(By Iheanyi Ezinwo)- Politics is a complex game, where people who desire to lead maneuver to win the tickets of their parties, and then the mandate of the vast majority of the citizens of their constituencies. However, because of the misconduct of some actors, many observers have dismissed politics in Nigerian as a dirty game. Besides, the system appears to accommodate black mail and other subversive activities, including deliberate attempts to misinform and mislead the unwary voters.
Although the Nigerian constitution allows any unencumbered citizen to seek for elective office, it is important to emphasize that not all the glittering politicians, who are desperate to rule are fit and proper persons for the job. To make up for their inadequacies, some of them resort to spreading lies against others, who are seen to be more popular. They however fail to appreciate the fact that, victory ultimately goes to the aspirant with the preferred offerings, and not to those who go behind and cook up stories to undermine the reputation of their opponents.
And this brings us to the recent stinker being broadcast in some circles to discredit the aspiration of Chief Timi Alaibe, a seasoned politician who is seeking to succeed Governor Seriake Dickson in Bayelsa State. The unsubstantiated, incoherent and politically motivated allegations are obviously based on rumours. Interestingly, this same Alaibe has been around all this while and nobody had bothered to take him up on the issues being thrown up at the eve of an important election. The reason is simple: these allegations are untrue and cannot be sustained in any court. The provocative piece should therefore be seen for what it is: a cheap campaign to smear the image of the man who had served the country well in different capacities.
Those resorting to dirty politics in Bayelsa state are probably unaware that the era when politicians influenced public opinion with half truths is over because the people can now read in between the lines to separate facts from fiction. Most discerning readers of that piece will only go away with the conclusion that it is sponsored by a desperate politician, who probably is uncomfortable with the intimidating profile of Timi Alaibe – a man who has made his mark in the private and public sectors of the Nigerian economy. Seeking to pull such a man down in order to rise is a dangerous indication that the sponsor of the misinformation cannot justify the use of power, and so should never be entrusted with it.
Nigerians are looking out for politicians who will lead the cause of justice, and who are sincerely committed to the welfare of the people, and not desperate office seekers who, instead of presenting their offering for public scrutiny, chose to fabricate stories against another aspirant that cannot be proved. There is no doubt that the stories were dished out to misinform and instigate the public against Timi Alaibe, but that is definitely politics taken too far. It is a project being executed by politicians who see themselves as masters instead of servant of the people.
In the forthcoming Bayelsa governorship election, both the party and the voters will judge Alaibe based on his track records and contributions to the society, and not based on fabrications by political opponents. Interestingly, governance is not about blackmail but about sharing in the sorrows of the people and helping them to overcome their difficulties. Incidentally, this is the driving force in Timi Alaibe’s aspiration, and which has placed him miles ahead of his opponents.
Any man therefore, who thinks that the only way he can rise is by pulling down another is certainly putting the wrong foot forward and he will fail because the citizens are no longer gullible: they know what they want and who can better deliver it to them, and in the circumstance, Timi Alaibe appears to be the man who fits into the picture.
Iheanyi Ezinwo (08068756996) is the publisher of Notable Outcome, distinct and worth reading global newspaper.