HOW DIRTY IS POLITICS?

I was born in a very small viliage sorrounded by hilly terrain, which according to my grandfather, the location was strategically  selected by our ancesstors to provide fortress and to  shield  the community from attacks by rival commuities. 

Life was so serene, peaceful and communal, everybody knows one another, a bonded community. The bond was so strong that everyone was a brothers keeper. The elderly were seen as fathers to all, custodians of wisdom, they were reverred and respected. They exude power and authority. can discipline, direct courses of events with an un questionable authority.  Things remained that way until when some groups of people from the cities started coming to the villiages with drum beats, dishing out gifts and making promises they can transform the communities.

Slightly over half a century since they started coming the lives of my people have not changed. In fact what they succeeded in doing is destroying our communality by introducing individualism, hate and deceit.

The first change I notice that took place so early since they arrived was the breakage in the bond that kept the community together. The community no longer respect the supremacy of the elders, families now dont talk to each other as a unit of association, brothers are no longer eating together, quarrels between peoples increased,  

Community disputes are no longer settled through dialogue. By the day everything that made us diffrent as a people was destroyed.

But since I was so young I dare not ask questions, life went on as usual until one day I surmoned the courage to ask my school teacher in one of our civic class. why are things no longer the same  with us?

He responded  by saying its “POLITICS” as I was too young to grasp what it means the subject was dropped.

Several years after my teacher told me it was “POLITICS” I grew up with disdain for “politics and politicians”  I am not a student of politics but my training as a Journalist and Administrator later in life exposed me to know that politics is a noble profession and to some extent we aslo have good politicians. However the way politicians, practice politics makes it dirty and un appealing to people of good conscience. 

As I grow older and started developing interest in politics, I perceived so early that to be a good politician, you must be very good in deceit, a back bitter, a liar, an ingrate, a betrayer, abusive, arrogant, a cheat and disloyal. 

Humbled by my background I also found so early that these habits are not noble. In order to find answers to my delima.  I spoke and asked politicians and some few  good  and fine gentlemen who I believed  had  the qualities and capacity to provide good leadership to this country. 

The responses I got from them were very disturbing and worrying. Many of replied that no descent person would like to enter the political arena with level of vindictiveness, tardiness, and the lack of the undetstanding of the rule of the game by the actors in the political space. 

They argued that the mess and the rot in the system are so huge and better not contemplated. And this gave rise why most descent people are shying away from politics.

They reasoned that most of the actors in the field are, uncultured, job seekers, corrupt, inept, morally bankrupt, kleptomaniacs, haters, brutes, insensitive and unware of the  nobility of the profession. Their only stock in trade is to cajole, abuse and amass wealth.This is how good people perceive politics and politicians.

In my effort to encourage them change their mind set I appeal to them after our discussions that if good people like them would have nothing to do with politics, how can we correct the system. if we continue to allow the chalatants, the bad and the ugly in our society to lead us and continue to determine our fates. Their final reaction often after our conversations were  just a smile.

These smiles that kept poking my thoughts. I begin to ask myself were they thinking I am mad or something?

But the reality playing out in our real world by the political class and even from those occupying public offices seems to confirm why our political space is dirty. 

Until recently, Governor Ahmed el Rufai, some one who I hitherto  loved and believed in as one of the few Northern political elites that can make a diffrence because of his past performance as the Minister of FCT. 

His venom on the Honourable Minister Women Affairs, when she declared to support the former Vice Presidnet Atiku Abubakar, should he decide to contest the Presidential election come 2019.  As a democrat El Rufai should know that not everyone in the same party share the same ideology and believe in one person or leader. 

Amina was not wrong to feel the way she did, at least she was bold and frank,  unlike her other colleques who in the mist of the night attend all noctral meetings to strategise their next political move. It is a well known fact that APC is an amalgamation of various shades of opinions nurtured from various camps that make up the party. we have the Buhari’s, the Asiwoju’s, the Turaki’s and the Kwankwaso’s these cleavages still exit and operate amourphrously till today and they are not likely to fizzle out very soon. 

Another disturbing statement he made was the one against late President Yar’adua while addressing the APC stakeholders meeting at Murtala Mohammed Square, Kaduna. Governor Rufai warned that he was ready to confront whoever tests his will as the leader of the party in the state. That he is a dogged fighter. He added by saying “I had fought with two presidents. Umaru Yar’Adua ended in his grave, while President Goodluck Jonathan ended in Otueke.

 It is ok for the Governor to be a dogged fighter however his comments on the dead was what baffled me, as a muslims he ought to have known that this kind of statements will have consquencies as Islam frawns at speaking of the dead. where has the social,  cultural, religious and campus of the governor gone?

With these type of statements coming from him, it keeps poking my thoughts, is this the person whom I hitherto would have hero worshipped, looked up to as one of the most enterpring and promising leader that may one day lead us out of the woods?

My like for him wanned further when I read the comments of his bosses, particularly those from the former Vice President Atiku when el-Rufai accussed him of having a hand in the $40 million Halliburton scandal. This is person whom Atiku was instrumental in bringing into government and making him Director General of the Bureau of Public Enterprises, BPE, and eventually a minister. 

In referrence to the same El Rufai President Obasanjo also said “A leader must know the character and ability of his subordinates. “”Character wise, Nasir has not much going for him” He continued by saying “My vivid recollection of him (el rufai) is his penchant for lying, for unfair embellishment of stories and his inability to sustain loyalty for long.  “he is a pathological purveyor of untruths and half-truths with little or no regard for integrity. “In all of this, he unwittingly does more harm than good to himself’.

The question to ask here is Ahmed el Rufai really  doing harm just to himself alone or to even to his generations that  are likely to take the leadership of this country in the future?

Let me no deviate soo much the import of my writting is not on Ahmed El Rufai, somebody who I still cherish and respect. He incidently became my model in the discourse because he has recently  been in news  for so many bad reasons and  I thought he ought to  have been circumspect. 

My respect for him must have wanned slightly but it is an undenial  fact that he is fine, gentle, competent and a good man,. Even those who have a pound of flesh to pick with him can not deny the fact that he has first class brain. 

This is what Atiku said about him “I read his book and it confirmed my impression of him as a man of first-class brain but arrogant, full of himself, immature and nauseating, trying to make up for his diminutive stature in what is called “the small man syndrome” 

Their boss Pres. Obasanjo also described him as  “a talented young man who can always deliver under close supervision”. 

What prompted me to write this article is the level of the breakdowm of our communal bondage moral upbringing and respect for the elders and constituted authorities. 

The north is known for its homeginity, our respect for culture, social up bringing and above all the supremacy our religion that binds us together. But with the introduction of Liberal Social democracy, the thread that keeps us together has broken down. We no longer respect our elders, our religions does not hold us together anymore, greed, individualism, nepotism and lack of respect for our elders and constituted authority keeps tearing us apart. 

Today we are people without leaders. we do not speak with one voice and in the face of the contradictions in our body polity, how can we hold together to face the seroous challenges. How can we as a people survive the on slaught and peacefully exist within the developing contradictions. 

We need to step back and take hard look at our current state of affairs and do the needful for our next generations.

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