Some few days ago, I read with utmost dismay how one of the contestants in the just concluded Ondo State primaries, Mr. Jamiu Afolabi Ekungba, lamented on how he spent as much as 300 million naira on the APC primaries that only got him 44 votes. Mr. Ekungba lambasted the people of the state, describing them as ‘betrayals’ who milked him off N300 million without visible results during the primaries. This left me with much thought, bothering on how Nigerian politicians can spend so much millions seeking political power and relevance, rather than have a concrete program on how to develop the nation.
In this part of the world, little attention and emphasis is placed on economic power by our politicians; especially during their campaigns. Their manifestoes that sometimes look good to the eyes ended up becoming unattainable after some few months into office. Political parties in Nigeria lack ideas; while our politicians don’t have workable programs. All they care about, is to gain political power, relevance and becomeclueless immediately afterwards. Countless promises goes unfulfilled, and before you know it; their tenures are over. Another party comes in, and the same cycle of continues!
This has been the prominent problem Nigeria over the years and even now. The current APC government for example, came on board in 2015 with loads of hopes and assurances; sixteen months into the administration, things have grown worse in the country with an end to some of these challenges not in sight yet.
Then I began to wonder, “How are developed nations like USA, China and the likes making it work for them?”, “How were these nations able to attain so much success (especially China that was once a developing nation) in such a short period of time?” I noticed that first and foremost, the difference is in politicians – not party now; because politicians makes up the parties anywhere and at any time -“T“!
While most of our politicians in this part of the world crave more for political power – to oppress, for prestige and for some other frivolity; politicians in those developed nations seek economic power. Now, why some have argued that there is no much difference between political and economic power, I tell you; that assertion is a deception from the pit of hades. There’s a wide gap between political power and economic power.
What then is political power? In the field social sciences and a larger part of politics, power has been defined as“the ability to influence or the outright control of the behaviour of people”. Political power is then defined aspower/authority held by any group or party, allowing them to make use of public resources as they see fit. Most Nigerian politicians believe so much in wielding this power at the detriment of any other thing. They can spend billions of naira acquiring it; and even go to the point of exterminating their opponents at other times to possess such political power. Their intent is to use it for selfish reasons, and nothing more!
Economic power on the other hand is the main thing. It is the power to produce and to trade what one has produced. It is what gives nations the necessary boost for growth and development. Naturally, people who wield political power also automatically have access to economic power. But the sad part of this is that, most Nigerian politicians don’t have clue about how to utilize this economic power. China is becoming world’s next big nation to reckon with because she wields this economic power and their politicians are using it well. Nigeria has been to China lately, what have we learnt from that trip as a nation?
In less than two years of this administration, our economy has been “grounded”- we are technically in a recession. Why? Because our leaders do not have clue on how to effectively turn the vast natural resources in the country into wealth. We are a rich nation yet, very poor! My take is this, our politicians are illiterates and clueless. It is not all about wielding political power, it must be used judiciously. This is the big difference between politicians from here and the rest of the developed world.