By Victor Ikhatalor
The Nigerian politrickcian( a politician; a person manifestly deceitful – a trickster! ) is a storied character savagely and fundamentally undemocratic in his/her nature.
To contextualize the morass of the Nigerian State and it’s seemingly unending mire in economic woes, under development, worsening insecurity, etc, is to perceptively situate the pervasive dire influence of the Nigerian politrickcal class in whose grip a writhing and out of breath country is ensnared.
The Nigerian politrickcian is a breed of person uniquely reliably unreliable. He operates in a space governed by a single political culture of “belle face front politics”, which depicts the remorseless pursuit of personal interest.
This underlying and truly only governing principle of the Nigerian politrickcian’s participation in politics fosters classical lootists( i.e lootist; a person who steals from the public till – a thief!) on the polity, forever fostering corruption and bad governance.
If there are places where politicians hold that; “promise must be fulfilled, it can never be an end in itself”, then the reverse is the case in these parts, where our politrickcians see promises as only a means to an end, employed as a part of their repertoire of reprehensible “bag of tricks” solely deployed towards “seizing” power.
The growing voter disengagement from the electoral process and the worrying and disturbing trend of the expanding inclusion of security agencies, thugs and the judiciary in electoral outcomes that ought be in the exclusive preserve of the electorate, does not make the Nigerian politrickcian lose sleep. He is only truly bothered when he is at the wrong end(the loser) in the all-comers “roforofo” fight for power.
The ultimate desire of the Nigerian politrickcian is to have access to the levers of power and to ruthlessly deploy it in crude contestations for power – which is the hallmark of our elections. The Nigerian politrickcian is at his most contented, when he has free rein in employing the “dark arts” to access democratic office.
The rinse and repeat electioneering methodology employed by nefarious Nigerian politrickcians, from intraparty elections through to general elections, has all the hallmarks of “mafiosi’ operations. Murder, kidnapping, strong-arm tactics, bribery and corruption are among the numerous signature element’s characterising elections in Nigeria.
To unmask the true nature of the Nigerian politrickcian, is to have a glimpse at Nigeria’s so called local government elections. The single political culture that cuts across all party appellations unveils the true nature of the ‘beast” in its full element.
The brash deployment of the spoils of lootism( the art of stealing from the public till by lootists), partisan security forces and thugs, compromised State Independent Electoral Commissions (SIECs), are notable signature characteristics of the “jiggery-pokery” employed by politrickcians towards landslide victories.
The most recent spectre of shameless display, exhibiting the Nigerian politrickcian’s creed of personal and not societal driven interests, showcased on live television in the National Assembly, during the consideration of the Electoral Act Amendment Bill, I am sure, would only have left anyone domiciled in “space” popeyed.
Discerning onlookers, bitterly disappointed citizens inclusive, would not have been hoodwinked by gibberish avowals of selfless intent by those hell bent on truncating electronic transmission of results.
To be clear, the array of mostly All Progressive Congress(APC) parliamentarians who acted out the role of traducers against the “will” of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the Nigerian people, desiring more credible elections, could just as easily be reversed if circumstances had placed the mostly opposition Peoples Democratic Party(PDP) members in situ to preserve “jiggery-pokery” privileges.
Any lingering doubts by the uninitiated, would surely have been dispelled by the acts of “houdini” performed by a great number of the PDP Senators who on such a momentous day had to be elsewhere in a hurry! All in all, it was just another day of politricking(the practicing art of being a politrickcian) for our parliamentarians.
According to the World Bank, Nigeria’s revenue-to-gross domestic product(GDP) ratio which fell to between five and six per cent last year, is the lowest in the world. The Country Director for Nigeria, World Bank, Dr Shubham Chaudhary, reiterated this during a panel session at a virtual seminar organised by the Lagos Business School on Monday, 27th of July 2021.
It is no longer news that Nigeria is the poverty capital of the world, with well over half her people living in extreme poverty(World Poverty Clock). Though conservative, it is also not news that official government, National Bureau of Statistics(NBS) figures show that well over a quarter of the population are unemployed.
It is very much no longer news that our debt-to-revenue ratio, now, more or less, sees Nigeria spending well over ninety per cent of her accrued revenue in debt servicing. According to Fitch Ratings, as at the end of 2020, Nigeria’s debt-to-revenue ratio stood at 89 per cent, with a fearsome projection of it reaching 395 per cent by 2022!
We certainly see a parade of ruling class elite in the news almost every other day, falling over themselves to convey to a mostly hopeless and helpless populace beset by mortal hunger and insecurity, that the country is “broke”.
Against this backdrop, notwithstanding all empirical evidences pointing to the dire existential realities of most Nigerians – our Nigerian politrickcians will not be moved!
They continue, deaf to any human sensibilities, the perpetuation of the “vampiric” usurpation of the countries resources in the guise of humongous salaries and allowances shrouded in conspiratorial mystery. Unremittedly, they persevere, in their own warped pursuit of happiness, wantonly accumulating the proceeds of lootism.
These Nigerian ruling class politrickcians, who have by sheer will and perseverance, elevated the display of conspicuous consumption to an art form, very much, like the feudal ruling class of Russia in a bygone era who upheld their privileges as paramount, observe Nigerian Democracy chiefly in the light of their own interests.
Is it any wonder, that forest dwelling bandits derive their moral equivocation from our town residing politrickcian bandits in power (BIP)! There is no gainsaying, that it is the corruptive influence of Nigerian misleaders that have sown and nurtured and still gives air to all manner of societal ills.
A typical highlight of the evolving hydra-headed inimical influence of Nigerian misleaders can be seen in the education sector. With Nigeria as the out-of-school children capital of the world – one in every five out-of-school children are in Nigeria(UNICEF), a cankerous development brought about, through decades long perfidy of the thieving Nigerian politrickcal class, a clear, present(manifestingly obvious) and future danger looms.
Relative novel words(see meanings), in this essay are dedicated to the decadent, mercantile, self serving Nigerian political class. Politrickcian, politricking, lootist, lootism, and bandits in power (BIP), are meant to call out and dog seemingly irredeemable Nigerian politicians and misleaders.
Bear in mind, there are a few politicians out there who are genuinely committed to selfless service to the people. These handful, who are overwhelmed by the putrid stench from the political cesspit and carry the same odious odour by virtue of association, thus, indistinguishable, are there all the same.
It is for these few swimming against the tide, and for those who must in chagrin, enter the political fray in uprising to change the narrative, that I enjoin my readership, men and women of good conscience to apply these words as applicable.
The Nigerian politrickcian is a virulent disease in the body polity, that if not excised, will ultimately kill it’s host (Nigeria). A democratic revolution that will displace the Nigerian politrickcian and install the Nigerian politician is a task that must be undertaken, onerous as it may seem – the alternative is Nigeria’s doom.
Victor Ikhatalor is of the Human Rights Defender and Good Governance Advocate