TStv Africa

TStv Africa

By Prof Nnamdi Obiaraeri

Politics remains a roguish business because of preponderance of intrigues and trickery by its patrons and patronesses. Politics is said to be a dirty game because politicians are said to have the audacity to promise to build bridges where there are no rivers.

Will it be rhetorical to ask why anyone should trust a person who promises that he will build a bridge where there is no river?

Our people are truly gullible and that does not help our politics. Our politicians also prey on our hapless citizens. Too bad!

Politicians can be likened to necessary evils. In a multi-party democracy, you cannot do without politicians. This is true of Nigeria although it is arguable whether the political class in Nigeria has been able to give true meaning and substance to the essence of politics which is service delivery.

Perhaps, following prolonged period of military rule in the past and the cocktail of failed promises and expectations from the past and present intervening civilian ruling class, the psyche of the Nigerian has been badly bruised and battered.

It is troubling that the Nigerian person has been afflicted with dangerous low self-esteem so much so that access to food and drink shape our thinking and appreciation of the essence of politics and governance.

The Nigerian person has regretably acquired a wrong perception of politics and or how to select or is it to elect her political leaders. Merit, character, competence, capability and integrity have no meaning in our political lexicon.

 "Cash and carry" or "pay as you go" mentality seems to be the order of the day. Talk of political consumerism and appetitive politics which makes the electorate to bleed the politician to financial death before he assumes office.

Alas, everything is now "pay before service" or "money for hand, back for ground". Trust Nigerians, "hit and run" politicians now take advantage this greed and avarice.

Opportunists and gamblers now bestride our political space in droves-not genuine and sincere service givers!

The politician in turn, if he succeeds in taking office (out of the exploited lot), takes his pound of flesh by setting out to recover his huge election expenses with excess profit hence leading to non-performance and mindless looting of public funds.

We insist that politics is essentially service delivery. Ideally, elections offer the electorate the best and most important opportunity to elect or re-elect credible men and women capable of maximally delivering on the tangible and intangible dividends of democracy.

This solemn determination should be based on proven track records of public service and other discernible responsible criteria. Elections should help the voter to seperate the wheat from the chaff.

On the contrary, voters in elections here accept the chaff and reject the wheat or mix the wheat with more chaff. Hence, during elections, political hawks and desperate investors/swindlers dangle cash at the electorate in the guise of politics and buy off the available positions.

This is why the nation is retrogressing rather than progressing in her development. Round pegs are put in no holes!

Elections offer the electorate the opportunity to invest in and secure their future especially the provision of the tangible and intangible dividends of democracy. This they do by electing responsible and responsive leaders. When mercenaries and charlattans are elected over and above quality men and women, you wave good bye to the tangible and intangible dividends of democracy.

For ease of inderstanding, the tangible dividends of democracy include but are not limited to regular light, water, motorable roads and other infrastructure including clean environment and food security.

The intangible dividends of democracy are enabling environment for unfettered enjoyment of the inalienable fundamental human rights and provision of adequate security for the lives and properties of the citizens to mention a few.

Protection of lives and properties and improvement of the welfare of the citizens is the primary purpose of government. Elections therefore offer the citizens, the opportunity to recruit its servants, not masters, who can best meet the needs and aspirations of the hapless citizens in this regard.

Only experienced and knowledgeable people can give good governance. It is an anathema to govern people you do not know or understand their problems. A true leader is expected to be soaked in the philosophy of the struggle he is leading.

Any conscientious observer will notice that these returnee or hit and run politicians or those who come to harass the political space only during elections have taken flight. These seasonal migratory political birds only visit home to jockey for offices and vanish into thin air thereafter.

Look around and see that these emergency philanthropists and "dogooders" during elections have taken flight. Where are they?

They have gone into hibernation mode only to return during campaigns. You can not see them at any public event or social gathering now.

No more gate-crashed attendance at traditional or white weddings, contrived highest donations (which will never be redeemed!) during community launchings or church programmes.

What about emergency advocacy and support for youth and women empowerment? Have they not lost their voices? Who is fooling who?

Where are they now? Please help us to ask, where are they hiding?

Never mind, they will soon return shortly. Watch out.

Like "ponzi scheme" politicians, when they return from their political exile, they will start heating up the polity by enchanting the naive electorate with tonnes of political rackets.

 "Cunny man die, cunny man go bury am."
Na so nah..."first fool no be fool, na second fool be proper foolish."

We know them...we are waiting for them as usual.

Biko gwazie ndi yard unu inugo...A new normal is possible!

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