Must the youth kick out the old politicians to build their New Nigeria?

share on:
kick out the old politicians

Pete Edochie told his son, Kanayo O Kanayo: “What an old man sees while sitting down, even if the child climbs an Iroko tree, he does not see it.” The ability to predict and alter consequences does not just come from immediate physical sight, which can be augmented by height. Instead, it comes from the people’s bank of experience about specific events, peoples, objects and behaviours. After long research for the coveted dragon-glass, young Samwell Tarly remembered that old Stannis Baratheon spoke about dragon-glass deposits beneath the Dragonstone,[1] but he was too busy to listen. Quintessential information for rebuilding societies may be lost when young generations think they have to kick out the old politicians.

 


Presently, many young Nigerians continuously harp on the need to kick out the old politicians from power. Using the arrogant language, “kick-out”, implies a forceful or disgraceful expulsion of a people who may never hand over power willingly. They complain that the old politicians are blocking the way for young and energetic Nigerians with fresh ideas to revive Nigeria. Some reasons the aspiring young Nigerians present to justify the need to kick out the old politicians include:

  • The old politicians are corrupt, greedy, power-drunk and wicked.
  • Some of them have history of brutality, embezzlement and national sabotage.
  • They seek to install young generation of puppet-leaders to continue doing their bidding.
  • They are filled with inter-tribal bias reflecting in their sentiments and comments.
  • They are analogue, without knowledge of how things are done in the modernized computer age. And their analogue thoughts will be replaced with bright ideas from well-travelled and internationally certified young Nigerians who have gathered enough factual knowledge.
  • They are already weak and unable to generate or implement fresh ideas for developing Nigeria.
  • Many of them are simply ignorant, and only got the position through violence, bribery or favouritism, instead of merit.

 

Despite these perceived faults and limitations in meeting with the modern demands of governance, the old politicians cling to power. Some of their reasons for clinging to power may include:

  • Fear of defamation: despite their shortcomings, Nigeria’s politicians, like other humans, want to be remembered and praised for the works they did. Presently, some are afraid that the young generation will criticise/vilify their names and legacies. Since the youth, without power, are already insulting the old politicians, it will become worse if they take over power.
  • Fear of losing influence and relevance: apart from the craving good names and legacies, humans derive happiness from being relevant and contributing to purposeful ventures. They are happy to be famous and to be regarded with deference. The youth’s disposition to kick out old politicians suggests that the youth will abandon the old politicians without any role, purpose or relevance in their new Nigeria.
  • Fear of losing material benefits: the principal industry for earning steady income in Africa and underdeveloped countries is governance and administration.[2] They auction crude mineral resources for foreign currency, which is mainly shared among government officials. Some of the old politicians who have only known public office as their source of income will not want to leave.
  • Distrust of the youth’s capacity and sincerity: some of the old politicians are not convinced of the youths’ sincerity, morality and competence in building a better Nigeria. Despite their international certifications, many Nigerian youth have not shown good understanding of the history and dynamics of the Nigerian society.
  • Hope for some final miraculous manoeuvre for transforming Nigeria: some old politicians still believe that they can somehow miraculously transform the society before they die.

 

No matter the extent of criticism by young people to kick out the old politicians, the old politicians will not leave willingly. The old politicians will not hand over power to the youth just because they are young, rude, intimidating or exuberant. It may follow that the young political aspirants must seriously demand power either violently or morally, or both.

“The whole history of progress of human liberty shows that all concessions yet made to her august claims have been born of earnest struggle… If there is no struggle, there is no progress… This struggle may be a moral one, or it may be a physical one, and it may be both moral and physical, but it must be a struggle. Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did, and it never will.”[3]

 

The ideal goal of political power is to organize the society for citizens’ development, collaboration and contribution to society’s progress. The mantra to kick out the old politicians raises a question on the youths’ means for demanding power; whether morally or violently (abusively)? Obtaining power for ideal politics of service through violence and verbal attacks undermines the nobility of public service in itself. Martin Luther King Jr. insists that the “means we use must be as pure as the ends we seek”, otherwise it becomes contradictory. Yet, after Khaleesi refused using dragon-fire to take back King’s-landing to avoid massive casualties, Olenna Tyrell asked: “Then how do you mean to take the Iron-Throne? By asking nicely?”[4]

 

Despite its appeal to young aspirants, fiercely seeking power with the mentality to kick out the old politicians may not yield intended result:

  • It is more expensive to engage extant governments in rebellious struggles for power. Most youth do not have the funds for such campaigns.
  • The old politicians will vehemently resist being kicked out by “rebellious” youth. If the youth insist on attacks as the rule for their political game, the old politicians still have control of the military and financial apparatus for violent resistance against being kicked out.
  • Even when the youth succeed to kick out the old politicians, they set a precedence of arrogance and violence for subsequent attempts at obtaining power. For those who ride to power on the back of the tiger will end in the belly of the tiger.[5]
  • It embitters sympathizers and beneficiaries of the old politicians, causing them to sabotage new regimes.
  • By attempting to kick out the old politicians, young aspirants make enemies out of would-have-been allies. “Do I not destroy my enemies when I turn them into friends?”[6]
  • Despite the youth’s international certification and knowledge, the old politicians still have more practical experience about the real society.
  • The old politicians have more connection with the natives, and can identify their influences more than foreign-trained social experts and historians.
  • Though they have not been able to solve the problem due to their level of influences, the old politicians are not the problem. On the contrary, they can be part of the solution when convinced of the youths’ sincerity, vision, understanding and willpower.

 

Since the old politicians may never hand over power by being asked nicely, the youth must demand for it seriously. Yet, instead of arrogantly demanding to kick out the old politicians, young people may demand power by appealing to higher morality and purpose. The belief that true power must be achieved through verbal or physical attacks was disproved by Mahatma Gandhi. True power for ideal leadership can and has been obtained without violence and arrogance, but consistency in diplomacy, morality and higher purpose.

 

In this democratic era, a way of obtaining political power is by getting people to vote and ensure their votes count. The youth can get votes by convincing the people, not just the old-politicians, of their sincerity and higher purpose. The higher purpose for Nigeria is the organization of Nigerians for productivity instead of fighting over imported goods and money. Hence, the new young aspirants may:

  • Clearly demonstrate factual and emotional understanding of the obstacles to productivity among the different peoples of Nigeria – imported consumerism over role philosophy of contribution.[7]
  • Properly communicate their visions towards reordering Nigeria for collaboration and productivity.
  • Show openness to counsel, even from the old politicians, about Nigeria’s common purpose.
  • Demonstrate readiness to educate Nigerians for development, collaboration and proper utilization of (their) resources in producing what they need for sustenance, security and profit.
  • Motivate the people about their ability to create a Nigeria of their dreams and pride.
  • Sincerely search and establish the truths about the ethnic community’s natural rights and social obligations, in order to responsibly negotiate compromises for harmonious creativity.
  • Demonstrate willpower to make decisions and resiliently follow it through to the end.
  • Demonstrate capacity to work with people and to create social structures and institutions for ensuring justice, human development and harmonious creativity even after their reigns.

 

Leadership is not about the control of office and resources, it is the harmonization of human beings to create heaven on earth, by utilizing each person according to their talents. The youth may have to focus on the emotional intelligence for harmonizing Nigerians for modern collaborative productivity. Instead of just thinking of how to kick out the old politicians.

 

He who must destroy others to succeed must know that destruction awaits him at the door to his success.

Anonymous

 

[1] Game of Thrones, Season 7, Episode 1

[2] Walter Rodney, How Europe underdeveloped Africa, 2009 Edition (Abuja: Panaf publishing, 2009)  p.22

[3] Fredrick Douglas, 3rd August 1857. http://www.blackpast.org/1857-frederick-douglass-if-there-no-struggle-there-no-progress/

[4] Game of Thrones, Season 7, Episode 2

[5] John F. Kennedy, https://www.goodreads.com/quotes/509647-those-who-foolishly-sought-power-by-riding-the-back-of/

[6] Abraham Lincoln, https://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Abraham_Lincoln/

[7] Chukwunwike Enekwechi, “Law as a tool of philosophy” In Restartnaija 22nd February, 2018. https://restartnaija.com/2018/02/22/law-for-philosophy-legitimacy-and-common-good/ retrieved 7th March, 2018