Poly-tricks, Belly Politics, and New Politics in Nigeria: Challenging the Status Quo?

June 9, 2013 § 2 Comments

Kenneth Amaeshi

Apparently, the battle in Nigeria today is between those who want to keep the status quo (the political dominance of a region and religion) at all cost, and those who want a new Nigeria where merit, hard work and opportunity for all will be the order of the day (irrespective of region and religion). The former is mere primordial sentiment, and the latter has a positive potential to be ideological. At the end, it comes across as a battle between what could be an ideology for a good Nigerian society and the emotional predisposition for self-destruction which have held us back since independence. Despite the visible tensions, both views are likely to form the battleground for the emergence of new politics in Nigeria. It will be definitely a battle between poly-tricks and sensible politics.

Many of those who parade themselves today in Nigeria as politicians do one thing extremely well: they whip up regional, ethnic, and religious sentiments for personal gains and ride on that wave. They do this because they have mastered the gullibility of the average Nigerian, which has become a collective problem. True to their nature as politicians of ‘poly tricks’, they will always be good at what they do best: gross deceit and unfathomable manipulation. They set us against each other. They achieve their personal selfish goals of power acquisition. The status quo of stagnation remains. Nigeria continues to suffer from ineptitude. We moan and die. They dance on our graves.

As 2015 approaches, the politrickians have started their games. Posturing and pretending to be super heroes – grand defendants of the masses and their regional interests. They have started fanning the embers of regional hatred across the ethnic groups – North, South, East and West. This could be seen from many current happenings in the polity – from the Nigerian Governance Forum (NGF) debacle to the clamour for the return of power to the proverbial and imaginary “Northern Nigeria”. Selfishness is present in all these political intrigues and manoeuvring. What is obviously absent is a genuine sense of national patriotism and common good. Despite their attempts to hide their selfish interests through packaging them as regional or religious interests, they manifest as primordial and unenlightened quest for naked power. This is in no way surprising given that enlightenment is a rare commodity in a country ravaged by poverty of the mind, brute craze for all things material, and obnoxious level of ignorance. The politrickians understand this too, and work effortlessly to use it to their benefits at our collective expense.

The period before 2015 and its madness presents an opportunity for us to sit back and think carefully before the politrickians run us over in their usual style. The power is with us and not with them. They know this too. That’s why they do all they can to sway us to vote for them even when they know very well that they do not have our interests at heart. Sieve through their messages with more care and rigour. Do not be in a haste to form an opinion. Remember the difference between a politrickian and a chameleon is very negligible. When they come with their sweet tongues and deep pockets, it will be sensible to always explore what their vision for Nigeria and the Nigerian society in Africa and in the World is, and how they think we can achieve it. This is new politics! Avoid engaging with them on the basis of where they are from and the God they believe in, for they are usually rootless and godless. The very few among them who are sensible and civilised may not have very deep pockets; it is our duty to discern these people and support them. They may not be as loud as the majority; they will need our collective voice to trump the mighty in our land who have held us hostage in similar patterns and styles characterised by deep seated corruption and underdevelopment. Again, this is new politics!

All things being equal, 2015 is a year of battle between the politrickians and the Nigerian people. They have started their games of deceit and divide and rule in earnest – playing one group against the other. Let’s not fall for their antics or allow ourselves to be sucked into their unpatriotic and destructive powers. Let’s unite, stand up to, fight, and defeat the politrickians in 2015. If you are still at sea about who the politrickians are, they only fly flags of two shades: ethnic and religious sentiments. With a close eye on these, you will not miss them despite their adeptness in portraying their selfish goals as common goods. They will never present a clear and practical ideology of Nigeria as a good society, which is quintessentially new politics.

The battle line is drawn. Spread the message. By their fruits we shall know them, and victory shall be ours if we put Nigeria first in all things.

Amaeshi is a member of Thought Leadership Forum, Nigeria, and an Associate Professor (Reader) in Strategy and International Business at the University of Edinburgh, and a visiting professor at the Lagos Business School.

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