Oyo State Governor, Seyi Makinde gave an honest advice recently when he asked Nigerians to shun politics of bitterness. He said politicians are not worth dying for because in the end they will settle their differences and move on.
Makinde made the frank remark when he spoke at the traditional marriage ceremony of Oluwanigba Fayose, son of the former Governor of Ekiti State, Ayo Fayose in Lagos. He said misunderstanding in politics is normal but the politicians will always put such misunderstandings behind them because of their interest.
“Those of you who want to die because of us politicians, be careful. Politics is not something that should cause anybody to lose his or her life. We are moving towards the electioneering period, and I just want to use this opportunity to appeal to you all”, he said.
Nothing can be far from the truth and we commend Makinde for his honesty. It is rare to see such virtue in the average Nigerian politician and we hope that Nigerians will heed to his advice.
Makinde and Fayose had a few months ago locked-horns over the leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the South-West region. Fierce as their battle was, they have settled it and are now at peace with themselves.
At the wedding, it was surprising to see in attendance, Engr. Segun Oni, who like Fayose, was a former governor of Ekiti State and the incumbent Governor, Kayode Fayemi. The trio have been in rival political camps but they never allowed their differences to consume them. It justifies the assertion that in politics, like international diplomacy, there is no permanent friend or permanent enemy but permanent interest.
Not too long ago at the commissioning of a Police Protection Unit and other facilities in Rivers State which was built by the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Governor Nyesom Wike and the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, publicly engaged each other in a war of words. Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo was at that event and he watched with bewilderment.
After the commissioning, a video emerged, showing Wike and Akpabio sitting together in an area that looks like the Government House, Port Harcourt. They were sharing drinks and having fun in company of others. The same men who attacked themselves in public less than 24 hours earlier!
Prior to that, Governor Wike in a viral video was seen dancing to different highlife music with Senator Rochas Okorocha. The video depicted an atmosphere of conviviality. No one needs to be told that both men were having a nice time. A quick check; Wike is of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) while Owelle Okorocha belongs to the All Progressives Congress (APC).
It is therefore very disturbing when people, especially youths fight among themselves over politicians all in the name of loyalty. During elections it is the youths that are used as thugs to snatch ballot boxes and do all manner of things to subvert the electoral process. After elections, the fight continues on social media, as the youths battle to impress these politicians because of the paltry sums they receive as stipends, which has made them slaves and blinded them from going after other opportunities in life.
With the 2023 general elections fast approaching, Nigerians must take Makinde’s advice very seriously. They must resist the temptation of carrying arms against themselves. Politics should not be a reason to have an enemy or to die prematurely. Our mindset must change if we must change our political system as a nation.