PRINCELY POOR: PARTY FIDELITY FOR PEANUTS RATHER THAN POLICIES
Written by: Deji Kuye (a.ka. The Favoured Wordsmith)
When the mind is myopically fixed on the instant and meagre gifts, the future is traded away with pride. But who can blame the hungered for taking stones as bread or snake as fish? Poverty is not the status of the one working hard and smart, planning and acting well with time and convinced of prosperity. Such may just be in a moment of lack. But the one who has internalized poverty as a destiny and who has deleted hopes of success from his mind is the real poor one.
The lifestyles of the poor, even when they pretend to be rich, are evident of their poverty-stricken mind. No matter how obvious a devil is to them they’ll still open doors and invite him in to plunge them deep and dead. The princely poor always disregard consequences of choices of corruption and extortions and they’ll suffer most after the comic relief of peanuts sharing.
Poor with pride
Give me a morsel
And take our seeds and lands
Plunge it and take the spoil
Use them, own them as you wish
Poor with pride
Give me a morsel
And take my legs and life
Send it to steal or kill
To destroy or to die
Poor with pride
When I see you
In robes like you’re royal
And all rivers and riches you made yours
Let my cries be to you then, harmless barkings
The rich, and I do not mean just the millionaires and upper class, who know best to mind their business, will not have time to walk hours and sit for hours, wasting precious time in the name of campaign. Actually, when there’s much gain as an insider with a profitable assignment, the rich minds can be involved but such are usually in tens or hundreds.
The hundreds of thousands or millions dancing and singing hyperbolic eulogies are the ones richly poor, following the masters like local dogs, forgive me. They anticipate bones to be thrown to them. And that’s what they’d get -dry bones -that’s what they’d fight for: Bowls of rice, two to ten tubers of yam, one to ten thousand naira and other ephemerals.
My God! What a princely poor people such are. The princely poor sell their time, mind and life for the enthronement of a selfish master. How do I know selfish masters? It’s simple. Anyone who will bribe me to represent me; threaten me to serve me or trouble and fight or kill to win a post of service is evidently not altruistic but egocentric and greedy. And Africa has got many of such rulers, past, present and perhaps with untouchable perpetuity.
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Fraudulent acts is encouraged by acknowledgement and deifying fraudsters and thieves. For example, the growing fraudsters and ritualists known as “Yahoo guys” are not ghosts or invisible. There are people around them, hailing them, worshipping them, praising them and many sexual relief materials also flock readily around them. The coming ones can be easily lured into fraud.
That is the same in politics of self, common in Nigeria. Many people hail and praise the ones plundering them. The curses of the people won’t touch those spoilers. It’s trade by barter. It’s investment. When candidates are expected to give some amount of money or gifts to get votes how do we expect them to not be selfish. Where is the money coming from? If it’s not from a godfather then it is borrowed, perhaps at times from the candidate’s savings. Who then is to blame, the godfather who must make profit from his political investment or the candidate who must in multiples realize the money spent or the princely poor electorates?
The rich minds want a rich society and favourable policies. That is why great democracies do emphasize debate. That is why manifestoes matter to great minds or great countries. But debate in Nigeria is a child’s play? A candidate can choose not to partake in such. Well, if about 80 parties have candidates and all are to debat, that might take months to organize. Perhaps, there should be a legislation that Presidential candidates be limited to a number and different parties can adopt a candidate. And a legislation that such candidates should attend debates.
If we’re not going to settle for less, if we’re not going to shield corruption; if we are going to get good governance, stable political system of altruism, we must begin to look into socio-economic ideologies of candidates, manifestoes of candidates and history of candidates.
Why should a candidate promise good health or education or security or food or jobs or amenities? We don’t need them to promise these. These are duties or responsibilities they have to sustain. We should rather ask, “what are you going to do, how will you develop our economy; how will you attack these problems; what are your policies? Not what will you give me. Government is not for individual but for a people. So, we may ask, what will you do for our society, our children and our farmers and business men and how?
The great ones will think of how to make or earn money and not how to be given money. The ones who are princely poor will endure hardship for four years, uttering harmless curses if a candidate reneges. They will wait for another for years and unfortunately, they will readily be deceived into making the same mistake of choosing peanuts over policies, over integrity.