In Nigeria, you will be assured of large following even if unreasonableness underlines thoughts. That perhaps is what makes politics dirty if we are to believe ourselves and here, we really believe so.
Sometimes, you need to be extra ordinary dirty, to make a head way, in this blessed but spoilt political entity, where everybody now rides on the back of ugly tribalism, to catch the heart and conscience of the gullible and even the most reasonable and educated.
It’s all part of the dirty features of politics; doing the wrong thing to achieve a purpose, decorated in a popular gab, but too transparently deceitful. Nevertheless, it is the general belief that politics is entrancingly dirty and should be played anymore worse. Concoct dirt; splash it on the opponent, the foot soldiers or crumb gatherers would be too glad marketing it along the street of make – belief.
But is politics, by itself and on its own account, dirty? As things stand the world over today, politics is the provider of education, health, roads, security, income distribution and any other service you could think of.
Which is why many believe that if you get hold of the political turf, all other things would fall in place, including even corrupt practices, if you so want. To, therefore, rate such a very central and significant institution, which provides for possible human needs, in virtually all areas of existence, as dirty is the most unkind description accorded politics, except if by so saying we mean that doing good, as politics does, is bad.
What is bad is not politics but human attitude, from which flows danger to existence in torrents: the murderer, bomb thrower, kidnapper, breeder of day old baby roasting for human sacrifice, are more, products of the mind in collaboration with associated social condition than the making of politics, which devotes itself to making human needs available.
Some Nigerians however think otherwise, holding firm to their belief in dirty politics. When you go into the social media, you may be horrified by the crudity of human thought. When they are not saying this of Buhari today, they are saying that of him tomorrow and when they lack anything to say, they still say what they want to say.
Currently, his age is the newest fad. That he should give way to the younger generation, as if he ever stood on the way of any of them. The concept of younger generation, as someone said on the social media, is a master piece. Looking back however, since the time of Herbert Macaulay, up to Azikiwe, Awolowo, Sardauna, successive military rulers and state governors, not to talk of commissioners, ministers, directors general and other bundles of them, most have been within the youth bracket when they were in charge. The most well-read of them assumedly is Jonathan. Imagine what we have been saying of him and the past leaders? Of course, some of the remarks are and were emotional outbursts, typical of our mannerism, having allowed emotion to be our guiding philosophy. All the same, except for the first generation politicians and those before them, our views of them have been unpleasant. Is youthful age a solution to our numerous problems?
In response, Nigerian Insight sought to know the age at which Awolowo and Azikiwe contested election in 1983. Zik was born in November 1904. In 1983 when he contested, he was 79. Awo was born in March 1909. When he joined the race in 1983 he was 74. Buhari is 72; his age is an issue. Those of Zik of Africa and Awo were never issues then. Why are they issues now? This is what some people call, the dirty character of politics but in truth, it’s the dirty mind of the human person who uses different scales to access same measure.
Chief Anenih, might not be present, but he occupies a high political position. And he is 82. Bamanga Tukur, is likewise and he is racing to catch 81. All these are conveniently ignored. Perhaps politics is a game where objective analysis is a misnomer, as in the four cases cited above
The question is, if it was good for the great Zik of Africa to have contested for the presidency at the age of 79 and perfect that the calculative Awo did so at 74, Anenih, on the top floor of the corridor at 82, as Bamanga at 81, is also there at the very top, what makes it wrong for Buhari at 72 to equally contest? Sometimes it is problematic rationalizing how Nigerians reason, and then claim, for that matter, to be objective in their analysis.
It is needless to mention some African leaders who were in their 90s, and some are still so, determined not to be ready to go until perhaps death parts them with the presidential office. So, one really cannot understand, perhaps it is not meant to be understood. The pain of it all is that when those we consider rational and thoughtful suddenly belong to this class of thoughtless analyst, who knows; we may be in the age of unreason.