This is in response to an article written by an opinion leader, titled Nigeria Politics: Instead Of Crucifying Obi And Osinbajo
The writer of the article suggests that newcomers like the Sowores, Durotoyes start from being members of the House of Reps, or the Senate, make some impact, and grow politically before talking a shot at the Presidency. He believes that it would be tough for a newcomer with no political machinery on ground to make much headway.
It makes an interesting read.
What I wonder about is how a Kingsley Moghalu, Fela Durotoye or Obiageli Ezekwesili would ever emerge as the presidential candidate of the dominant parties – at any point in time. (I am assuming without necessarily conceding that they would walk their talk if/when they get to the saddle).
You need insane money to prosecute the Presidency election (and even lesser elections in Nigeria). The kind of money needed is so much that you must be a serious moneybag to dream of that. I doubt if anybody who really worked for his money would be able to personally commit the kind of funds needed for these things. Which means, if you are not of the old brigade, you must emerge from one of the major parties, should probably would be able to marshal that mind of resources.You need influence,, – far more than the power of ideas – to make a political splash in Nigeria.
-Why did an Atiku emerge as the Presidential candidate of the PDP? Does anyone really believe he is the best the ‘largest party in Africa’ can come up with, right now? Did he really emerge because the majority of his party people believe he is the best to take Nigeria out of the woods?
-Or, they chose him because they believe he represents the best chance for their party to click (self preservation) the Presidency?
-Did they choose him because he exercised the overwhelming power of the dollar – and money simply spoke overwhelmingly?
Salient question is, Does The Average Nigerian Citizen In The Streets Really Care About His Country As They Do About Their Personal Pocket?
Why else does the average Joe (including the not so average Peter Obi) tell you that you can’t shut down the economy simply ‘because you want to tackle corruption’?
These Joes tell you they don’t care if politicians are embezzling as long as the economy is NOT strangulated (they would have the basics), there is money in their pockets, they can fend for their family. That’s what you hear everywhere you go.
What Happened To Delayed Gratification. Embracing Some Immediate Discomfort For Future Gains??
The average follower in the street is primarily focused on his personal well-being. Logically, we can expect that mindset to also be present in the politician (_wannabes), and the ones that ultimately get into positions of power.
What right do we have, then, to castigate the ‘politician in power’ who appears to be more concerned with his personal enrichment – if the followers also have the mindset of only being concerned with their direct personal welfare.?
Long and short of all these questions.. the political parties (and religious places of worship!) can never be any better that the larger society from where they draw their population.
No political party will magically be able to produce ‘Saints’ as Leaders until / unless the mindset of those same politicians and the citizens at large, change. A single upright man cannot operate among a den of thieves / vagabonds unless he compromises his principles. Otherwise, he gets knocked out.
Politics is seen as Business. Businesses are crafted to make maximum returns . Why else are many musicians and actors / actresses going into it? Most go into politics to make good money speedily (or consolidate what they already have). Not to serve.
Until the general psyche of the average politician (to_be) shifts to service instead of self_aggrandizement, we are not likely to have leaders that would do any better than has been done in the past 58 years ago. This is because, most who get into governance position to serve are far outnumbered by those who go there for the humongous, speedy lucre.
Since the majority always carries the day, a sheep among wolves would not be able to make a dent on things. And like out people say, three sheep that lives with dogs will eventually consume excreta.