There are a few things that people like me have said about politics in Nigeria, ad nauseam, especially lately; and will continue to say so, because we can never say enough of it! So, before we go further on this present discussion, it will do us some good if we repeated some of them as summarily as possible: politics is the science and art of inter-personal and inter-group relationships and organization, that allows the person or the group as a united body, to be able to influence political power, or indeed, to capture such power, in order to use it to pursue the common good, of the greatest service/good of the greatest number of the polity, evenly. Thus, politics is a very good and necessary thing; and those who fail to do it as such will find it hard to even see the kingdom of God, to talk less of entering into it! Proper politics is therefore to put all the talents that God (and/or nature, if you like) has given to you to the best good use; a saintly act indeed! No one ever escapes politics as such, in the homes, places of work, local community, religion or other social affairs!
However, partisan politics is an entirely different thing. If there is anything that partisan politics may be likened to, in my humble opinion, it will be something like “excreta from the devil’s toilet”! Like all such excreta, it is only good for manure, if we learn to use it as such. However, therefore, nobody should play such partisan politics; except in such circumstances and at levels such as at the regional, provincial, state or national levels where the constituencies are too large to know or be easily reachable by the candidate. This should obviously not be at the local government level where the constituency is so small that any such person who has not done enough for that community or constituency to know him or her and so, make any extraordinary campaigns unnecessary, should have no business with it! So indeed is genuine politics in such developed or truly developing countries – such as in Switzerland. Even at these higher levels of politics, where joining political parties become necessary, good politicians who do so as ought are alwayS known to maintain their bi-partisan or multi-partisan disposition to everything.
Such politicians always vote for what is right or the best of any given options But not because or only for positions advanced by their party, right or wrong, better/best or worse/worst. Those who do such dirty, partisan and one-sided politics will surely find it very hard to smell the kingdom of God! Commonsense tells that enough; and that is why in many countries where such partisan politics is the only one allowed in that regard, many honest and spiritually mindful people hardly join such politics! Incidentally, this very dirty and spiritually destructive politics is the only one that we have come to accept and to be promoting! How sad?
The other thing that we will never say enough of in the present Nigerian politics, is that the political party that they call the PDP had committed suicide long ago, through this same devilish partisan and corrupting politics. For people to continue to think that they can resurrect the party and in any imaginable way cleanse it of its long metastatic cancer, is not imaginable to people like me. However, that in no way means that they will not try or continue to try. But that only says to all who care to think through it, that the road to Nigeria’s socio-political recovery is very long indeed!
Now, after the self-destroyed PDP, the current ruling political party came on board telling everybody that they want to bring us change from the PDP brand of corruption. Because the PDP is a completely self-destroyed entity, just about anything would very easily replace it. It was, of course, evident even before then that the replacing party called APC was likely to turn out to be a bigger fraud! If there is ANY normal and mentally healthy Nigerian who has not seen and realized that, I will be happy to learn of such a person! If there is ANY body who does not know that the basis of Nigeria’s corruption are religious fanaticism and rabid tribalism, I will also like to know it. By now, all three years and half gone in the clear deception and with all due respects, if there is anybody who does not know now that our most dear president is the most religiously fanatical and rabidly tribalistic person in this country, I will like to learn of that person! Everybody worth anything in Nigeria politically (positive or negative) has said so ad nauseam – from Yakubu Gowon to TY Danjuma, IBB, OBJ, Ango Abdullahi and Atiku Abubakar to Kwankwaso and all the others of that Kano and related extraction. And all these are to say nothing of the South-East geopolitical zone greatest target of these personal evil visitations or the South-South and North-Central minority ethnic nationalities of the most ethnic cleansing, as many have observed and been documenting.
So, when APC talks of corruption, one cannot fail to wonder what they are talking about. Who are the most corrupt Nigerians today? The religious fanatics, ethnic bigots and cleansers, the people who find appointable people to offices in Nigeria from only their relatives and religious fanatics and who when well-known political thieves in the country join their party, they become political saints and non-corrupt people but not otherwise, OR those who if not in their party but stole only a tenth or less of those in the “corruption” fighting party? Obviously this thing called corruption by the APC has become the boggy that all well knowledgeable people had known from the beginning that it will be!
Nigerians may only be advised that if they continue to talk about PDP or APC, then they do not desire to get out of their political woods as yet! They had better know that they must find out how to get themselves out of this mess. In my opinion, the only way to do this without the (“righteous” and indignation-based) obvious bloodshed, which the presidency has tried to prevent in their selfish favour by putting all the significant military and even civil defense and people-protection agencies under the command of these same offending religious fanatics and ethnic cleansers, is to make sure that the best people are voted for from across all the political parties and to ensure that their votes count. In that way, there will not be the usual and so-called overwhelming majority of these corrupt change politicians. This only route to the correct political change that we need must start now! A word they say, should be enough for the wise.
- Asuzu is Professor of Public Health and Community Medicine at the University of Ibadan