Home / Opinion / (Opinion) Era of decampment: Politicians without principle

(Opinion) Era of decampment: Politicians without principle

Chief Mike Ozekhome
Chief Mike Ozekhome

Mike Ozekhome

The average Nigerian politician is bereft of political principles, or any discernible ideology. He is like a ‘yoyo’. He vacillates and waffles indecisively, oscillating between politics of the stomach (now popularly renamed stomach infrastructure by Governor Fayose of Ekiti State).

The “come-and-chop” or “chop-I-chop” politics syndrome found its name into the Nigerian political lexicon long before Fayose. Long before now, we had colourful politicians like Busari Adelakun (Eruobodo) and Lamidi Adedibu who popularised “amala or “gbegiri” politics. Some call it ‘akpu’, ‘edikang ikon’, ‘tuwo sinkafa’ politics. I call it “politics of omhisaghue and amato” (don’t ask me what these mean in my Etsako, Weppa- Wanno language).

This genre of politics is simply anchored on the cheap principle of sharing (never baking) the national cake amongst family members, old school mates, kinsmen, religious peers, business companions, political affiliates, etc. It is a euphemism for freely stealing from the national treasury and pillaging our commonwealth.

It thrives on cronyism, tribalism, nepotism, undue favouritism, clannishness, religious bigotry, ethnic chauvinism and ethno-religious jingoism. It abhors merit. It detests brilliance. It enthrones mediocrity. As a principle, “come and chop” politics advocates that the strongest continuously pummels and subdues the strong into a comatose position of irreversibility, while the already weak ones are battered into oblivion and totally interred or entombed alive.

The Nigerian politician (sorry, politician) is at once a “Militrician” (Military top brass turned into politicians and “civitrician” (civilians practicing politics). The Nigerian Politician has corrupted politics and madly stripped it of its inherent nobility and integrity.

Like common whores, they prostitute from one political party to another, never ashamed to return to an earlier party that he left with éclat and celebration to eat his vomit. Whether the party is PDP, APC, AD, APP, AC, ACN, CPC, ANPP, the Nigerian Politician gallivants about shamelessly, strutting from one party to the other. He lacks morality. He is allergic to political decorum or democratic nuances. He is a loose canon. The same political class rotates offices amongst themselves. The same faces, but different offices. Once a local government chairman, he aspires to be member of a state House of Assembly; then House of Representatives; then Senate.

Later, he leaves Senate to become a governor; or from his gubernatorial seat to become a Senator. Over the years, it is the same dramatis personnel. No new entrants. No fresh ideas. Power is rotated from father to son, mother to daughter, brother to brother and kinsman to kinswoman. Little wonder that Nigeria has not grown. Even her purported development has been without actual and real development. She continues to suffer the fate of the barber’s chair of perpetual motion and rotation on its axis, but without progress. Her growth is stunted, for there is no manure or fertilizer to resuscitate the parched soil.

I have watched with amazement how politicians have decamped from one political party to another in the last 15 years, when the new democratic dispensation anchored. The reasons given for the decampment have been as funny, phoney, weird and bizarre, as they are vain glorious, self-serving, selfish, self-centred and without shame or scruples.

What do these amala politicians take us for? Fools? Idiots? Imbeciles? Bourbons of European history who learnt nothing and forgot nothing, leading to the second world war and destruction of Hiroshima and Nagasaki with the atomic bomb, even after the Treaty of Versailles of June, 1919, signed to end the First World War? Do they think all of us suffer collective amnesia?

How can a responsible person use the platform of a political party he did not even help to midwife, to attain the position of President for eight years, become a Chairman of its Board of Trustees on two different occasions, and suddenly discover that the party is a nest of armed robbers, corrupt elements, and political lepers?

How can a sane person use the launch pad of a political party to become a legislator, speaker for eight years, governor for about six years, minister, and ambassador and suddenly realise that the party is one of thieves and criminals, and thus justify his opportunistic decampment? How? Just how?

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