Politicians as Nigeria’S Biggest Headache

Now, let’s face it. Despite all the empty noise about being driven by patriotism and “desire to serve my people” that usually saturates the atmosphere at each election season, a careful, con­scientious search on the political terrain can only yield about less than one percent of aspirants mo­tivated solely by genuine desire to improve the lives of the citizenry.

For the majority, the sole incentive is the golden opportunity politics offers to gain access to government coffers and cart away as much free money as one could grab. This is just the raw, plain truth.


There is, however, a very insignificant few who, although also inspired by the same primitive craving for the very unfairly lucrative political jobs, are content to just go home every month with only their usually jumbo salaries and allowances. Although, they do not find the very outrageously inflated pay packets they have allocated to themselves in the midst of widespread poverty very obscene, they are, however, able to recoil from the mad, free and fair looting that has become the distinguishing feature of political office in Nigeria. The brazenness with which the looting is perpetrated and the most revolting manner its prodigious proceeds are often flaunted underline the unmistakable impression that shameless stealing has received an official endorsement as part and parcel of governance.


What makes the matter even more egregious is that these callous looters are always able to use some tiny crumbs or the usually very reliable intoxicants, namely, ethnicity and religion, to get the same shortchanged and impoverished citizenry to rise in their defense each time there are attempts to pry into their hideous activities. It is only in Nigeria that this kind of thing makes sense – that someone among the populace would want to fight and even die for an unrepentant enemy of the people.

And that is why we hear our politicians always threatening blood and fire if they are “rigged” out. But the tragic irony is that you would always find some poor, long-suffering human beings eagerly electing to be the murderous agents whose hands the out-rigged politicians would always use to shed the innocent blood of mostly their fellow impoverished Nigerians.

Now, look at it this way: a man is looking for access to where our commonwealth is dumped in order to plunder and cart away huge bags of unearned wealth, but he is outsmarted in the process by a more desperate and smarter opponent. And then the pitiable victim of all the devilish scheming will foolishly lay his life to fight for one of the prospective plunderers. Is this not madness?


When will Nigerians wake up from their self-induced slumber and learn? When will they cure themselves of self-inflicted blindness? When will they come into the liberating awareness that the real power lies in their hands, and that what happened was that they only foolishly and willingly relinquished it to a few heartless men and women who are now using it to oppress and impoverish them?


The only election Nigerian politicians will claim was rigged is the one in which they lost. They will heartily declare on rooftops that the same election is “free and fair” if they win.


For many of these politicians, politics is just another very lucrative business enterprise from which they are hoping to reap jumbo profits. We, the masses, do not feature in their calculations at all. If you see them building any road or repainting a school building, it is either another opportunity to accumulate immense dividends from an inflated contract or something they felt they must hurriedly do to buy our support for the next elections.


That is why such roads are often so substandard that the next rains would wash them off. Virtues like concern, compassion or altruism do not exist in the hearts of most Nigerian politicians. It is all about them, their relatives and friends. The whole ennobling idea about seeking to be treated fairly by history and earning and sustaining a good name are just strange, uninteresting notions that would never be able to win their admiration.

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Ihesiulo Grace

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