By Innocent Okon
Nigerian genre of politics and politicking will never cease to freeze! If and when it is not awfully preposterous, it is truth walking on its head. All the actors on stage, by their body language and utterances, want the audience to believe that new costumes and stage designs have new characters. That’s why the political space keeps contracting, instead of expanding!Instead of new ways to achieve progress, we are treated to new ways of explaining unmitigated failures and colossal graft.
Since 2015, our leaders have taught us to accept terrorism as mere insurgency. When it persisted, euphemisms like banditry, kidnapping and unknown gunmen were readily introduced into our special dictionary on political instability! Now, there’s hardly any sphere of our socio-economic endeavour that is spared this mental escapism.
When the pump price of fuel and electricity supply are increased, they tell us that what has happened is not an increase, but withdrawal of subsidy to provide funds for “critical infrastructure”. Put it in a more sexy way, it is “under-recovery of cost”. When communities are sacked by “bandits”, we are assured that the “heart of our leader has gone out to the victims, and that the government is on top of the situation.”
In our academia, trading grades for sexual or pecuniary favours, or both, is euphemistically called “sorting”. Plagiarism that used to be a ‘deadly offence’ in that exclusive haven of eggheads is now dismissed as just “copy and paste oversight”. Adultery in the ecclesiastical circuit is now described as “inappropriate affair”, which should remain the domestic spiritual concern of the parishioner or cleric (ask Sammie Okposo!).It’s same team perpetrating same wrongs with different names in the polity.
Not yet done, now governments don’t take loans from banks, but rather go for “financial instruments.” ! Some politicians don’t purchase forms again to vie for elective offices. Pseudo media, youth and social groups (most of them populated by unemployed young men and women) are now providing that philanthropic gesture!
Your heart bleeds when you are told that students, mostly from public universities, who are home because of striking lecturers, and because their parents can’t afford to sponsor their education in private universities, are the ones raising millions of Naira to purchase forms for politicians to run for
office! You wonder why a media organisation with undisclosed networth should be interested in securing form for a privileged politician, instead of looking within its tribe, the Fourth Estate of the Realm!
My little knowledge of elections in Presidential democracy as practised in the United States of America, where we took the ‘carbon copy’ , is that politicians don’t trivialise their support base, nor exaggerate their resources. That’s why they solicit for campaign funds publicly and withdraw at any point they are told by pollsters that they don’t stand a chance. Why should our case here always be ludicrously different?
Okon, a legal practitioner, lives in Uyo