Prior to elections, the atmosphere in Nigeria is usually heralded by high level Political activities. Politicians make promises of anything of no real benefit, which nevertheless, makes people feel better. But as soon as they get to power, they forget the promises and instead, cart away the choice fruits of government.
As is usual with all activities preceding elections in Nigeria, politicians often come with a plethora of assurances, pledges and rhetorical excesses, aimed at persuading voters to cast their votes for them. Political gladiators take the centre stage deploying resonant rhetorical strategies to persuade the electorate on the correctness of their preferred course of action and the policies they intend to implement, if elected.
It is common to see politicians during campaigns and political rallies weaving a web of endless and empty political promises to the numerous electorates who are not usually given any opportunity to ask questions as to feasibility or otherwise of the promises made during the campaigns. Most politicians utter words without restraints, sing songs of victory on the podium for victories and successes never achieved and set in motion a campaign of calumny against their opponents or other political parties who they perceive as formidable opposition; all geared towards furthering their own personal agenda.
Old habits they say die hard and indeed, the habit of hearing the same thing from our politicians over and over again have not only made Nigerian brand of Politics boring and uninteresting, but portray the political class as ideologically empty, creatively poor, mentally lazy and intellectually unequipped to tackle the challenges of leadership. That is why in the course of the political campaigns, no decision is anchored on the overriding necessity for an absolute protection of the national interest against the backdrop of sectional and selfish scheming, squirming from the ranks of opposition.
In Nigerian brand of politics, reliability and stability are becoming strange to us. When a politician says he is with you, you can be certain that he is not really with you. This is because, immediately he finishes telling you he is with you this minute, you can see him in the next minute with a political opponent in another meeting and when you confront him, he tells you it is politics. The generation where every man’s word was his bond is dead. It was former President Olusegun Obasanjo, who said that when a politician’s words cannot be believed, it means then, that politics is being turned into another thing. Therefore, emphasizing that a politician must be a man or woman of honour who believes in morality.
Politicians should not just be knowledgeable, but should have facts and figures of what they intend to correct and do. But the utterances of these politicians at times, suggest that they do not know exactly what is going on. That is why at political rallies, real issues on how to tackle corruption, unemployment, infrastructural decay, economic growth etc are not discussed. What usually take precedence are sweeping statements like “I will end corruption”, “I will provide jobs” etc.
Also, the electorates are not told how the jobs woul be provided, in which sectors of the economy and at what time in the life of the coming administration etc.
Electorates are also not told how many Federal roads are in deplorable condition, how many of such roads need reconstruction and how many new roads would be built, the ones that need urgent attention etc. Consequently, what most of these candidates exhibit at political rallies are confusion, crass ignorance and abject incompetence, thus, the electorates are bombarded with all manner of lies, half-truths and “tales by moonlight”.
- UNABATED KILLING OF THE INNOCENTS
Can there ever be any justification for murder under any guise, save for conviction over capital offence by a competent court of jurisdiction? It is unimaginable that government at all levels has failed to maintain absolute peace among communities with rising rate of coordinated killings taking place regularly. Whose responsibility is the task of ensuring crime preventions and controls? Your guess is as good as mine: the Nigeria Police Force and other internal security agencies.
It is a known fact that the State Governors are the Chief Security Officers of their respective States and are to be held responsible for breakdown of law and order in those States. It is the exclusive right of Mr President to declare State of Emergency in any State of the Federation where insecurity is at the peak, and return normalcy to same, but affinity and personal relationships usually hinder this responsibility from being executed without fear or favour in Nigeria. If not, how could State Governors with failures to keep their people secured still be walking with their shoulders high?
It is easy to indict the government for insecurity and absolve militias, sects or cult groups that oppress and maim the vulnerable members of the society as witnessed recently in some states especially Kaduna State which is the focus of this piece.
Right under the watch of Nasir El-Rufai as Governor of Kaduna State, the recent carnage in Southern Kaduna is an embarrassment to his personality as a man of uncommon positive knowledge. He is too knowledgeable to be caught in the usual machinations to promote killings under any guise. An appraisal of the killings in Southern Kaduna can only be likened to the old Sudan where conflicts among Christians and Muslims degenerated to a Civil War for a long period before the independence of South Sudan in 2011.
It is a known fact that the people of Southern Kaduna seriously NEED a separate State and a check on the map of the proposed State shows a Christian dominated population, which should at least serve as hope since the El-Rufai administration seems to be more interested in political rhetoric than the protection of lives and properties. If this is the best solution, to treat the creation of a State for the people of Southern Kaduna should be seen as a necessity.
In several States, the recorded numbers of deaths from cult clashes and armed robbery no longer gain appropriate media reportage. Until government finds the responsibility of maximum protection of lives and properties supreme and make sufficient provision for preventing crimes in our society, the murder of the innocents will continue unabated. The carnage is a bad omen for Nigeria!
Poverty brings about a myriad of complications. It is like an evil monster whose vicious tentacles are far-reaching and destructive. There is no doubt that it has taken a stranglehold on millions of Nigerians. Many parents cannot feed and send their children to school; and most youths with good academic qualifications are either roaming the streets in search of jobs or hawking on badly paved roads. People have become vulnerable to preventable diseases such as cholera, dysentery and tuberculosis, with no access to health services and medications. Death rates rise. It has forced some people to engage in behaviours that expose them to diseases such as HIV/AIDS.
Politics remain a human activity that must aim at improving the conditions of man for the satisfaction of human needs or demands for higher standard of living in the society. This is quite significant to give meaning to life and to affirm the uniqueness of individuals. Thus, politics as an ethical activity should promote the creation of a’ just society’ which Aristotle earlier termed the ‘master science.’
In a world fraught with desires for self- esteem or self -actualization, needs, anxiety, fear, force and frustration, human beings cannot survive or remain human without becoming political. It is politics that defines the government, which in turn defines the lives of the citizens, who in the final analysis define the politics of the state. Essentially, politics is an attempt to reduce tensions between needs and social realities.
Coming thus far, with the state of things, indeed, a radical ‘revolution’ is needed in Nigeria today, to clear the polity of these brands of established politicians and replace them with men and women who play politics of ideas and advancement. Based on the current state of things, Nigerians have to contend with political deceptions, betrayals and endless rhetorical excesses of the political elite. A typical Nigerian politician has proven that he is not to be TRUSTED!
‘Our MUMU don do’! Looking forward to 2019!
Written by Rev. Fr. Paul Danbaki Jatau Phd of the Catholic Diocese of Kafanchan