PLAYING THE FOOL, Wild misconceptions, justifications, and contradictions associated with Nigerian politics.- By Gerald Innocent

One thing about platitudes is, they have an invariable reoccurrence no matter how often or not we use them. You would think that at this age and time, the usage of clichés would be completely extinct as it is seen as a needless motivational quote that has lost its meaning over time. Take for example, ‘A PROBLEM SHARED IS HALF SOLVED’. This very so-called ‘cliché’ that people regard as one of the greatest deceptions of the 21st century hence utter negligence to its positive effects is the reason for the increasing ratio of suicides today. Also, it is a great contradiction as individuals now make a career of listening to other people’s problems to proffer solutions at best, advice at the very least. Therapists.
Over time, some trite statements that have not only secured its relevancy in today’s world have also gone further to be used as a justification for a wrong done. Take, for instance, one of the oldest clichés, mostly used by politicians in the Nigerian political scene, ‘IF YOU CAN’T BEAT THEM, JOIN THEM’. This concept which originally seeks to present a united front at achieving an objective whose effects would be all-encompassing in a positive manner has been greatly misconstrued by the major actors in many fields especially the political scene.
This misconception has gone to prove democracy as the worst form of government that only represents the majority of the people as many actors in the Nigerian political scene often sacrifice their previously held values to identify with the existing practice of scratching each other’s backs. Nigerian politicians who are guilty of such would then play on the naivety of the masses who elected them into positions of authority portraying themselves as victims of the system. This is very devastating as the motto of Nigerian politics can be rightly inscribed as the cliché, ‘if you can’t beat them, you join them’.
Politicians who play this card tend to make it seem as though they were left with no choice but to identify with the existing practice, forgetting that actions are a reflection of the mindset, which in this case, is an avenue to loot public treasures. Else, we would have had many huge political actors in the country actively withdrawn from partisan politics. Instead, what we have can be termed as a ‘transfer market’ where politicians switch parties back and forth (cross carpeting) to promote their personal ambitions.
One of my favorite quotes ever goes, ‘OF ALL THINGS, VALUE LOYALTY’. When loyalty is compromised in any setting especially in a political one, the probability of development is reduced to less than none as is seen in the Nigerian political scene characterized by all manner of disloyalty, threats, marginalization and all. Come 2023, the tussle for a presidency of Eastern (Igbo) extraction is raging, which is almost impossible without an alliance with the North, whom the East is currently playing opposition to.