Nigeria Needs A New And Better Politics

The major political parties have been overrun by extremely rich persons, who have not only turned the two major parties into fiefdoms but also run them like Don Vito ran the Corleone crime family in Mario Puzo’s novel, Mafia.

The formal defections of the two APC senators from Kebbi State, were conveyed in two separate letters addressed to the President of Senate Ahmad Lawan/ Photo credit: Vanguard
The formal defections of the two APC senators from Kebbi State, were conveyed in two separate letters addressed to the President of Senate Ahmad Lawan/ Photo credit: Vanguard

Politics is not working as it should for most Nigerians and we need a better one.

Politics is the manufacturing plant of ideas that set societies on the journey into progress, which creates the path to the achievement of collective dreams and hopes.

It is the engine for the transformation of the society through creative ideas about deploying scarce resources for the creation of wealth, prosperity, security and greatness.

Politics is the laboratory of ideologies, where great minds meet to create the path for greatness. It is through politics that solutions are found to complex problems in a society.

Through political parties, politics brings people together to work in concert to set the agenda for goals that individuals cannot achieve by themselves.

Through narrow and competitive democratic structures, politicians and political parties are given the nod to represent all of us to make crucial decisions.

When those with common ideas under a political party present themselves for elections, they are requesting our trust to follow their plans if given power.

So, we give power to politicians so that they can run a government that allows ideas to be implemented to solve problems.

Politics can be dirty at times, but it is for the good of the society that standards are established, norms are maintained and excesses are removed.

Politics must protect the interest of the majority of the people and create the environment which allows them to thrive.

If one government fails, another is elected to try a new set of ideas.

Through political substitution, continuous improvement, reinvention and innovative thinking, the society is transformed.

The two fundamental elements of political systems are the people and the politicians.

Ideas come from political parties, but the people are the judges and kingmakers.

Politics is so important that it can be regarded as the lifeblood of modern societies. And politics is a good thing. It should be embraced. It should be loved.

Not in Nigeria, where politics is ugly, deadly and nasty. A lot of things are upside down in this country.

First, the political parties are upside down.

The major political parties have been overrun by extremely rich persons, who have not only turned the two major parties into fiefdoms but also run them like Don Vito ran the Corleone crime family in Mario Puzo’s novel, Mafia.

Secondly, the politicians are hanging upside down with greed.

Thirdly, the people are upside down and disoriented.

There is hardly any difference that elections can make when the pillars that hold the system are shaky.
This is why Nigerians should not fool themselves into believing that an election in 2023 will bring better days. It will not.

Without a new and better politics, we will not have good governance and every administration that comes out of the corrupt political structure will fail.

We will complain soon after every election, because the reality is that all politicians go through the same process that cannot produce anything good.

Our political system has guaranteed that whoever gets into it will not serve the people honestly.

The next administration, if it comes from the current parties, will just be as bad as the one that we have had in the last seven years, or the one seven years before that.

The mindset must change.

Nigeria’s future will not be saved by another election in which the same set of flawed politicians present themselves, spending money in order to steal more money. The system has been set up to produce the same results.

In the decadent Nigeria, the political structures that we have are also eroding components of the system, such as the judiciary, the press and our entire value systems. We are falling apart.

The state of our politics is bad and the outcomes that we expect will not be delivered in its current state.
We need a better, if not new, politics urgently.

Nigeria has such humongous problems that there should be no vacancy for politicians with modest intelligence and vision.

But our leaders have been too unprepared for the challenges of building a modern society. All they have ever wanted is to take big pieces of the cake for themselves.

At a time when we need the brightest, the big thinkers with broad ideas to can tackle the ever-challenging dynamics of society, we continue to install feeble, worn out and feckless politicians.

There are 15 million out of school kids in northern Nigeria. Nearly 40 per cent of our people have no jobs.

An exploding population is already laying a ground for insecurity where bandits overrun large swaths of the country. Life expectancy is still around 55.

Nearly two-thirds of the population is under 25 years old and in the next 30 years, it is projected that Nigeria will become the third most populous nation on earth, led only by China and India.

The challenges we face are overwhelming. Ordinary men cannot fix them.

Instead of producing results, the political system has become an hinderance to development.

Our politicians live in a world that ignores the reality of Nigeria life.

While they have become the best paid political class in the world, Nigeria instead became the poverty capital of the universe.

It is the same clueless politicians who are recycled every four years.

The top tickets of the two major parties that stand the best chance of producing the next president will most certainly go to candidates who have been contesting the position before some university graduates were born.

They will return with the same ideas that have become as worn as their physical strength.

On top of it, they will rig, use thugs and pursue endless litigation against each other. It has become a cycle of shame.

Nigerian has not made progress political progress and we have managed to create a place where ideology is no longer a requirement for political power.

Those who lead us emerge through two political parties that are Siamese twins, with conjoined organs and no recognizable difference apart from their names and the colors of their flags.

The two parties are merely rows of seats in a bus, where passengers move from one seat to another. Some politicians have switched seats between the parties so frequently that counting is pointless.

The people have lost faith in the political system.

They just wait to collect a few bucks every four years, then leave the politicians to ransack the house. This kind of Nigeria won’t work.

With the population about to be doubled, we had better go for a better politics.

It will be too dangerous to live in a Nigeria that remains the same with 400 million people crammed.

It is time to get smart. Politicians may continue to be more of the same, but the people must outsmart them. The politicians and the party system have become problems that the people must fix.

We cannot continue to nurture a political system that is lubricated by cash.

Candidates produced by such as system will absolutely not upset the system that benefits them.

Good citizens, especially those who have something to offer, must get involved in politics and activism.

Politics is far too serious to be left to greedy politicians and moneybags, who hold our lives in their hands.

And apathy is not a solution.

Every Nigerian of voting age must get a voter’s card.

And they must vote with calculated expectations without sentiment.

People who can make a difference, when they present themselves for elective office, require support, regardless of their parties.

The best candidates would not likely come from the infested majority parties.

In the end, the choice is with the people.

They are the kingmakers.

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Written by Tunde Chris Odediran

Tunde Chris Odediran studied and practiced journalism in Nigeria. He is now a Technical Communications and Information Technology professional in the United States.