Nigerian Elections – When Sycophancy Pays

Elections are at the corner with party campaigns heating up, politicians are making their interests known to the public. Carefully concocted manifestos are being paraded, INEC compiling the names of party representatives and support sought from individuals and people groups. The great wind of elections is sweeping across the country and many become victims of assassinations and kidnaps, others end up mishaving due to much excitement. With the good, the bad and the ugly poised to lock horns in the April polls, the electorates are left with much work to do in the voting process.

Politics in Nigeria has been regarded by people as the quickest and easiest way to get rich and amass wealth for themselves and unborn generations, at the expense of other legitimate citizens. This poor mentality has even been bequeathed to the younger generation, who are supposed to be the leaders of tomorrow, the future of Nigeria, our hope of escaping possible extinction of our nascent democracy and the hope of remaining a united Nigeria for as long as we want, without hosting another civil war. With the quality of the ideas emanating from them and the uncertainties of the moral soundness of our youths, we are gripped with the fear of the improper tutelage of the unborn generation. The sanity of our posterity is doubtful, with the improper and substandard information passed across to our fickle youths.

The inundation of our media houses, broadcasting stations and national dailies is another issue of much concern. Though our media houses are profiting from the enormous patronage from our ambitious politicians, the confused electorates are only left with a high mountain to climb. With their alluring, well- concocted and seemingly propitious jingles, taking their turns, making right choices becomes a problem for the confused voters.

All involved parties continually recruit their potent venomous weapons from the rich arsenals of their opponents’ past unresolved flaws, just as in military reconnaissance, which they gradually unleash, together with their own intimidating achievements, in their struggle for the much coveted victory at the polls.

Unnecessary statements, loot cases, forged certificates, illicit relationships, gross irresponsibility, court cases and other sentimental issues are some of the recurrent matters. Murder and kidnapping are sometimes preferred by our do-or-die politicians whose political understanding is poorly low.

Nowadays, sycophancy has become a ferocious weapon among and against political opponents. As ‘supporters’ of differenl politicians seek attention, recognition or political appointments, they go to any length to sell the image and interest of their man, to others that are still undecided on whom to give their support. This invariably means that the fellow with a greater number of vociferous sycophants is at an advantaged position. The thing of worry remains the ficklemess of these supporters whose selfish interests and empty bellies are the forces driving them. Provided their hopes are kept alive, they keep supporting but whenever their interests are threatened, they quit and direct their support to another promising camp.

Unarguably, much of our political appointees got into various positions through sycophancy and that poses a serious challenge to their responsibilities in terms of being faithful, diligent, accountable and even trustworthy for promotion. We keep moving around vicious cycles because our political appointees are visionless and unqualified novices who were employee due to the mere relationship they have/had with their elected counterparts. Most times, they are based on family, political, tribal, religious, professional or even emotionat affiliations and attachments.

Often times, no matter how little these sycophants contributed to the success of their candidates; maybe by sponsoring jingles on radio or television stations, publicising them on the pages of different national dailies or on banners placed on strategic positions on our roads, they carefully demand compensations.

Sycophancy may have become a shortcut to fame and stardom, making the qualified and reliable rejects jealous, at the expense of good governance and progressive development. Many money-laundering cases and other related offences often encountered in our political arena are the products of sentimental appointments of mere sycophantic flibbertigibbets, whose undoings reflect their inadequacies for their positions.

As Jega makes the finishing touches in INEC’s preparation for a good, fair and credible election, the people that will eventually emerge victorious should wake up to the need of appointing competent people that will head different ministries and parastatals, in order to synergistically produce desired and long-lasting results.

Due to the fact that appointed office holders are as important as the elected ones, for the growth of the nation, stringent measures should be put in place for recruiting only trustworthy fellows with impeccable character and antecedence, who will passionately do the work assigned to them without being infected with the endemic looting mentality. Since election doesn’t guarantee a corrupt-free leadership, lets put more efforts and work together towards discovering, rejecting and eliminating opportunists for a better, united and healthy Nigeria.
By Nkemjika Okoye

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