Opinion: This is how party politics works in Nigeria, and this is why you should not complain

by Isqil Najim


 If you are neutral in matter of party politics, you can have no complaint if thugs and crooks decide your destiny

This is a story of party primaries. This is why and how many idle men and women will never emerge from the shadow of criticism they perch. And why we have Jonathans, Buharis et al as major political contenders despite having better and more acceptable individuals in the country. Hate if you like, but don’t take away their victories at the party primaries from them. Ponder on what you did and what you did not do to contribute to the emergence of these people. And whether you like it or not, one out of these people would govern you in the next four years.

In politics, there are three steps to your goals… Your mind, the party and the people….

Everything man ever achieves started in the mind. So many people died many times in their mind even while still breathing and walking among us. They however gave the impression that they are still politically alive by throwing salvoes at the men in power and aligning with the voices of discontent to win the battle of the wailers. Some smart ones however, turn themselves to AGIP (Any Government in Power) in a bid to maintain their political relevance. So many had to survive the battlefield of the mind only through aid of the external and existential force of desperation, encouragement and necessity… but still many survive and go to step two- The Party.

In passing through the party machinery, candidates will have to demonstrate trust, capacity, and stretch their wits before securing the trust of the party hawks. Many people assume all that is needed is a single godfather but forgot that the godfathers, more often do stand on the shoulders of many obscured party loyalists who are equally powerful but are content with the low profiles. You don’t become a godfather because you will it, or because you have money, or because you are the elected leader of the party: you become a godfather because the people surrounding you, the people who matter in decision making and the real actions in the party trust you as their leaders and are willing to follow you anywhere everywhere As long as you fulfill your obligation(s) to them. Godfathers don’t just wake up and found themselves as leaders.

Whatever the outcome of the primaries, whether there were hands of godfather(s) or it was stomach infrastructures that decided the fate of the contestants, one thing is always clear, the winner is more trusted by the “majority” of the party loyalists who are “qualified” to vote. If you don’t like what they are doing, go form a new party and build your own political structure or join them and build your own group within the group. The bottom-line is that someone must win the primary  no matter the kind of political intrigues that play itself out and that person must have done his homework  to earn the trust and loyalty of the party majority.

We know of many activists who harped on godfathers and money influence that tried their luck in politics, by becoming sole candidates of their parties, yet failed woefully to even win their streets. They learned in the hard way that politics is not about making noise or registering a political party. It is about having a dedicated pool of loyalists and your ability to know what your people wants and how to make them follow you.

John Maxwell wrote in the laws of Leadership: ”People have so many misconception about leadership. When they hear that someone has an impressive title or an assigned leadership position, they assumed that he is a leader. Sometimes that’s true. But titles don’t have much value when it comes to leading. True leadership cannot be awarded, appointed, or assigned. It comes only from influence and that cannot be mandated. It must be earned.”

The third and the last is the people. After winning the party tickets, you still have to face the people and convince them by fair or fraud on your ability to deliver your promises. You can do all you can. Feed them with rice like Fayose or Tinubu or pool wool over their faces by launching into religion or tribal campaign like Jonathan, build free schools for them like Awolowo.. or get intimidated your opponents like Obasanjo. Whatever you do, it surely may resonate with what the majority of the people want. Dont get me wrong, majority is not always right. We know that our people have mob mentality. But still, in democracy, majority determine the victory.

The axiom, “people get the leaders they deserve,” hold true. Democracy is a game of number; it is not a game of morality or righteousness. The man who is able to corner the majority votes is the authentic winner. The saints can always find their ways into churches and mosques to preach or they can become conscience of the nation and join civil right movement. Whether one like it or not, the civil right movements are the reason evil men did not completely overturn this nation into a land of complete Mugus and indoctrinate everyone with MUMU-ism. Yet, it is how much education, propaganda or awareness the followers and voters receive that determine where their votes swing.

So when next you hear someone is a leader of a party or someone you don’t like who has not been active on social media to make noise like everyone else, emerges as a party flag-bearer, don’t overwork yourself, or blow the roof top. He has done his home-work to earn the trust of those that mater in the party. Instead of beating yourself and punish your weak mind by divesting its power into creation of useless and destructive conspiracy theories that end in trashcan of history, you can either walk away in quietude and watch the drama that unfold or you can take your destiny in your hands and get like minds to form your own political party. When idle minds misread hard-works of others as product of hard-words and favoritism, they forget that nature abhors vacuum. And that their idleness open up opportunities for others. If you are neutral in matter of party politics, you can have no complaint if thugs and crooks decide your destiny.

Isqil Najim tweets from @isqilnajim

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

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