By: Emelife Uc
Politics in Nigeria becomes more difficult as the years go by. The idea of progression in Nigeria’s vocabulary is making things more difficult. In fact, if there were a “Nigerian Advanced Learners’ Dictionary”, the word “Progress” would have its first synonym as “Sophisticated”.
This is a reality that goes beyond politics but extends to education, health, entertainment and every other sector. In saner climes, however, an applaudable development is when a previously sophisticated process is made easy, but you must understand that when God cursed Adam that he would sweat before putting food on the table, he allotted that to his Nigerian descendants and gave his other favourable qualities to the abroad.
This explains why as a Nigerian you must lose weight as evidence of hard work … otherwise, you are a lazy Nigerian (youth).
I was hoping our sacred politics would not be roped into this, at least to keep the fire in some of us that have political aspirations. Aspirations we were hoping to actualise in 50 years time (“tomorrow”) when we become youths like President Buhari and his contemporaries. But Nigeria doesn’t ever give you what you want. You only get what she thinks you need. (Sai Baba!)
I remember when all it took to garner votes in Nigeria was to be patriotic, academically qualified, have a valid vision for the country and impactful solutions to existing problems in your manifesto. That simple. It was so simple that few swallowed their pride and followed it to the letter. The others who didn’t claimed they were too good for easy and chose to tread a more difficult path.
Some of them overlooked the academic requirement because I mean everyone can become a professor, and opted for a more strenuous qualification like fake WAEC results, fake NYSC certificates. Others abandoned vision and chose to hire storytellers who would come up with enticing stories about their ‘humble’ backgrounds. Stories they shared in campaigns. If not sadism, why go through the stress of talking about yourself, instead of the easier option that is, a critical delivery before the electorates of your intentions if voted for? Do they not realise that telling a story is more difficult than engaging your brain in critical discourse?
It didn’t stop there. No, this was like the first swim into the difficulty mainstream. It advanced to making empty promises in campaigns, ridiculous ones yet told with a straight face. Ah! This politics sef!
Do you know what it takes to lie without your body gestures giving you up? Or pledging to do something you know you won’t do even if given a decade, without that conscience thingy haunting you down? Not just before one or two persons, but a crowd and National TV. What if your Mum is watching and chooses to beat you up for lying? So that an Instablog headline like, “Presidential candidate gets beat up by Mum, for saying he would equate one naira to one dollar if voted for on National TV” would then go viral and just like that, your career is tainted.
Lying is an art; an arduous one. If that falsehood ain’t innate, you must acquire the skill in the “School of Lai”. Graduating with a distinction from the “School of Lai” has turned the crux of the requirements for a political office. Please bring back our genuineness. That was way easier. Sincerity needs no training.
It keeps deteriorating as the years go by, and politics is becoming more complicated. Now they say that to win an election, you must go on your knees and beg for votes. Chai! There is God o.
If you can’t, then there should be a willing relation preferably a Godfather who would carry out the exercise on your behalf, while you stand upright smiling. Such relation must, however, expose your 40-year boyhood, and admit your expected incompetence.
If you are a rerun contender, it is expected that he should admit you messed up in your past regime, but credit it to your naivety especially if you are 40. You know how 40-year-olds think like toddlers na? So the failure was natural. He should then promise that you’d do better if given another chance. A blatant lie; but remember if he has mastered the art, especially the kind offered in the “School of Lai”, your Godfather can make it very believable. Also remember, all this must be done while he is kneeling.
In their defence though, since what the average Nigerian does is beg, and our leaders should lead by example, maybe the whole idea of begging for votes is for representation. To show Nigerians that they are not alone and maybe to showcase how begging can be done frivolously. Well, this development even though difficult is commendable. Kudos! Nigerian politics.
I can’t but express optimism then in the Neo-Nigerian Politics. The inclusion agenda is unique and praiseworthy. What next? Represent the thousand jobless Nigerian graduates by lying down during campaigns? Beautiful!
Emelife Uc is a 300 level student of Literature in English. He is as well a campus journalist, a creative writer, a budding satirist and a literary enthusiast.