by Ohimai Godwin Amaize
Is the PDP perfect? I do not think so. My argument is simply that there is a PDP in the best of us and a PDP in the worst among us.
One of the most profound arguments ever made for political participation remains the description of the “political illiterate” by German poet, playwright and theatre director, Bertolt Brecht.
Brecht, who was very familiar with the dangers of political ignorance, considers the political illiterate the worst illiterate. According to him, the political illiterate “doesn’t hear, doesn’t speak, nor participates in political events. He doesn’t know the cost of life, the price of beans, of fish, of flour, of rent, of shoes and of medicine, all depends on political decisions. The political illiterate is so stupid that he is proud and swells his chest saying that he hates politics. The imbecile doesn’t know that, from his political ignorance is born the prostitute, the abandoned child, and the worst thieves of all, the bad politician, corrupt officials and lackeys of national and multinational companies.”
Ask any Nigerian youth on the street today if they are card-carrying members of any political party and you may find yourself embarrassed to scorn. Political party ke? Is it Koko Concert or Nigerian Idols?
We hate politics because we think politics is dirty. We despise politicians in government because we believe they are all rogues. We perch on our moral high grounds on social media and abuse them. We castigate them and blame them for everything. We are saints and politicians are devils.
The current fad is how well you can demonise the ruling People’s Democratic Party (PDP). I have seen young people on Twitter curse PDP like our problems as a nation begin and end with the PDP. But what really is the PDP? The PDP is not a collection of aliens who just dropped from the skies? The PDP is a group of human beings who are Nigerian citizens. They were raised in this same country in Nigerian homes by Nigerian parents just like the rest of us. They grew up in our neighborhoods and were taught how to read and write in Nigerian schools. They worship in our churches and pray in the same mosques we know. Without doubt, the PDP is an assemblage of the good, the bad and the ugly. But ironically, so is our country Nigeria and every other nation in the world.
We have been told that opposition parties were founded in heaven while the PDP was conceived in the pit of hell. We have been told that nothing good can come out of the PDP because after 13 years in power, we have nothing to show for it as a nation. What’s my point? Am I saying the PDP has done well for Nigeria in 13 years? That is certainly not my conclusion. Is the PDP perfect? I do not think so. My argument is simply that there is a PDP in the best of us and a PDP in the worst among us. The PDP is only a micro-reflection of who we are collectively as a people.
We cry everyday about the kind of Nigeria we want to see. But that Nigeria will remain nothing but a tantalizing mirage if we refuse to embrace the huge responsibility that time and chance has conferred upon us. Whenever I see young Nigerians whining on Twitter about what government is not doing well, I feel like giving them a knock on the head. You find a way to get inside politics and governance and do a better job. We must rise from our political naivety as young people. Our problem is not politics or the PDP but the mass number of competent, sound and principled young Nigerians who have left politics in the hands of a few charlatans.
Make no mistake; politics is not a game of ludo. Politics is and will always remain a game of numbers. But the quality of numbers that add up to determine the political future of any nation is another issue entirely. It is in fact what determines the quality of ideas that govern a people.
In a democracy, the majority, no matter how stupid, will always have their way. Worse still, this is what happens when a few ruthless politicians control a majority of Nigerians who are stricken by poverty, hunger and illiteracy: Naira notes travel faster than tweets. Bundles of ankara penetrate the farthest nooks and crannies of our nation and big bags of rice inspire more hope than well-written blogs!
We can chose to be remembered as the generation that lamented about our problems or the one that took drastic decisions towards solving those problems. History has no trophy for those who abused politicians best. History will be kind only to risk-takers who put their careers, fame, relationships and lives on the line, all for the love of country.
Ohimai Godwin Amaize is popularly known as Mr. Fix Nigeria, Amaize was born on September 9, 1984. He is an alumnus of the premier University of Ibadan, Nigeria with a post-graduate certificate in “Managing for Integrity”, Central European University, Budapest, Hungary. He is a registered member, People’s Democratic Party. He tweets @MrFixNigeria.
Op-ed pieces and contributions are the opinions of the writers only and do not represent the opinions of Y!/YNaija.