As shepherds take care of their sheeps, feed and protect them, so as we human beings, as a nation, need a leader who can take care of us, the resources of the nation and provides an environment in which we can live peacefully and enjoy our lives. I always become unnerved when I hear the sufferings of a nation due to its bad leader and this interests me to write about this topic.
Politics is a very broad concept and consists of the art or science of government or governing, especially the governing of a political entity, such as a nation, and the administration and control of its internal and external affairs. However, politics now seems to be the act of dictating for others, in other words, the act of imposing one’s own thoughts and believes on others, failure to fulfill what had been promised and cheating and deceiving innocent citizens. On the other hand, politrics constitute the activities of politicians that fool the public into believing that they care for them and will be accountable for them. These activities comprise how these “tricksters” seem during their campaigns and when they are in power. The actions and works of these “tricksters” seem to be the direct opposite of what they promise the citizens before they come to power. When a person or a group of persons is/are able to produce these effects on the people or the society, political power is obtained. This power can be obtained through elections.
When a political group wants to be in power through elections, they make renege promises that easily trick the innocent people to fall prey. The campaign messages of these people sound like a melody that easily draws your attention and it’s able to trick the people to vote them up onto the so called “seat of wealth”. When they are on this seat, the environmental conditions around seem to increase their chances of forgetfulness; which make them forget the promises they had made. Ray Davies in his song Money and Corruption said that “Money and corruption are ruining the land, crooked politicians betray the working man, pocketing the profits and treating us like sheep, and we’re tired of learning promises that we know they’ll never keep” (1973). Because of money and wealth, these politicians use “ways and means” through campaigns to obtain power and refuse to think of the people and what they had promised. It is not a surprise “broken promises” are terms now in daily use by journalist and opinion polls to describe these promises.
There have been several cases of broken promises around the globe, noted and yet unnoted ones. You will agree with me if you’ve taken note of the campaign messages of your presidents over the past few years and the fulfillment of these promises. I would like you to reflect back in the past and note this issue in your political system and leadership, compare them with the few ones I am about to mention and you might not find much differences.
In 2000 American presidential election, George W. Bush, a then election candidate said “congress will push and push… and I’ll say Read my lips: no new taxes”. How sweet this message sounds! and it was enough to push him into power, but he was unable to keep this promise and abandoned balanced budget when he was voted into power. In 2003 provincial elections in Ontario, Canada, the Liberal Party promised to reduce taxes but increased taxes after it got to power.
These politricks seem to be a genetic disease that is passed on from one president to another with the help of environmental factors such as greediness, unfaithfulness; you can name them even though these people may not be related biologically. It is not uncommon nowadays to find on the internet, hear from the media and other sources “Obama Broken Promises”. Several promises made by him are yet unfulfilled. These are just few examples and I bet you we’ve had several such cases in our various local communities, either noted or ignored. Not only do these leaders break their promises but also take advantage of their positions to loot state properties. This makes politics a game.
Politics is like a draught game which consists of politicians and innocent citizens who have not delved much into the tricks of playing the game. The politicians use the country as a draught board and trick their opponent, the people in the country, to make a silly move so that they can take advantage of it and grab all the pieces of the game to make them winners. The politicians play on the wits of the innocent citizens and deprive them of the so called “national cake” and take it as a personal wealth. This greediness has led to lots of crises in the world where some countries are facing economic crises but their leaders are making tons of richness. This did not hide the imaginations of the great man, Abraham Lincoln, who said in one of his quotes “I see in the near future a crisis approaching that unnerves and cause me to tremble for the safety of my country” (1864). Abraham Lincoln was right because if I think of how our leaders are looting the state properties and the “common man” struggling to find a daily bread, makes me cry. Our countries are in trouble under these leaders who don’t think of the welfare of the people but rather their own “pockets”. I have highlighted below, some few examples.
In a post on Nigeria Politics website by Emmanuel Aziken on the 2009 budget defense in Nigeria, it was shown that the then foreign minister, Chief Ojo Madoekwe, in his international travels in 2009 spent N2.7 billion. Chairman of the Senate Committee of Foreign Affairs, Jibril Aminu, who presided at the budget defense session described the N2.7 billion expended by the minister as “economic waste.” (Nigeria Politics, 2009). The interesting fact about these issues is that these politicians sometimes aren’t able to provide details as to how these monies were spent when hold accountable. This money by conversion and the resources of the country is a huge amount to be spent by one minister on just travels. I begin to ask myself that then how much will this minister loot if other areas such as petroleum sectors are added into his tasks?. Without doubt, he would make billions of money from the state resources while the living conditions of the citizens are not at its best.
Another sad case happened in my country, Ghana during 2009 CHAN (Home-based Africans Nations Cup) final between Ghana and Benin in Abidjan, Cote d’voire. There were some allegations against the then minister of Youth and Sports, Hon. Muntaka Muhammed for misuse of the country’s money and corruption. Investigations by the National Security against this case leveled against the minister, signed by the Presidential spokesperson, Mahama Ayariga showed the minister was paid GHc 15200.00 as refund for meat and food items. (ILoveAfrica, blogspot). I think if the whole country had gone for that trip we wouldn’t have spent that money which approximates around $7600.00 during just a final match trip.
This reminds me of a story I heard in younger ages that there was a man who after eating, the food just pass through the digestive system without being digested and come out of his anus. This man can eat the food in the whole world without being satisfied. If this minister was able to spend this money on just food items, then I think he might be suffering from similar disease. These are just some few examples; the list can go on and on, from country to country. It is about time we opened our minds eye and found solution to this problem.
Moreover, Gordon Brown’s government led Iceland to economic crises during 2008-2011 period. According to the Guardian, “Gordon Brown said to the world media that Iceland was virtually bankrupt, which was not true. Then he invoked the Anti-Terrorism Act (2001) to freeze all Icelandic assets in the UK.” (TheGuardian, 2009). This led the business men and women in Iceland unable to retrieve their assets in the UK banks they were trading with. The report also said this president forced all the local governments in the country to open accounts and trade with banks that require high taxes leading most business men and women to go bankrupt while their assets have been freeze in UK. I think President Gordon Brown was elected purposely to take good care of the country and the well being of the citizens. But if he cannot do this tasks, should he increase the woes of the citizens like this?, what did they do to deserve this punishment?
Innocent citizens are suffering in the hands of these “politricsters” and I feel sad for my citizens. God should save us from these people. Mind you I don’t hate them but I hate their characters. How long should these leaders continue to play on the wits of us and drive our beloved countries to crises? It’s about time we stood together and made wise decisions.
I would say that the development of a country and the well being of its citizens depend so much on these leaders. This in a sense means if we don’t have good leaders, the development of a country will be seriously impeded and the country will be in crisis. We should all get involve and not be lackadaisical in an attempt to eliminate these “scrupulous” people from our governance. Let us be wise during campaigns and not be deceived by “sweet” words these “politricians” use but try to look at the background of each candidate and make a wise decision to choose the best man to lead us. I would also suggest we use formal means to hold these leaders accountable and make detailed accounts of how they expend and use the state property. If we do this, I think we will create a society where all of us will live peacefully, benefit from the state wealth and make our countries better for the current generation and the next generations to come.