Thursday 23rd of March 2023 12:46:49 PM
Breaking News
1   Ex-Terrorists Negotiator, Tukur Mamu, Arraigned         2   Naira Scarcity: FG Urged To Save SMEs         3   Polls: ICPC Officers Rescue, Arrest Suspected Vote Buyer In Issele-Uku         4   As NHRC Tells Police To Arrest, Prosecute Electoral Law Violators         5   PDP Wins Seven Assembly Seats Out Of 11 In Bayelsa        

Where Are Nigeria’s Inspiring Politicians?
Published Oct 29, 2022 IN THE REALITIES,
84         0
Please Share:


POLITICS, no doubts has become a global phenomenon. It defines the developmental status of any nation. Some of those found worthy to be described as its practitioners also earn local and sometime international accolades from keen observers. These honours are bestowed on politicians based on their motivational inputs into the game.

In Britain, U.S and other parts of the civilized world, the process of enlisting into politics has become so seamless that their young professionals are easily attracted to it. They resign from plump salaried jobs and become politicians without necessarily being “money bags”. These people are motivated by their mentors. And they equally end up being persons worthy to be emulated by the younger generations for different reasons.

This was the case with Nigeria of yesteryears. But today, many people in the country have come up with discouraging opinions about politics. And this is based on their experiences in relation to the conduct of political actors and their followers. According to them, “politics is a dirty game”. Their view may not be universal, given the tranquility it bequeaths on civilized nations. But this is where the citizens of the world’s most populous black nation have found themselves.

The pioneering politicians in the country went into the “game” with dignity. Many of them exhibited unique styles that thrilled their supporters and detractors alike. Some of The first and second republic politicians introduced glamour and inspiring sagacity to the nation’s political system before, during and after the rule of the British colonial masters. These people “developed” their own communication models. They also cut a niche for themselves in their sense of dressing and sometimes “created” mysticisms around their life styles.

Many quotable quotes found in their archives have remained guiding lights to as many people as care to discover them. Most of the nation’s mass media handlers refer to these quotes as ‘words on marble’.

From the Northern part of Nigeria came two gentlemen – Abubakar Tafawa Balewa and Ahmadu Bello. Balewa became the Prime Minister of the country in 1960 at the age of about 48 and continued to occupy the position after independence in 1960. Ahmadu Bello, on his part was the Premier of the Northern region from 1960 to 1966

(the same time Dr. Michael Okpara and Chief Samuel Oladoke Akintola occupied the same post in the Eastern and Western region respectively). Though strong Muslims, they (Balewa and Bello) bore the title of “Sir” instead of “Alhaji”, not minding the possibility of being mistaken for Knights of the Catholic Church.

The two leaders of Northern extraction were not fortunate to live beyond 1966. Despite this, their inspiring political qualities was enough to teach their off springs within and outside the military that political power only proceeds either from the barrel of the gun or the ballot box. Hence, the need to be properly represented in appropriate national leadership congregations – army, police, navy, air force, political parties and so on.

This paid off on July 29, 1966 when soldiers from the North executed a counter coup that saw a young officer of about 32 years old from that named Lt. Col. Yakubu Gowon emerging as Nigeria’s Head of State from 1966 to 1975. The grip of this people on the nation’s polity as a result of the inspiring legacies of Balewa is still strong despite the perceived educational backwardness of the region.

Nnamdi Azikiwe, generally regarded to as the founder of modern nationalism in Nigeria died in 1996. Before then, he had served as Premier of the Eastern Nigeria from 1954 to 1959. He became the president of the country in 1959 and continued after independence in 1960. He remained so till 1966. While alive, Zik, as he was fondly called dazzled his audience with scintillating grammar with great sense of oratory and humour. This and many acts earned him the title of “Zik of Africa”. His politics of Africanism was superlative. On one occasion, Zik was quoted to have told his fellow African leaders in a gathering that; “if this meeting does not take place alambem”. This was a mixture of the English and his native Igbo language and it means; “if this meeting fails to hold, I will return home”. One of his favourite quotes was found in a speech he presented to the students of Methodist High School, Lagos. According to him; “originality is the essence of true scholarship. Creativity is the soul of the true scholar”. Zik established the West African Pilot Newspaper in 1937.

Dr. Kingsley Ozumba Mbadiwe earned himself the title of word smith owing to the way he entertained his audience with his peculiar sentence construction. And his “inventions” along this line have found themselves in the political dictionary of Nigeria. During his time as a member of the ruling National Party of Nigeria, NPN, K.O, as he was popularly called described one of their gatherings as that of “men of timber and caliber”. He ones assured Nigerians that they would celebrate with him “when the come comes to become”. When Mbadiwe lost his bid to become the governor of Imo state in 1979, the major headlines in Nigeria’s major newspapers simply read “K.O, not OK”. And the title was enough to attract massive purchase of the newspapers.

Mbadiwe became the first and only Nigerian to be appointed “Ambassador extra ordinary and plenipotentiary” in 1979 with responsibility to liaise between the federal executive and the legislative arm of government. His community of Aro Ndizogwu in Imo state awarded him the Chieftaincy title of “AgadagbachiriUzo I “of the place. This title appears to be in line with Mbadiwe’s penchant for ‘big grammar’ as only few people outside his community can pronounce it with ease To say the least, the legendary Chief Obafemi Awolowo (1909 -1987) was more of an extra ordinary politician whose political composition is yet to be completely demystified. He meant different things to different people, especially the political class. Awo, as he was generally called was the first Nigerian to embark on political campaigns with a helicopter. He was reputed to have dropped a particular seed everywhere he went. On germination, this gave rise to a plant called “Awolowo” in most parts of the old western region, including Midwest till date. The man was said to have signed his signature in the moon and children looked out for this each time the moon appeared.

Awo was identified with a particular type of cap which is still called Awo cap in present Nigeria. In one of his speeches, Awo said; “It will, I believe, be generally agreed that ERADICATION OF CURRUPTION from any society is not just a difficult task: it is without dispute, an impossible objective” (18 August, 1975). The man founded The Nigerian Tribune Newspapers in 1949.

Former governors like Jim Nwobodo and Abubakar Rimi of Anambra and Kano state respectively introduced flamboyant dressing to politics. A fashion style known as Jim Nwobodo reigned between 1979 and 1983. Jakande was not flamboyant but held horse whip always in his hands along with his Jakande dress code admirably called “Jakande”.

With grassroots politicians like Bola Tinubu, Nyesom Wike, Ifeanyi Okowa and Peter Obi all hopes are not lost on political mentorship and inspirations. These people have “swag”.Okowa, for example, went into Delta state government house with a dress code – white apparel commonly known as senator. It became the unofficial “uniform” for politicians in government house. He has also earned himself titles such as Ekueme of the Universe, Road master and Bulldozer due to his ability to match politicking with performance.

Read also
New Naira Design And Miscellaneous Matters
Nov 05, 2022
The Last Portmanteau
Oct 22, 2022
The Increasing Menace Of Social Media Journalism
Sep 03, 2022
Nigeria’s Flawed Electoral Act
Aug 20, 2022
Politics As A Game Of Chance
Jul 23, 2022
2023 Politics: Avoiding Blame Game
Jun 11, 2022
The Agbor Gas Explosion And Poor Law Enforcement
Feb 06, 2021
The Nigerian Youth, Cultism, Politics And Professionalism
Jan 30, 2021
Make a comment