OUR HEDONIST LEADERS LACK LOCAL VOTERS' DESIRED QUALITIES
Farouk Martins, Omo Aresa
These unknowns were very much like Aminu Kano, Michael Imoudu, Udo Akpabio, Sam Mbakwe, Adelabu Adegoke. While they did not occupy the center stage, they were heroes that were respected in their chosen areas worthy of their causes. This is not about their wives, children in
Their impacts are better felt only at the local levels throughout
Many of those who made it to National level anywhere else contested locally but could not take populist idea for granted as shown by Walter Mondale and Ronald Reagan debate. Those who thought Mondale won and would win the election were wrong, it wasn't him they wanted. The same could be said between the debate of Al Gore and Baby Bush. When Harold Wilson left as Prime Minister of Britain, some of those who desire someone like him later got Edward Heath and Margaret Thatcher. Throughout these reigns, the populist whose program could have benefited the poor and the down trodden, lost elections. Petroiska and the fruit of glasnost failed the populist in
There are certain amount of self righteousness, arrogance and complacency on the part of the populist that they can appeal to the basic instinct of fairness of their people and just win elections as in Western Nigeria in 2003 or
One factor that is very common amongst conservative is symbol of nouveau riche. They dangle it with the hope that each and everyone can attain it if they try. They also preach prosperity by displaying their heavy weights that had made it. Who no wish for better days? Indeed, many Nigerians will tell you frankly that if they get there, they will chop.
Whether we accept it or not, hedonism is an intrinsic part of us, a doctrine of Aristippus that pleasure or happiness is the best thing that ever happens to man. John Milton exploration of the means and ways of its attainment has been questioned even amongst Yoruba whose philosophy I am more familiar with that predated foreign philosophers we quote. Simply put, the means does not justify the end. So when politicians display their own hedonism, we buy into it without thinking about if it will last us until the day after.
There was this story about Aminu Kano. He was offered a generator in his modest house. He said he did not like the noise, so they offered him one without noise. He asked them if everyone in his neighborhood would get one, if not he did not want any. The fact is he never wanted it in the first place. He did not want to live in comfort in the midst of poverty. His followers and admirers could have bought him off to a luxurious life. In case some of you may not know, there are houses in
The same story can be told of Michael Imoudu who suffered physical abuse in and out of jails while leading the labor movement or Adelabu, a lawyer who prefer the company of the so called "illiterate". Sam Mbakwe was labeled a crying Governor because of his heart felt message of his people. We have even forgotten Ibang Udo Akpabio, a prominent man who went to the same
In the defense of conservatives, they appeal to orderliness, just and normal society free of aberration. They ask for status quo. While their opponents get too tolerant of permissive society, they hold on and warn of
We are now glorifying the return of military men and colonial masters! In the case of the military men, they established law and order which the society needs to function. We missed the colonial days where planning and sanitation reigned. It seems some have given up on themselves, lost their confidence and would function better if we were ordered like zombies. We still have a vigorous press that are not maimed and killed at will militarily, but still muzzled. At least activists live in, and travel into the Country.
No matter what, justice delayed is justice denied; Uba is happy, but local winner Obi lost valuable time. We can not be proud of the way our courts of law are being disrespected and its ruling ignored or intentionally misinterpreted, laying a very bad precedent for future democracy in our Country that may come back and hunt this Administration. The same way its precedent decrees were used against it in the past. Every dog has its day.
This attraction of the conservative in their feverish principle of what they believe in, not necessarily what they practice has its faults. We have the case of religious schools that discriminate against certain segment of the society. Yet, we are all children of God. There are countries that proclaim one religion but are ready to invade other countries with their religion. There are those who prescribe castration for rapist only to find out they take the wife of followers and sodomize children. By their belief and devotion, no one questions their hypocrisy and lacks of populist ideas but they espouse conservative values we love.
It is with the same passion they win elections. They know their goals and make calculated plans of how to achieve it, then, worry about the consequences later. This is what we have in
Religion is meant to educate, civilize and instill the fear of God in us; so that we can be kind to and love one another. It has been hijacked as instrument of war in the name of crusade and jihad by those seeking superiority complex. They clad themselves in religious robes, cassock, military uniforms only to find out with time that they are hedonists worse than those they replaced.
Communication across our Country is much easier now than it has ever been. We have educated people in any language, religion or cultures all over
Some years ago, while engaged in one of that academic diarrhea of the mouth, one of my cousins asked me if those at home in
Alas! Situation has changed. People do not say, come back home before you kill your mother anymore. They ask you to get them out of here. When you are at home and it gets to a point where you start complaining about the bags of gari, rice, beans and corn flour being depleted too fast, which you never did before. They know it is time to go back and make money overseas, if you still have the citizenship you obtained to get certain grants, scholarships for school or for certain jobs. Today some dangle citizenship to inform us they have pledged to take up arms against
As long as we go on generating conversations about our views and misconceptions and start looking for ways to solve it, we may start propelling local political heroes who would do what most of us wanted instead of taking care of their hedonistic values. Nigerians are now sponsoring politicians from overseas to go home and reflect their views. Some of them get elected and some of them come back empty. If we do not want to get into politics personally, we can make our views and ideas known in the villages and our neighborhoods. Someone may be motivated to run and express those ideas.