Gbenga Olorunpomi: #30percentOrNothing is for the foolish (Y! Politico)

by Gbenga Olorunpomi

“Power cannot be served a La carte.”

This is one of Asiwaju Bola Tinubu’s favorite sayings. For me, no truer words exist. For you to really appreciate the responsibilities that come with power and cherish every moment you have it, natural law dictates that one struggles before getting power. Like gold must go through fire before becoming adorable fineries, so must man go through tribulations and trials before enjoying the sweet nectar of success. That is just the way it is.

This is my angst with the promoters of the familiar hashtag #30PercentOrNothing. I have little respect for anyone who wants to skip the sweaty but satisfying phase of getting ones hands dirty and only wants the rewards. I have deep hatred for any man who wants to reap while others sow. And I regret that the promoters of the hashtag and their supporters are pushing for intellectual laziness and complacency in our polity.

To start with, what is politics? Politics is a derivative of the Greek word “politicos”, which means “of, for, or relating to citizens.” In other words, it means relating to humans. Hence, by definition, politics involves inter-human relationships. Human beings are complex and their needs are limitless. Therefore, politics cannot be a straightforward game because human beings are not straightforward. Politics is an activity that requires strategic planning, scheming, fraternizing, cajoling and financing.

Barack Obama never begged to have a chance at the Presidency. He worked his way up, learnt the ropes the hard way. Being intelligent or competent wasn’t enough; he had to talk his mouth off. Nobody would have given him the time of day if he had gone – cap in hand – pleading for a chance to serve. A hashtag wasn’t what made him the most powerful man on the planet today.

I believe it is those critical and character-building phases of politics that the proponents of #30percentornothing are hoping to cut out on their path to the top of the political hill. They want to sidestep the treachery, the debauchery, the trading off and casting off part of the game. I say, if they don’t want to do the dirty part of cooking (politicking) they should not contemplate the wining and dining (occupying office). You shouldn’t have any of the last without some of the first.

Barack Obama never begged to have a chance at the Presidency. He worked his way up, learnt the ropes the hard way. Being intelligent or competent wasn’t enough; he had to talk his mouth off. Nobody would have given him the time of day if he had gone – cap in hand – pleading for a chance to serve. A hashtag wasn’t what made him the most powerful man on the planet today.

You don’t demand for power from the point of weakness but of strength. You don’t ask for anything in politics, when you have nothing to trade with.

Instead of begging for slots or asking that party nomination forms be made cheaper, I suggest these guys try inspiring their peers and galvanise them to greatness. Imagine if one of these guys had led an army of 5,000 youths into the party when the APC was at infancy. No right thinking party would ignore such a person.

Furthermore, I would be suspicious of the political sagacity of anyone who wants to cheapen his path to the top. If you are really as good as you think you are, raising the money to run for office wouldn’t be your biggest challenge. If you can’t raise money from those around you or convince politicians to bankroll your campaign, I wonder how safe our commonwealth would be under your care.

How many of the proponents of this push would successfully sell you an item? How many of them have managed a private enterprise? How many have led a choir or band? Yet, they want power tossed on their laps.

It is understandable that political parties want to convince the youth that they have the better deal for them. This hashtag is nothing but a gimmick by the PDP. A clever one, but highly deceptive. All what the proponents want is an endorsement by the president or/and the party chairman. Once this happens, it will become a campaign tool. You fall for this, you’ll fall for anything.

I have had people tell me to stop bellyaching and work with my party to design and deliver a gimmick of our own. Some even say since our Youth Leader is no youth, we can’t be attractive to young people. One thing is sure, though; when the APC youth get what’s coming to them from the APC, it won’t be because they begged. It would be because they remained loyal and posses the competence to contribute.

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Gbenga Olorunpomi tweets from @GbengaGold

Op-ed pieces and contributions are the opinions of the writers only and do not represent the opinions of Y!/YNaija.

Comments (4)

  1. Gbenga is an idiot for quoting a renowned drug addict and Pen armed robber like Tinubu. Idiots!

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