By Baba Ali Kellu Biu
“I would have died an illiterate if i had not join politics” Prof. Jibrin Aminu.
Generally, politics is the process of making decisions that apply to members of society, nation and sundry.
Politics is a phenomenon that is prevalent in every aspect of human life. Politics takes place in the home, work, friendship, society, government, country and the world. In fact, politics takes place in every facets of human endeavour. That is why its said that, every human being is a political animal. Politics determine, through politicians, from the price of salt to the constructions of roads, from rent and housing to medicare, from education to security, from sports to price of petroleum, etc. In short, every aspect of human endeavour in a society or country is influence by politics politicians.
Politicians determine every facets of our day to day needs and wants.
But some politicians are in politics “as a strife of interests masquerading as a contest of principles. The conduct of public affairs for private advantages”(A. Bierce). Our politicians sees politics as no longer a mission but a profession for self serving and aggrandizement than public service and also an art of making selfish desires seems like societal interest. Politicians will say government doesn’t work, and then get elected and prove it. Our politicians deliberately refuse to acknowledge that, “in the fleeting time we have on this earth, what matters is not wealth, or status, or power, or fame, but rather what small part we have played in making the lives of other people better” (Obama).
Politics therefore, ought to be the part time, if not, full time participation of every citizen who would protect the rights and privileges of free people and who would preserve what is good, ideal and fruitful to our collective heritage. There should not be such thing as keeping out of politics because all issues are political issues.
If good people of conscience don’t participate in politics, bad people will “perfect politics to be the art of preventing people from taking part in affairs which properly concern them” (George Orwell). In other word, the refusal of the intelligent and the capables to take part in politics is itself a decision. It is a silent acquiescence to condone the glaring wrongs. “The tragedy of our time is that, those who have honesty, integrity and sincere leadership acumen to impact positively to humanity lack the fire and conviction, while the dunces, clueless, dishonest and inept are full of confidence and passionate convictions” (Rev. J. Sheen)
Einstein also got it aptly when he said “society will not be destroyed by those who do evil but by those who watch them without doing anything”
Partisan politics is by no means an appealing thing to do. In fact politics is just like a war where all is fair no matter how reprehensible. The only difference is, in war you can only be killed once, but in politics, many times.
In partisan politics, you get exposed to a mass of lies, evasions, folly, threats to life and family, complete lack of privacy and serenity, disgusting and distasteful situations most of the times, hatred and even schizophrenia, etc. Politics seems to have no relation to morals. Political languages are most times designed to make lies sound truthful and even murder respectable.
However, “the heaviest penalty for declining to participate in politics is to be ruled by someone inferior to yourself” (Plato). All of us who are concerned for peace, progress and triumph of reason and justice must be keenly aware how small an influence, reason and honest goodwill can exert upon events in our political environment. If you are not happy with what is happening in your environment, do something, strive to change, but remember, change can only be brought by, by concern persons doing extraordinary things.
The best way not to feel hopeless about your area is to get up and do something. Participate even if its to register and have your PVC. Ballot can be stronger than bullet.
“There comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, popular, nor political but he must take it because conscience tells him it is right” (Martin King Jr.)
I am keenly concern about my environment and i intend to participate in whatever ways expedient to contribute my little quota. I pray you are too.
Kellu Biu, a public analyst, contributed this piece from Wuse, Abuja