Welcoming Your Political Gladiator Home
THIS year’s general elections put Nigerians under tension. But looking however, rarely could elections would have been said to have been smooth conduct in this country except where the people when the people have wanted it to be quiet.
After the Independence, bloodbath have been the result of many elections; the few if it is judged that military governments were the experience for some years after 1966. Violent outcome of elections was the reason of military interventions in the politics of this country.
It could be said therefore, that if the 2015 elections if the 2015 elections took off with drum beats of war, but ended on a peaceful note, that is an example of people who have mature politically over the years; we are now a nation of more informed people who are forward looking. They praise President Jonathan as a statesman who gave up power so easily unlike in some parts of Africa still.
But those war mongers are still with us. We are speaking of the arm-chair politician, the laptop ‘General’ and the News Stand Commandant. The arm chair politician may not be an official member of the political party, but as he is glued to the TV set, he is up to date with what happens around him.
He may have been able to read off the manifestoes of each party, but his preference for a particular party may not be informed by that party’s promises the people; he is plainly disgusted by the government of the day by reasons which might just be plain tribal sentiment. The lack of satisfaction may be part of it, but only mildly does it give weight to his complaints.
The laptop ‘General’ is not happy with the government for reasons which include perennial lack of electricity and the terrible state of the economy which made ‘business’ bad; genuine reasons though and he has the use of the social media to let his opinion known. And he has gathered a huge following because many people agree with him.
The News Stand Commandant is able to sway the numerous young men who gather daily at the news vendors’, not only because they cannot afford to buy papers, they are there to seek interpretation to unfolding events. These foot soldiers who are made up of office workers, unemployed graduates and that other class of people who although cannot read throng the news stands because man is said to be a ‘political animal’.
They want to know what is happening in politics. So the Commandant is always the best informed who has possibly seen Nigerian politics from Independence. He is there to educate and point his gun in the right direction for those who crave for disruption.
You have the warrior on all sides-as supporters of the parties. It does not matter that he cannot tell a gun muzzle from the barrel. And never mind that the breeze from an on coming blow might fell our political swords man before the actual blow connects.
No, it does not matter at all for the political warrior uses words to achieve his aim. He belongs not to any party, but his loyalty fires him to defend it as also his love of country might fire him up.
But what is our concern here? What is the interest of relationship with politics? There are many but we just concern ourselves with simple relationships-the political warrior may be your spouse.
And naturally even when he has fought for the winning party, he may still have a sense of disappointment; for example, the riot he so looked forward to never happening. He will be physically tired too; all the sleepless nights since campaigns took off. The vigil at business centres is draining.
The problem though is that you woman may be expected to put things right again-as always. And you have to as it is believed that it is the woman’s job to bring up wholesome children. You may have tried without success to make him slow down with his concern at the period, but you have to insist on that now that there is calm so that not only would peace reign in your home but in the country.
Begin the job of putting your home in order once more. He is going to look for the comfort of his home now when he has no urgent need to look for where there is “light” so he could watch TV which you noticed turned him into a monster these past months.
In case he has forgotten that there is another four or eight years-another election time in which his favourite party may have another chance to show that they are ready to serve. Point out that politics does not have to be violent.
Remind him that if his party loses this time that they could win the next time. Tell him how violent clashes set the nation backwards and then put the question to him: Should we pass the same way in 2015? There are election tribunals, so put it to him that if we can’t trust their judgments that it means that we cannot believe us as people.
Reclaim The Family
Although he was an attentive father and lover before the primaries were held, he turned into a machine immediately the campaigns began; he switched off totally from any conversation that did not concern politics.
Where he once had a smile on his face, a grimace replaced it and his eyes were trained on his blackberry all the time for “news”. He made committed trips to the news stand nearby, mornings and when the evening news hit the stand.
His return of greetings to the “enemies” who actually are your neighbours was a robotic droning of “There won’t be peace”, “There will be war”.
Change him to the peace mode gradually, cook him his favourite meal as often as possible; aim to distract him from his friends-they will talk politics which may make him edgy. Make the family eat together with him sitting at the head of the table.
The children may have forgotten Daddy; encourage them to ask him questions; put words into their mouths if necessary, mothers have done it before.
They can tell stories about school. They should of course discuss about the play ground bully-that tells him that the violence he preaches goes round and that he could be hit severely.
Welcome the warrior home through relaxation. Plan family outings; think of musicals, not the family sitting in front of the television all the time; what benefits the family and bring up peace loving children so that politicians will not see who echoes their sound of war.