We can simply define politics as any action taken to acquire power to lead or govern a people, in order to improve their wellbeing. But when mixed with bitterness politics becomes a poison. This is why Nigerian politics is the way it is and part of the reason why the country and its people have been suffering. When politics is poisoned it manifests itself in the abuse of power, bad governance, greed, nepotism, corruption and a lot more.
Politics of bitterness is an evil that favours no one. It is known that the failure of leadership in Nigeria has its root in egoism, nepotism and greed, all bye-products and ripple effects of politics of bitterness. This is already playing out and will continue to dominate the political atmosphere in the coming months before the General Election. The ugly signs have been everywhere since the party primaries and there is much fear and tension in the land.
We have departed from what is accepted worldwide as politics. Ours is a do-or-die politics, full of intrigue, schism and hate. It is politics of winner-takes-it-all, while the loser falls and is left to die. Our politicians go to any length to win and, later, to get their “pound of flesh”.
We hear about politicians doing the unthinkable to win, some going to the occult and others consulting witches and wizards, all for the purpose of ruling us. Recently, we saw on social media – a would-be governor captured naked, in the open, at night, bathing with what was supposed to be human blood, to win an election.
That should not be. You do not have to kill to lead or govern. You do not have to bath with blood or dip your hands in the same to rule our people. Those who kill to get to the top usually have death waiting at the top of the ladder for them or at the mouth of their so-called success. Politics of money, gun and blood must stop.
Every Nigerian who does not like the state of the nation and growing poverty and endemic corruption should denounce politics of bitterness. We are suffering in the midst of plenty and the world is using Nigeria as an example of how not to run a country.
Let our politicians emulate their ilk in the advanced countries and play politics with dignity. Losers should be gracious in defeat and winners magnanimous in victory.
That someone is not in your party does not make him your enemy. In other nations, siblings and spouses can belong to different parties or hold different political beliefs without rancour. Additionally, people must not allow politicians to use them as a vehicle for politics of bitterness. Let us learn from the late Waziri Ibrahim, an apostle of good governance and politics without bitterness, to play clean politics.
And, yes, we must take seriously the words of former President Goodluck Jonathan, who chose to accept a defeat many would have contested in a law court, declaring wisely that his personal ambition is not worth the blood of any Nigeria.