LabaraiOpinion

Political Opportunists as Bane of Development


By Sanusi Muhammad
The thinking of most political office holders these days is tailored to perpetual stay in office at all odds not minding the aftermath of their actions. 
They have discovered a goldmine in public office for permanent exploitation while the governed are left to rot at their own peril. They have redefined governance to mean self-serving adventure. Imagine a person elected to improve the welfare of the people but waits for directives to doing so. Imagine a person that lacks focus and initiative and refuses to accept those lapses and weaknesses for good LEADERSHIP, Imagine a stooge imposed on the people to serve.
With 2023 firmly approaching, a gale of defection is sweeping through Nigeria’s political circles, battering the consciences of politicians- those who have any left, anyway- while serving as the wind in the sails of those for whom politics begins and stops at bread and butter with everything put down to the next naira that can find its way into their pockets no matter the source.
As Nigeria continues to stagger and stutter on what has proven a forbiddingly treacherous road to nationhood, bad leadership and complicit followership have emerged as intractable problems.Simply put, Nigeria is not blessed with good and committed leaders but miscreants and cheats. Since independence in 1960, our country has had the misfortune of military incursions into governance. 
On a positive note, democracy has been in place since 1999. As grateful as Nigerians are for the gift of democracy which in spite of its imperfections, places or at least seeks to place the people at the forefront of every discussion about power devolution and satisfaction, there is a certain ruefulness that the country has not been blessed with leaders who are able to maximize the enormous potentials of democracy to engender economic prosperity for Nigerians.
All kinds of people are rigged or imposed to form the leadership of the country at various levels. There are the consummate liars, deceivers whose ageless ability to describe white as black has retained their relevance in the corridors of power; there are the career sycophants whose lack of revulsion at licking any kind of boot as long as it is worn by a powerbroker keeps them gainfully employed; there are the perennial underachievers who though inept at everything else are adept at manipulating the levers of power to perpetuate themselves in office; there are the serial opportunists for whom survival is the name of the game no matter who has what baggage; then there are the heinous hypocrites who say one thing and do the opposite while putting the system under crushing pressure.
 Such is the crop of leaders we are currently cursed with. Some even tend to like worship their godfathers believing those godfather morons have the spiritual and monetary powers to heap them on the people.
Because they are bereft of vision and mission, discretion and wisdom, patriotism and sincerity, they put their areas of operation under enormous pressure and failure. The result has been a chilling destruction of the core values of the areas concerned which now threaten to cause disintegration of the entire country. Because they condone corruption, loves ostentatious living at public expense and nepotism and displays a generally shabby and shoddy approach towards public affairs; the country is in such dire straits.
They are gleefully assisted by their extremely gullible followers. The more daring of followers reinvent themselves as thugs and tools of destruction during elections. For pittances, they allow themselves to be used for whatever hatchet and dirty job available.
Nigerian politics is marked by a startling absence of ideology. For a lot of participants in the politics of the country, the way to go is whichever way the wind of opportunism blows because they lack credibility and the requirements to win any election unless through a window of wind opportunity the like that blew in 2015.
So, they switch political parties as they wish in an elaborate game of musical chairs. Wherever political fruit ripen, they move with sickles, impervious to the stench of rottenness. Once the fruits are finished, they grumble, whip up imaginary affronts and aggravations and jump ship again. Such is the life cycle of the average Nigerian political opportunist.It sickens. That adults can lie so cheaply and so casually, or be so disturbingly flippant, sickens to the stomach those who have any morality left in Nigeria.
The deductions are easy; if those who always put themselves out to take up public office are so utterly bereft of character, and the courage of conviction, what will be the fate of those public officers when they eventually get in? Answers to those questions are around the reader for choice.
Muhammad is a commentator on national issues

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