Is Politics A Dirty Game? - Ayama Pius Kurotimi

Ayama Pius Kurotimi 


Politics, in ordinary parlance, refers to the process and act of managing, controlling and directing the affairs of the state by a few set of individuals elected or appointed to respective managerial offices of the state; to act on behalf of the general populace – basically, this is referred to as Democracy: government of the people, by the people and for the people. 


Furthermore, it's the use of state’s power and authority to command obedience from the people. This is as a result of the legitimacy accrued to the state. The state relinquishes this privileges and powers as soon as it looses  legitimacy.


Generally, commentators nickname politics as a dirty game or murky aqua. To them, it's a game for power-hungry people; a game where few greedy individuals maximally monopolize state’s power for their own selfish  interest, which consequently avert to the detriment of the people. Small wonder, Alexander Pope defined Politics as: the madness of the many for the benefit of the few. One can sum up from the myopic holding of  commentators that, instead of politics enriching the state, it succeeded in immensely destabilizing and  impoverishing our once progressing country, as evidenced by the havoc and disunity it has caused. The  nation has retrogressed, coupled with numerous agitations for seccession. It has birthed inexplicable hostilities amongst the different cultures of the country. Hence, this has aided in strengthening the assertion held by Commentators that, Politics is a game fettered in bad waters or murky aqua


A legal maxim says: Res ipsa loquitur - the fact speaks for itself. In this light, would one say these assertions by Commentators towards politics justifiable? Well, it's a question of fact that needs to be tested and proved. The legal maxim: Nemo dat quod non habet which is interpreted to mean: You cannot give what you don't have. Thus, it is firmly contended that a man who has no understanding nor know the nitty gritties of a profession cannot give a justifiable, reliable and reasonable opinion or answer that suits to the practices of the profession. No wonder, lawyers have been wrongly upheld as liars by laymen (commentators) who make judgements based on hearsay and myopic reasoning. It is, therefore, the writers humble suggestion that, Politics is not a dirty game. 


You will agree with me that every field of endeavour is battered with defects either conspicuously or otherwise; but the fact is, does that make the entirety of such endeavour a dirty one? An emphatic “No”. Perfectionism is not a physical thing; but a state of mind.


Consequently, it is pertinent to point out that politics is a game of interest. A realistic and practical game where the highest interest flies or wins at the end of the long run. ‘Interest’ here does not mean being selfish or self-centered but a stand of an individual, which is inevitable. Man is a social and political being by nature. Thus, what showcases first in all of man’s pursuits is the protection of his/her interest. The importance of man protecting his/her interest cannot be over-emphasized. It's so indispensable and requisite that, Baron de Montesquieu posited that: ‘man is inherently unpredictable. Thus, in order to avoid and put a check to the unpredictable nature of man - the doctrine of separation of powers is now used to run the administrative system of most countries.


Simply put, politics is not a dirty game. Truth be told, it's a game and it's natural for one to speak bad of a game he does not win or hoped to play to his tone. Hence, the writer posits that Politics is a game of relativity and subjectivity. It is the writers  humble submission that, if politics is a dirty game, then man is also a dirty being, and even dirtier because politics emanated from man. What holds a country standing is the political structure of the country – as it births other super-structures of the country.


Thus, it is vehemently contended that the assertion by these commentators is a result of ignorance and built on hearsays. To them (Commentators), those at the helm of governmental powers is the problem of a country. Conversely, the problem is the masses. The crux problem of leadership or governance is not the leader but the followers/governed. In governance, the governed are legally mandated to veto autocratic leaders by exercising franchise at the polls. Instead, the masses sell this right accorded to  them, thereby deliberately refuse doing what is right and subsequently turn around to lay flimsy complaints and allegations against leaders. Thus, it is safe to posit that, the masses are the dirty waters while politicians only swim in the already made dirty waters.


The problem with Africans, particularly Nigerians is lack of right thinking. Once thoughts and reasoning’s are of the negative, everything gets tainted with negativity including actions. Masses think of leaders as the problem of the country; not minding they put them there to take decisions on their behalf; and the aftermath is a payback of what they choose. Permit me to say that, they were not hypnotized to voting those leaders in. They voted freely but with tainted and greedy intents.


More or less, it is to be noted that, nothing is permanent but change. This rule of change also applies to Politics. Leadership is an approach, so, all cannot have same approach patterns to tackling situations. Emphatically, It's not new to have tough drastic moments in the economy of a state. Notwithstanding, that   should not be used to justify or gauge politics as a dirty game or bad waters. The writer hereby discountenance the view of upholding politics as a dirty game because of dire economic straits. This is pure myopia and devoid of any reasonable grounds. 


Now, elections are forthcoming, and same masses (Commentators), with selfish and greedy intents, will run after wrong candidates because of momentary dividends. Why then accrue every downfall to the leaders when they’re made to spend millions and even billions, making the whole process resembling purchase of commodity? Would one expect such a person, upon emergence, to do what’s needed or expected? An emphatic No! One cannot place something on nothing and expect it to stand; it will definitely fall. It’s high time, Nigerians stand for  truth and choose wisely. Nothing good comes easy. The sacrifice for good leadership is patience, that is, ability to not run after mischievous and greedy politicians during campaigns - politicians whose major intent is to syphon public fund and ruin the masses to advert penury.


To this end, it is firmly posited that, politics is not bad or murky waters. It's an assertion held by commentators out of misconception. Why so much acrimony towards politicians without minding the fact that these commentators bastardized the system and process ab initio (from the very beginning) as a result of their selfish interests? A change in the narrative starts from same commentators. We find ourselves in a political system where every adult citizen is entitled to vote and be voted for. I urge such commentators to stand out for the change and also participate instead of making mockery from the outside.


Furthermore, it’s a truism that participant observation is better in tackling problems than non-participant observation. Hence, indulging in decision making by venturing into politics is better compared to making groundless assertions from outside. It’s our country and we must collectively strategize to make it a better place. A clay pot does not ask the man who made it, why it was made. After all, the man who makes pots has the right to use the clay as he wishes and to make two pots from the same lump of clay, one for special occasions and the other for ordinary use. In the instant scenario, the commentators are the makers of the clay pots and politicians are the clay pots. Sophocles said ‘much wisdom often goes with the fewest words.’ 


Nigerians be foretold. Long live Nigeria!


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