HOW TO REMAIN POLITICALLY RELEVANT IN NIGERIA... POLITICS AND NIGERIAN POLITICIANS
Man is a political animal, anything and everything he does at any given time involves politics. The goal of every business venture is to declare substantial profit, which is why most business men in Nigeria are daily being involved in politics in order to protect their economic interest.
Politics of motive has been defined by OYEDE (2010) as all the conscious efforts, actions and inactions directed towards the materialization of a targeted objective using all the available apparatus at one’s disposal in a planned way.
In politics, the battle of the mind is the first and most important battle that an individual needs to conquer because many battles are fought and won in the mind before the first shot is fired. It is instructive to note here that the behavior, attitude and disposition of a man is a function of his mind, the result of the game of the mind is what either encourage or discourage an individual from taking up a particular line of action and if heis encouraged, he takes up the hard line stance which is otherwise called the DIE-HARD STAND in Nigeria’s political dictionary but if he is discouraged or cannot gather much strength, he bows to the superior mind and become his disciple.
In an ideal political setting, the numbers that you are able to gather is a reflection of how well you have been able to sell yourself to the electorate, that is how much you have been able to compete for space in their mind using your personality profile, family members, network, political associates, your opponent’s weak point and your party machinery. In Nigeria between 1999 – 2010, the digits you have been able to sum up using all apparatus at your disposal is a reflection of how well you have been able to outsmart or out rig your fellow contestants. The type of politics that Nigeria havepracticed since the return of democracy in 1999 has been defined as governmentOFF the people, BUY the people and FORCE the people where political sins arealways visited with political death. In Nigeria, you pay people and institutions to rig elections on your behalf.
The numbers you need in Nigeria is divided into three categories viz: pre-election numbers, they are the numbers you need to gather during your primaries from your friends, enemies, political associates and all the numbers you are able to gather from the pooling booth, these pre-election numbers are important because they are the basis for you to advance to the next stage of numbers and they are the most sought after numbers in Nigeria.
Category two of those numbers are the tenure numbers which are the numbers necessary to remain in power, these includes numbers from the electoral tribunals needed to validate your previous numbers, numbers from the legislative arm to push through your agenda, it involves looking out for political associates, political harlots, political scape- goats using political permutation and combination together with your political personality. A political harlot is an individual that is always on the lookout for short term better offer from another political party, they see nothing wrong in cross-carpeting as many times as possible.
The last category of numbers are the post tenure numbers, these set of numbers are particularly important in Nigeria in order to be able to remain politically relevant and be able to withstand the search light of the anti graft agencies after the expiration of your tenure, political god-fathers plays a significant role in your ability to gather and retain these numbers, therefore they should not be under estimated.
Elections in Nigeria are accompanied by the mergers and acquisition of numbers and every politician is either adding or subtracting numbers on a daily basis either consciously or unconsciously through his actions and in actions, the total result which is reflected in how much influence he is able to exert at any given point in time. The lesson here is that as a politician practicing the art or trade of politics in Nigeria, you are expected to know when and where to add or subtract numbers in order to remain afloat in Nigerian politics.
Oyede Saheed, Department of Insurance, University of Lagos.