Any need for politics?

AS a child, I was fed with the milk of basic political knowledge. My teacher Aunty Dorothy {as she then was} made me one of the beneficiaries of such basic knowledge. She taught us the basic purpose of politics. Yes, she said it’s ‘common good’. Growing up, such perception of politics became best described as a nightmare. Our innocent hope of common good became stillborn. Those who benefitted from the dividends of common good assassinated the umpires of same. So regrettable. When I look into the political space of Nigeria, its formation, style and condition, I am forced to question the need for politics.This is because the current political situation of Nigeria obviously betrays the basic purpose of politics which is common good.Politics involves getting and using power in public life, influencing and making decisions that affect a country or society for collective benefits. It is for the service of the people and society.

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However, the formation of Nigerian politics is one that centres mostly on personal gains. Her style emulates the unethical and extreme presentation of politics by Niccolo Machiavelli as a battle, a constant struggle for power best described as power politics. Hence, society becomes a constant beneficiary of political deception, lies, crimes, murder among other vices in a bid to achieve political success. The politics of Nigeria in this light endorses injustice, supports personal interest and defeats common good.

The disconsolate situation in Nigeria for me is an exposition of the high leadership decadence of the ruling class. While some are ignorant, uninformed, many others manifest the effect of evil political philosophy of Niccolo. These individuals obviously lack the understanding of the meaning, purpose and ethos of politics. Yet, they occupy various political offices in Nigeria and sometimes struggle with ease to perpetuate themselves in those offices. It’s not uncommon either to find the good ones among them who are usually very few and often times rewarded with tithes of exclusion from the helm of affairs leaving major decision making and policy formulation at the mercy of the undesired and rotten products.

Nigeria is therefore compelled to enjoin the dividends of political instability, absence of enduring political culture, corruption, willful breach of the constitution, decay of infrastructure (where one exists), underdevelopment, looting of public funds, abortion of merit and excellence in the award of contracts and political appointments, insecurity among others usually created by these assassins of common good. At this instance, the necessity of politics in Nigeria becomes questionable since the essentials of politics are far crucified. The place of ‘common good’in search for a system of government best for the governing of a society has always remained pure, sacred and solemn. Any system which violates the holy temple of ‘common good’ to serve only the interest of the ruling class or just a few is unacceptable. This is because politics determines a lot with regard to the development of any nation and its citizens.It is about order, leadership and service geared toward promotion of common good. Anything on the contrary is malevolent. It is therefore important that every politician offersthemselves to the pursuit and realization of common good, to the enthronement of justice, provision of basic needs of the people andcreation of healthy social condition that allows for growth and development of the people and the society. Politicians mustunderstand the need to change their objectionableattitude and orientation, accept the fact that politics is for the service of the people devoid of personal gains and that the concern is rather the contributions an individual has to make for the building of the nation. This in no small measures will help to foster true, genuine and healthy political culture in Nigeria.

  • Igbonekwu is a public affairs analyst


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