Abba Kyari Demise And the Politics of 2023!
The great Sage and Indian statesman of blessed memory, Mahatma Gandhi, once warned of the dangers of practising ‘politics without principles’.
In Nigeria as of today, every evil you can think of is associated with politics. Be it betrayals, outright lies, fraud, assassination (both physical death and character assassination), inhuman and self-serving policies, just name it.
And without remorse, we laugh over it and call it politics. “It’s all a game of power” we would say, thereby justifying the atrocities that have become the norm in our politics. This is gradually taking away humanity from us, that’s if we have any left.
Ordinarily, one would have been remorseful and be in a mourning mode over the death of a very senior government official that died in active duty, but for the suffering the masses had been subjected to in the last five years of this government, he had lost the goodwill and empathy he deserved as a fellow citizen.
To the masses, his death is one down, many to go, while to the elites, it calls for the reshuffling of their alliances in the power play.
It reminds me of some very vile politics we played in our days on campus as undergraduates. I recall vividly, how spies are sent to monitor the academic results of potential political opponents to ascertain if they are eligible to contest based on their academic standing.
And when such reports turn out that the person had fallen short of the minimum academic qualification, we jubilate and mark it, ‘one down’!
The essence of every student on campus is to acquire academic knowledge and come out with good grades. That’s why our parents or guardians pay our fees and endure various hardship to keep us in school. But for politics, we rejoice over the downfall of others, we call ourselves ‘strategist’ and smile over it when we frustrate fellow students who dare to stand on our way as opponents in the power play of campus unionism.
During NYSC, I was shocked when fellow corp members shared stories of how opponents go missing in some campuses, not to talk of outright assassinations of fellow students just because of campus politics.
A good chunk of those involved in campus politics are also into politics now in the larger society. Do you think they have turned a new leaf?
Without recourse to the fact that the fellow student you just murdered is someone’s child, that student whose academic record went missing to frustrate him out of the political race and thereby causing him extra years on campus, might be the only investment of a parent or a community somewhere.
Today, it is Abba Kyari’s death, but remember, his death will not close the gate of hell. People will continue to die, and none of us is immune to death.
As I type this, some people are popping champagne, celebrating that the political bottleneck on their march to power has been removed. While some are sober and frustrated as their political fortune will severely plummet with the loss of their backbone and political ally.
In all of this, don’t forget that he was a father, a husband, uncle, mentor, benefactor, and source of livelihood to others.
Yes, other people have been dying and he won’t be the first, but he deserves our empathy too, as a human. He was not perfect, like the rest of us, his privilege position only made his imperfections more conspicuous.
In our quest to judge the inhuman attributes of another, let’s not become inhuman ourselves.
Lastly, let’s be guided with the fact that “we will all be remembered by what we have done”.
Social Observer writes from Benin City.
IDEDE Oseyande, a graduate of the Federal University of Technology, Akure, is an unrepentant believer in the Nigeria project.
His concern for the actualisation of a prosperous nation and the continent, in general, is reflected in his written works.
He currently runs an online advocacy platform (www.socialwatchdog.ng) where he engages the government and the people.
Among his published works are ‘What is Left of What is Right?’, ‘The Portrait of a Revolutionary Leader’ and ‘Warri No Dey Carry Last’.
He is a guest writer for several blogs and his Attitudinal and Behavioral Coaching classes has transformed many lives.