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As an opening statement, it must be put out strongly and as a truism that treachery or sabotage is not politics.
The dictionary clearly explains that “treachery” is betrayal of trust. Treachery is violation of allegiance or of faith and confidence. In the extreme, it is treason. Treachery is a word that is reserved for the most despicable breaches of trust.
On the other hand, “sabotage” is deliberate subversion. Someone who sabotages is called a saboteur. Sabotage can only come from within. Only a close ally, friend or partner can sabotage. An enemy cannot sabotage as he never had your trust or confidences.
A true friend, partner or ally may feel offended but will never sabotage or betray.
Sadly, treachery and betrayal seem to be the most prominent characteristics of politics in Naija.
Truth be told, and before going any further, treachery and sabotage are acts of cowardice.
They are not acts of bravery and they are not politics either.
Give it to Naija politicians, they are a study in the good, the bad and the ugly.
In one electoral season, they do a lot of harm to themselves, say unprintable things about each other, scheme and plot evil and even threaten to go on exile if their sworn enemy does not lose the pending election.
Believe them at your peril. Most Naija politicians are chameleonic- readily changing colour. Tenacious fidelity is in short supply in Naija politics.
It is no longer news that during political campaigns, before the general election is held or shortly after the election is won and lost or in the build up to another election cycle, the same person or persons talking crap and poppycock will jump ship and publicly embrace the same man or woman they had vilified in the most unprintable ways. People no get shameoo.
Naija politicians forgive a lot too. They are quick to disagree obviously on selfish grounds. They are also quick to make up or reconcile if their interests are communal against the masses.
Talk of partners in crime and not partners in progress.
Looking at the way Nigerian politicians forgive themselves or pretend at it or embrace those who betrayed or sabotaged them in the past, one may be tempted to think that politicians will make heaven.
That is not the case anyway. No sinner will make heaven. At least the Holy Book says so.
Naija politicians repent so that you can make heaven!
In the recently concluded 2023 Presidential election, almost all the major campaign Spokespersons of the Presidential candidates were political torn coats who had earlier campaigned viciously against the election of the same men they were sweating to sell to Nigerians as the best men for the job. It is called “chopping and changing”!
Gleefully, on national television, radio, social media and during political rallies, these dual faced characters would be struggling to rationalise their current embarassing posture as new convictions. They hide under the cliché that there is
no permanent friend in politics but permanent friends. If you can’t beat them join them.
On the other hand, food is ready politics, is what cynics call it. But there is more to it.
Naija politics remains dirty and murky because of lack of ideology or convictions.
Politics is indeed a game but it is highly doubtful if it has rules in our clime. How do you explain senior party officers at both national and state levels shamelessly throwing spanners in the works against their party candidates? There is indeed no morality in Naija politics.
Naija politics remains a study of the thesis that power is not given, power is taken. All is fair in warfare. Politics is war by other means.
In power politics, it is not over until it is over. Hence, you can expect anything including the worst from the Nigerian politcian.
360 degrees turnaround is a given in Naija politics. Those who swore to go on exile will be the first to congratulate the man they vehemently opposed. They are usually the first set of people to be patronised. More often than not, they end up taking over the government they opposed its formation to the detriment of those who stayed strong and supported ab initio. What a paradox!
Of a truth, every politician has a price although it would appear that some have no price. It is just in their sly nature not to be reliable to the extent that they sell on credit to an unknown customer.
Betrayal and sabotage seem to be the main drivers of politics in Naija. Friends today, enemies tomorrow.
It did not start today. It will not end anytime soon. But a new normal is possible!
What has come out of all these is, never bank on any political ally or party official, supporter or sponsor in Naija politics. It is in their DNA to play migratory politics without scrupples.
When pricked by conscience, there will always be countless reasons to explain away drivels and empty breezes.
A reconciled enemy is never to be trusted. In the military, those who sabotage or betray are summarily tried and punished. This is because if you forgive a coup plotter, he will never forgive himself. He will keep plotting against the system. That is why coup plotters are summarily executed when they are caught, tried and convicted.
Truth is, political mobility is both legal and constitutional. A person is at liberty to defect to another political party. Even within the same political party, a person can change camp or stay away from associating with his or her old allies without sounding like a broken pot. Kiss and tell syndrome is no politics!
The idea that there is no permanent friend but permanent interest in politics should serve as a guardrail or restraint to what thngs politicians do or say.
If only Nigerian politicians know that they will soon embrace the man or woman they are viciously criticising today, they will keep their campaigns clean. Ọnụ kwufọ bu afa madu burukwa ilu. Our politics can afford not to be toxic, venemous and abusive since no one knows tomorrow.
Yes, there is no morality in politics but how can one proudly lick his vomit? For how much and for what reasons? Only a conscienceless person will do that and feel no scrupples about it.
Their is no moral or ethical lesson to learn from Naija politicians, their politics, politique and politricks. Naija politics remains anywhere belle face, food is ready and Machevellian.
Shakespares is quoted to have said that there is honour among thieves.
Can there be honour among thieves?
The Holy Bible says unequivocally that there is no honor among thieves.
The end does not always justify the means. Honour, integrity, trustworthiness and ethical standards remain irreplaceable qualities in politics.
Naija politicians repent!
A new normal is possible!
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