By Ovundah Nyeche.
The 4 cards African politicians are experts at playing:
My brother, my brother, Doctor Ovundah your brothers have been Governors for 11 years now. “Na you biko” Your tribesmen are enjoying. I wish I am from your tribe. The irony however is that none of these politicians in power know me and there are many people not from my locality that have smiled, laughed and eaten from their dining tables, no because they come from the same tribe as them.
Ethnicity or tribalism works wonders, and is one reason many African nations will never go forward. Black can change to white when ethnicity is involved.
Even if the person responsible for the community’s impoverishment and woes is a native of the community, this shields him…”Na our brother” covers up a lot of things.
This is also the reason while people from the same locality as the leader, have an adrenaline surge…”Our brother dey power”, this adrenaline is soothing and satisfying, the feel means so much to them, even if it has no visible benefit.
If this card fails, they:
Pick Card 2) Political parties / Politics.
This is what makes youths that do not have any stake whatsoever in a political party to be willing to take bullets for the political party they profess their support for.
This card blurs objectivity. Play this card and everything the leader does or says is perfect and everything his opponent says is piece of excrement. This is what will make someone call his state Governor a fool and a stupid and evil person one day and then call him a mighty man of valour, a beacon of hope and God’s gift to humanity the next day when they switch allegiance.
This card can make people deify mere mortals.
This card trains professional sycophants, let their leader pollute and as the atmosphere is filled with the stench and normal people cover their nose and run for cover, you would hear them scream that “A better perfume has never been bottled”.
See their leader with an oil stained white shirt and hear them sing his praises and say it is the latest “Adire” material and a new fashion statement.
Here honour is never meant for those in the other side of the phantom divide created by the card players… Play this card and you can hold your supporters to talk and fight over nothing in particular.
Any way if the knife that butters their bread enters into another container, they jump with it.
If it fails, they:
Play card 3) Religion
This is very very vital… Little wonder before elections you see them visiting places of worship, kneeling, bowing and praying with hands open wide and you see these show of spirituality on posters. Don’t take this pose for granted it can win hearts. You have to take that perfect picture where you are at sync with people’s expectations of the religion of interest.
This explains why building 300 mosques is more important than building just 1 factory.
This explains why building churches with taxpayers’ money is more important than economically empowering people that would attend this church.
This also explains why politicians still foot the bill for pilgrimages and consider more vital things frivolous. Remove this which invariably means removing “Choppings” from the mouth of many people and you would understand in details what “Allowing sleeping dogs to lie” truly means.
Here it is not important if you don’t keep the principles of “The Principal”, when you are in trouble blurt out that you are persecuted because you are a member of a particular religion and see how things change.
If this fails play the ultimate card and in fact the most lethal of them all.
4) Poverty or the fear of poverty.
Na this one important and sure pass oh. When this card called poverty or fear of poverty is played, people can do anything. A poor man cannot fight you, a poor man cannot negotiate appropriately, a poor man would stand on the line to be given Akara, rice, wrapper or even bread.
A poor man can stand under the sun from morning till sunset if you pay him #1,000…a poor man will dance for you, just play the music and set the table.
A poor man will attend 50 different political rallies in a day, just assure him of transport fare, kpomo and chicken change and he would sweep the ground and hold a shade over the scorching sun and torrential rainfall.
Mess up dignity in labour and redefine labour. Make young men that should ordinarily be captains in various industries fight over crumbs on social media and live lesser lives. Make them not to develop themselves, make them attend meetings in expensive hotels and make them think their future and destiny is tied to you.
Make young men look down on handling a job and make them feel like “Honourables” and comrades, give them a false sense of arrival.
In other news
Keep them fixated on these cards and they would surely miss the meat of the matter.
Make them lose the ability to ask the relevant questions and make them lose the patience to be taught and be responded to.
Again what do I know?
The cards are working.
Pick 2, pick 3 and last card, Check up!