-By Gloria Okezie-Okafor

Staying in office, retaining political power, is the sole attraction for the average Nigerian politician. They love fame, titles, and corruption, more than they have any feelings for the people, the rule of law, or making meaningful development for those they serve. At best, Nigerian politicians – no matter what level – are mafias once elected.

Sadly, the prevailing illiteracy, poverty and dependency of the multitude of Nigerians, have made the people accept their puppet position – worshipping and praising these politicians, in the hope of getting the crumbs that they can offer.

The crop of politicians who have plunged the country into debts, chaos, and under development, would rather the status quo of stealing, corruption, and intimidation remains. This is because for them, it is a sure way to self enrichment, and the enrichment of their cronies.

The idea of ethnic and religious intolerance, is the game card played by these politicians to keep this circle going the same, while they continue to recycle power amongst their fellows. Any attempt to altar this anomaly by these self-serving politicians, would be interpreted to mean an attack on them for ethnic and religious reasons; thereby evoking the sentiment of their people (those who share the same ethnic and religious belief). In so doing, any clear case of corruption or criminal offences by these politicians, is swept under the carpet.

Over the years, people have allowed themselves to be victims of the excesses of politicians by defending what ought to be considered as an offense to the people. The idea that politicians are gods rather than the servants they should be, have turned potential Nigerians to thugs or outlaws; others have died innocently following the violence spurred by these greedy politicians.

With the elections still very much in the air, many Nigerians have forgotten that the effect of bad government was suffered by all, except these politicians – many of whom will leave the country at slight provocation; many of whose families are not here, many who do not believe in the medical institution of the very State they govern, many who have no need nor regards for the very laws they expect the citizens to abide by.

The list runs endless of how our politicians love impunity as against accountability. Listening to these politicians speak, one would wonder if they never begged the electorate to vote them into power. In 2023, we witnessed a lot of begging; we saw the extent politicians can go to woo the masses on their side. But listening to these politicians, a keen observer would see that they can never be trusted with their words.

In these elections, while politicians came crying for votes, we saw firsthand the recklessness by which their thugs held sway, and we are yet to see a firm condemnation against these thugs from the politicians. This is really sad. One could say that the security and protection of life, is aimed more at politicians, their families, and their cronies.

Only the Nigerian masses have the power to determine who rules them. Though the politicians are doing all in their power to make sure this is not so, they succeed insofar as they still have gullible people like them who would compromise on the path of truth because they were bribed or promised mouthwatering offers.

It appears corrupt politicians have picked those who agree with them and formed a cartel. What we ended up having so far, is a country which thrives in immorality, and a flagrant abuse of the rule of law. The prevailing hardship in Nigeria; the spate of insecurity, illiteracy and poverty; the dampened hope against the judiciary and the government, was and still is orchestrated by corrupt politicians.

It appears the Nigerian State has become an all comers affair, where once you get into politics, you begin to call the shots and the law does not hold you accountable. Amazingly, one wonders how the same politicians feel when they travel to other places and see how openly and credibly their counterparts abroad run their government.

It wouldn’t be out of place to say that most of our politicians need psychiatric help, considering that it is abnormal to want to enjoy good things abroad, while preventing the same from happening here. In sad reality, those at the receiving end are the masses whose lives are made miserable through anti-people policies, as well as a hard economic environment.

With old politicians retaining power and new ones joining the train, one wonders what the new narrative would be. It was the desire to change the status quo that prompted young Nigerians to get fully engaged in the 2023 politics, by canvassing for positions or actively voting for preferred candidates.

The old-order politicians have little, if even any, regards for the lives and well being of ordinary Nigerians. The fight to take back Nigeria, is a fight between the elites and the oppressed; a fight between power-hungry politicians and the masses who want to see governance. This is not a fight between tribes and religion as those in power and their foreign ally would love to make the world believe.

Well meaning Nigerians wonder if surely such a day would come when the country would be salvaged out of the strong grip of evil and corrupt politicians. A lot of Nigerians have come to believe that justice, fairness and equity can never be gotten with the way the country currently runs. In much the same way, many more have come to believe that votes don’t count in Nigeria.

By osibanews

Eliel Otote A is an Actor and Filmmaker, with a bias for journalism. He was a freelance feature writer with the Nigerian Observer in the 80's in Benin City, he also presented programmes on both radio and television. Eliel is the Editor and Publisher of OSIBAnews Network Magazine, of which this blog is an affiliate.

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