Politics, Political Parties And The State Of The Nation By Jimi Bickersteth
Posted On Jul 20, 2015
In this piece,it is taken for granted that political is,as relating to the nation, and the body politic involving government policy making and the characteristics of or relating to the parties and the partisan aspects of politics . While politics is the art and science of forming,directing and administering states and other political units, the complex or aggregate of relationships of men in society, especially as it relates to authority or power. Party politics is the business of politics or any activity concerned with the acquisition of power and gaining one’s own ends in the management of public affairs. These are the prospects and general and universal outlook of politics, and political parties.
The best examples are from your own history. Taking a trip down memory lane,political parties in the Nigeria’s third Republic were creations to signalised and consummate the changes to civil rule. The only party that had a claim to national standing and spread was the PDP, and it took the APC the better part of sixteen years before the grand merger of CPC,nPDP a splinter but powerful group from PDP, and the ACN before the momentous APC was formed in what was daily appearing as a monumental blunder. In that historic merger, it was only the CPC that matched the nPDP and it was not by mere chance that today, both of them, were genuinely strong in the make up,while the ACN was only a make-weight, that merely made the log by supplying the merger with its most enlightened and sophisticated ally, the South West and its bloc vote,which was largely made possible by the overreaching BAT, nevertheless,it too got on the gravy train and the APC managed to dethrone the PDP and its members megalomania.
The recent nightmarish and desperate attempts at confusion, in the name of power and control of the National Assembly gave Nigeria the jitters, and should be an excuse for Nigerians to ask themselves and the political parties, what are our politics. The national assembly power fracas, portrayed ,Nigeria as a nation whose political parties were full of individuals with an appalling taste for power and control,and who could be so loose, desperate and tactless in the process of actualising their dreams. The NASS/APC power tussles leave a sour taste in our consciousness and a metaphor of the nation. Nigerians are beginning to sing an ode for the APC government, and the soundtrack swooshing in one’s head is so cold and bad. The lyrics line in the song is that of the highway to the danger zone, and its resonance makes one quake, as the nation’s political boat appeared to be sinking deeper into the mountain of dry quicksand.
The pushing and jostling that characterised the power sharing in the 8th National Assembly, without fear of contradiction, went over the odds. On the one hand it was a patent exercise in puppetry and indiscretions, while on the other,it was an aggressive attack on the weakest point of all that is APC and a fall out of the spirit of camaraderie and close affinity,.The manner some legislators were collared and used as bargaining tools speak volumes. The age old cliché around who you would want on the end of a chance may have a different answer to the one you would expect.
The nation’s leaders hardly understood the effects the power struggles could have on the inner dynamics of party politics and national development. It is safe to state here,that while one winced with pain at the memory of the stupid things they did, the ‘ splinter’ group that decamped from PDP to nPDP and now to APC are prancing about in exaggerated steps,because they had their way. They must however be wary of talking too much in conversations that lack jene sais quoi and beware of banana peels ahead.
The APC’s line of resistance, the easiest,but not necessarily the best or most honourable, course of action, was faulty. It is trite to say that two wrongs don’t make a right,all it needed do was to put its house in order and remain indivisible, any passive resistance or attempts to divorce itself of any members or interests may spell disaster to the nascent administration at the centre in its commitment to offering’ change ‘
to a nation that had been bastardised and rendered unproductive.
The power tussles had unveiled the true nature of politicians,and their two faces. The one as crafty or unscrupulous, cunning and the other sagacious, wise and prudent,the one,a political scoundrel ,and the other a statesman, but, a thin line separates the two. This perhaps is the most difficult phase in party politics and with politicians, because all politicians wear the cap with the two faces and its oftentimes difficult to make the distinction. They were all bred and consequently, products of instincts and of the fear of the unknown.But however, wherever one choose to go to when making the clear choices of life- not the compulsions- reveals one’s true character.
The power struggles was orchestrated by overreaching members, who took advantage of a party still doodling in the boredom of the euphoria of a new found electoral fortune. The brouhaha, that ensued, was a dreadful and direct attack on the APC’s weakest point. It made the party vulnerable,and all it stood for ordinary.The incident was an affront and utter disregard for party supremacy and party cohesion and discipline. It was an error that left the party trembling like leaves in the breeze, and which may return to haunt the Buhari administration in the foreseeable future.
To the chagrin of the elements in the party, APC within its piting limited talents abused the dictates of parliamentary tradition and practices,as it relates to party’s preferences. The world would have expected that once a stand had been taken by the party,its members were duty bound to conform and tow party lines, except where there were noticeable fundamental flaws. However, the warring gladiators, in APC explored the lacuna,in that unwritten convention.
It would be unfair to cast aspersions on the individuals concerned. But without prejudice,the National Assembly is truly not a wing of any political party, but, for fear of contradiction, it would at the same time be illogical to explain away the disobedience and resistance to the party’s cautious stance. It was an incestuous error, that once elected on the platform of a political party, such a member could become an independent candidate with independent opinions and interests that were directly opposite to the party’s views, programmes and manifestos.How well such member would be able to marshal the party’s position was better left to conjectures. One is of the candid opinion, that representatives,no matter how highly placed in the scheme of things they were could never be greater than the party, hence, could not rid the party roughshod. A billionaire can not on account of his wealth denied his natural parents, to so do,as some legislators had done was perfidious and deceitful.
The national assembly had perforce to abandon plenaries till July 21st, in their treachery, the grim expression on some of the faces were that of tacit admission of failure . All of which went on to confirm that there was nothing like the APC in reality, what we had was CPC, NPDP, ACN, and if we could not deploy sufficient knowledge and skills to formulate how we want to move, it could have adverse effects on national development and cohesion, and that would be way beyond the National Assembly.
Therefore, in furtherance of the attempts at deepening and strengthening our democratic processes, ideals and engender national unity and development, all the party interests and elements should in a flying head mare throw those differences that were threatening to unsettle and separate them. The attendant problems usually associated with power tussles, is as old as time. The one confronting the nation and APC, however, exposed the hollowness in the merger, its frailties and disposition. All the party had to do was to look for common ground while designing a conscious agreement, or an article of faith, on how to move forward. There is also the need to placate all vested interests in the dalliance that were shortchanged. Before it escaped my memory,let me add in parentheses that,
It is an incontrovertible fact that politicians are quite adept at woolly language and fudging things and issues, but I have an inclining, that discretion is the better part of valour, and beyond spoiling for war and causing disaffection, discontent and division in the party, one only hoped the senate president had weighed his options, where he was coming from and the banana peels ahead. He is certainly going to enjoy the party ,flavoured with plenty of flak that were bound to follow,.We can’t wait to get started, to BS, its bon voyage
The reports of the national assembly had swept over the nation that indefinable sensation of menace and evil, of a pregnancy approaching its term. The nation’s was befuddled by how is it without rules, there’s chaos. And men hate chaos. The thing about rules : knowing them implies knowing when to break them, and we have a penchant to break rules with impunity.But ,with the ‘ change ‘,the world expected our politicians to put the nation’s interest above all primordial personal preferences. It shouldn’t be either my way or the highway.
Native wisdom presupposes background knowledge that the politicians and peoples do not possess,where it implied that the tone in which a discussion begins is often the tone in which it ends. The 8th National Assembly and the ruling party started on an oherwise frosty note, with harsh words and tension, the chances of ever reaching a peaceful compromise based on trust and confidence during this regime life span could be slim. They started with and were primed to continue to focus too much on where their views differ.
The tussles cameo in a deafening silence, like a breeze ruffling the surface of the sea, and the reflection on the glassy surface, was the AG/NNDP experience in 1963/1964, that tumultuous period in the nation’s political history.The mutiny ,butchery,hatchery that culminated in a bitter and unnecessary civil war. The nation’s was exposed to all these things, because of deep seated and murky conspiracies. The things that were supposed to bring our politicians together were the very things that separated them. The lessons of the nation history should not be lost on the political gladiators, we must prevent and preserve the nation from any turmoil.
The nation’s hallowed chambers must not be allowed to be turned to a territory of poltergeist, making loud noises their bullets, while throwing fisticuffs, chairs and objects.
The nation had elevated their status and position, they must therefore live the notion that the most excellent nature’s were always the most easy, and as such, are the soonest perverted by ill counsels, especially when baited with fame and ( vain) glory. Things had been brought to the extremes, yet,there seems to be enough room left for composure, candour, and humility, and they should not allow the experience become an unspoken wedges between them ,even as they try to understand the differences between healthy and unhealthy conflicts, while unhealthy conflicts breeds hostility, healthy conflicts by contrast, remains focused on the issues that cause disagreement, when such distinctions are made the parties could work through their disagreement.
In a nebulous way, and may be because our democratic experience was still wet behind the ears, political parties that were formed to handle matters concerned with acquiring or exercising power within a group,and must not be seen to be controlled by anyone or anything outside itself-including people, circumstances, impulses, intellect and especially not fear are been induced by a combination of this ideas. A mixed metaphor one would call it.
The actors in the political arena, perhaps because of the large cesspool of cash they have to deploy,hardly know that the political parties in its supremacy of place and luminous flux were expected to stay in control at all times, even when faced by problems with no easy solutions. Our politicians are expected at all times, to remained anchor to the truth and the true values of the party. They must be able to distinguished wisely between alternative; discerned between realities and fantasies, and also be able to make good decisions in difficult situations of uncertainty and confusion. They were meant to concentrate energies on fulfilling the important priorities of life and to lead a nation and its people to prosper, implicit in the word prosper is stability,productivity, and strengths to direct the nation’s’ noble course’. #
AKUTE VIA OJODU.