreme Essence known by several million names and certainly with more than a billion aliases. But at the lower level of existence, the human level, the politicians are a special breed of people who have been specially endowed to create laws and regulations to direct the behaviours of members of a given society or community. It is debateable whether society creates this breed and imposes them on the society or through scheming and some clever moves they create themselves. The reality is that the breed exists and makes itself the most powerful organ in every community or society.
In the beginning, religious leaders combined politics with spirituality, and thus it was they who created laws and rules to regulate the affairs of the society, claiming that they were representatives of the Deity on earth. But when wars and battles produced leaders, the victorious leaders gave crowns to themselves, created dynasties and gave themselves titles such as emperors, kings, queens and similar titles and they also thereafter ascribed their powers to be divine rights.
Politics has more than a hundred definitions and scholars are not done yet in expanding the scope of definitions and meanings to the term politics. What is generally agreed, however, is that politics is the process of regulating the behaviours and activities of the community. Politics creates power, dispenses positions and patronages. Politics creates and dispenses influence and without admitting it, also creates and dispenses affluence. Politics is the creator of the cake that is baked and it is the purveyor of the pot of soup.
Those who make politics their calling, or their vocation, or the business of their life are in essence the earthly supreme commanders of their society and community. To such a people the dictum is ‘seek yee first the power in politics and all other things shall be added unto it’.
Politicians are not as simple as we generally assume. Politicians are a very hardworking people, putting in several hours each day to actualise their plans. They spend several hours at meetings upon meetings and they seem never tired of long hours which sometimes extend to wee hours of the night. Politicians are also known to traverse long distances going from one part of the country to another. They travel to seek like minds in different parts of a given country and make themselves at home wherever they go, forging alliances and the like all in the desire to form common grounds.
Politicians are extremely patient people and they are incurable optimists. They are never tired of knocking their heads against the wall in the incredulous belief that they can always create a way wherever and whenever there is the will. It must be added to their peculiar traits that they do make humongous sacrifices in their pursuit of power.
Politicians, especially the genuine and good ones are visionary people. They are clever and smart. They tend to see far into the future and they can therefore make plans to meet that future and prepare their followers for that future.
When politicians work hard to get power, they make sure that the power so acquired is used equitably for the general good of the largest number of their community. They make laws that would ease the burden of their people and ensure that the community is imbued with the best ethics of inter personal relationships.
The politician is respected, admired and enjoys the confidence, loyalty and trust of his followers. He is popular, influential, and enjoys the respect of members of his community. He enjoys tremendous affection and people line up to cheer him wherever he visits members of his or her constituency. In fact the politician enjoys the public adulation which no other member of society enjoys. And as it was once opined by Chief Obafemi Awolowo, the lawyer, the doctor, the accountant and the journalist or engineer are only known to members of their profession and their clients. Teachers and university professors as well as playwrights and poets do not enjoy the popularity of successful politicians. Political activism commands instantaneous following.
The foregoing is the general view of politicians as it applies worldwide in decent and civilised societies. When you come to politicians in rough and rugged terrains where politics is seen as a do-or-die affair and politicians see politics as the fastest root to a community’s treasury where he or she could satisfy his or her gluttony it is a different ball game.
The Almighty politicians suggested by the title of this piece are politicians who have usurped the powers of the Almighty creator and see themselves as demi-God. These are gangsters in politics, and they are generally the brand seen in many countries where the society is still grappling with the problem of identity for itself.
The Almighty politician employs and deploys all means foul or fair, and usually foul to achieve his aims and aspirations. Murder, assassination both physical and verbal, thuggery, lying, deceit, cultism, fraud, and many undesirables are his arsenal for seeking power and control.
The Almighty politician has no scruples whatsoever and conceives of politics as war. It is not uncommon to hear politicians talking of ‘capture’ instead of winning the opponents over. In some unfortunate societies where politicians have reverted to the crude beginnings of acquisition of political power through military might such politicians believe that their opponents must be exterminated. For such mighty politicians it is politics of annihilation.
Whenever the almighty politician acquires power, his first assignment is personal aggrandisement and reckless nepotism and favouritism. He and his fellow travellers in Parliament indulge in making terrible laws that are designed to serve self and to put competitors at serious disadvantage. They also make laws that are specifically designed to punish perceived enemies and opponents. It is politics of vengeance and malice.
There was the case of an almighty politician in power who prevented a highly respected philanthropist from supplying water to his [philanthropist’s] community simply because the philanthropist did not embrace the brand of politics of the almighty politician. He needed to establish that ‘man pass man’ and the politician is more powerful than the man of financial muscle.
For us here in Nigeria, the Almighty politicians that have dominated our political arena in the last 50 years have ridden all of us roughshod and treated Nigeria to the worst leadership that any society has ever experienced. It is the Almighty politicians that have driven Nigerians into the hellish hole that we now find ourselves.
The pen is the tongue of the hand, the silent utterer of words for the eyes – Henry Beecher