By Bemdoo Hulugh
The trial of Senate President Bukola Saraki before the Code Of Conduct Tribunal has highlighted the way we ordinary Nigerians view and approach politics in this country. We see our politicians more like some celebrities or gods that should be adored or worshipped no matter the circumstance. We forget that they have a social contract with us as custodians of our common wealth and destiny.
In this country the political class has breached this social contract with impunity without much consequence. This explains why the more our oil wealth increased over the years, the more people became poor and by the time we became the biggest economy in Africa, we had 112 million poor people and very high level of unemployment. They see us as their slaves, that is why wives of political office holders insist people go on their knees to greet them or talk to them and that is why you go to see a political office holder who is doing nothing but keep you waiting as long as he/she feels. So it baffles me a lot when ordinary Nigerians passionately defend these politicians who obviously do not care about them.
I saw people defending Senate President Saraki all over social media not because he is not guilty but because he isn’t the only thief. Some well respected commentators were also tactically defending him by claiming that if the government can’t assemble all the criminal politicians for trial then it is not yet ready to fight corruption but witch hunt political enemies. In defending Saraki many of them didn’t even care how many enemies they were making for themselves as they were dishing out insults left and right. This kept me wondering why we ordinary Nigerians find it very easy to fight and defend with our whole heart these politicians who are our oppressors. How many times have they tried to defend us with such passion?
Not long ago young Oluchi Anekwe, a potential first-class graduate of accounting was electrocuted by a high-tension wire that fell on her and life went on like nothing happened. Who was responsible for making sure the high-tension wire remain in place? No member of our greedy political class really cared about this and these are the very people we proudly fight for on social media.
Boko haram kill people like everyday and the Chibok girls have been missing more than a year. Do you see the political elites showing any concern? They don’t shed tears for us but we foolishly cry and fight for them at the slightest opportunity.
This mid September when we were all rallying behind Lois Iorvihi after she and her family were brutalised by governor Al makura and his uniform thugs, a house of rep member from her state and from the same ethnic group took to social media to support the evil actions of governor Al makura. This was an eye opener, I see on social media how people take side with politicians because they come from the same state or ethnic group but these very politicians easily unite and rally around each other irrespective of ethnic or political divide in their mission to ensure we remain their slaves forever.
On social media, I have seen many people fight for politicians they barely know. They exchange all kind of terrible insults in an attempt to make a point(for or against a politician) or to feel a false sense of victory. It is unfortunate that many of us don’t know who our true enemies are, we fight and are ready to take bullets for the same people pulling the trigger. If we continue to fight ourselves on behalf of our oppressors then when are we going to be free? It was Stephen Biko who wisely said “the most potent weapon in the hands of the oppressor is the mind of the oppressed”. It’s time we think again who we are fighting because we may be fighting against ourselves without knowing it.
Bemdoo Hulugh is an active citizen and he writes from Makurdi
You can also interact with him on twitter @bumy04.