Contrary to what many of us would like to believe either of ourselves, or of others – ordinary citizens or people are not much different from the politicians in our midst. Especially in the area of loyalty.
Without desiring to write a long drawn out essay on this topic, I would simply like to write on my reflection of what I have seen being played out on social media.
Loyalty, one of the most hallowed of human qualities, is one that is alien to most politicians. And this we see being demonstrated daily in our nation’s polity even here in the UK.
From the days of Tony Blair when hundreds of newbie Labour MP’s who rode on the tailcoat of Tony’s stratospheric popularity to earn a seat they otherwise would never in a million years have had the luck of getting in the House of Commons, including the eternally ineffective Gordon Brown, who eventually signalled the downfall of the Labour government, stabbed Tony in the back and turned away from him in their droves in light of the ill-informed Iraq War and the doctored WMD report that still haunts the former PM even till today.
And then there is Theresa May, the current UK Prime Minister.
Many times, I as a feminine, wonder if the woman cries herself to sleep every night…not with the barrage of daily insults, hostility and lack of co-operation or support from colleagues, ministers, MPs, civil servants, the press etc. And that is just from her own party, the Conservative Party.
Not to talk of open hostility from opposition, Labour, Lib Dems, SDP etc… and of course the Europe ministers in the middle of this regrettable Brexit negotiations.
How the woman copes, I simply just do not know!
But as a fifty-something British Born who’s lived more than two-thirds of my life in the UK, I have maybe just 2 or 3 times heard of someone defecting from one political party to another!!!
Party membership and party loyalty is more or less for life, regardless of how displeased people are with their leader or representative.
And even ordinary citizens, rather than vote for another party if they have issues with their own side, will rather not vote at all.
Look at the Americans with their current President.
I am extremely certain that many in the Republican party are in no uncertainty about just how much of a liability and embarrassment Trump is. No need to go into details about that. I’m sure everyone is familiar with his daily un-presidential and undignified goings-on.
But in spite of Trump’s daily show of embarrassment to the Republicans and even to the great American nation, I am yet to hear of any news of defection or changing of party allegiance.
But that is in the Western world, where things are done with class, decorum and in an orderly fashion.
Let us bring it down to Nigeria.
A country where your party is your home and your party colleagues are your brothers and sisters until something or someone gores your ox.
Allegiances are changed as frequently as most ladies change their underwear (not all of us do) And your “brother” today becomes overnight, your sworn enemy – simply over a disagreement or difference of opinion. Or over a simple matter of denial of access to public of funds for personal spending!
And the party you call your “home” today, suddenly becomes
In fact you can deduce the very character of many of our politicians and the way they would treat their wives, children, friends from the way they treat the party they “belong” to.
Politicians have no iota of that basic human trait called loyalty and Nigeria has a super-breed of no qualms, disloyal politicians judging by the tsunamic proportion of defections and decamping going on at the moment. Many of them even come with downright criminal entitlements and rights. How in God’s Holy name can it be ok for a Senate President or State Governor to defect from a political party without resigning from the post or relinquishing the position he got voted into, under the ticket of the party he has just decamped from and is very happy to go about slandering or tainting???
And this is supported by our constitution???
The authors of our so called constitution forgot to add that anyone in elected public office must first step down and resign from his post if he decides to leave the political party who gave him the ticket to the post. WHAT A TRAVESTY!!!
Do you know that in the UK, politicians, (MPs, Ministers, Councillors etc) when grieved or even accused of any wrong doing, will very rarely if ever, resign from their party. But they will almost always step down from the post – even when they do not have to.
Think Boris Johnson.
A Nigerian would have gone round all the parties – with the sheer barage of daily criticism our BOJO faces!
Nigerian politicians do not have such qualms.
And even after defecting or decamping, they will not spare any breath vilifying, insulting, demonising, castigating the party they just left – while still holding on to the highly placed post they got voted into through that party….!!
And then are the paid, foot soldiers and loud mouthed social media commentators with not much honour or substance – if any at all!
I know some that almost came close to kissing the feet of the president 3 or 4 years ago…
Today, they are in front of the queue of those screaming “crucify him, crucify him”!!
How quickly their support and allegiances have shifted and changed. If your man or candidate does not perform to your expectation, is that enough reason to shift sides and stand with his opponents? I am under no illusion that the expectation of many who supported the presidency of Buhari, including myself, has been somewhat diminished. Many who expected a miracle in under 4 years have been seriously disappointed and even that can be understood…
Rightly or wrongly, we expected a little too much of this current administration in too little time, and we have kind of been let down. However, that, whether we believe it or not, is all our fault.
But to suddenly join the legion of die-hard opponents, sworn enemies and the camp of those who milked the nation dry, and in 16 years, brought the entire country to it’s feet, calling the President ugly names and posting highly derogatory comments about him on social media, does not show any strength of character at all – in my books. Surely, you can demonstrate your displeasure without necessarily changing sides and siding with “the enemy”
That, my friend, speaks volumes about the kind of person you are and it is not attractive at all.
I have quite a number of such folks who belong in my network or that I call friends.
Surely, they can do the same to me….
As for me, Olajumoke, I am neither here nor there when it comes to party politics in Nigeria.
I however, am a Buhari sympathiser and a Buhari supporter. Die hard..? I don’t know.
But compared to his predecessor, I have always and still believe he is a better choice – EMPHATIC YES
Do I believe Buhari has performed to expectation? No. And I also personally believe he should see out his term but step down at the end of it and hand over to someone younger, more energetic, more decisive and more in touch with the mood of the electorate.
But that, will NEVER,EVER, make me go on every platform available and join voices with his “enemies” to rain undignifying abuses and curses on him. That is not in my nature.
For me, LOYALTY, is everything.