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Politics & Govt





Josephine Olatomi Soboyejo (Hon.Ms.)
Ogun State Commissioner for Women Affairs & Social Development
 Published June 6th, 2010

The day was Sunday, May 30, 2010 and I was in transit from Lagos to Abuja for an interactive session with the Minister along with the other State Commissioners for Women Affairs. The boarding of Arik Flight W3 161Y has just been announced and while looking inside my handbag for my boarding pass; I saw a micro book presented to me by my darling sister, Princess Banke Ademola, the General Manager, Gateway Radio. I made up my mind to read the book inside the plane rather than be idle. The title of this micro book is “Why did the Chicken cross the Road” – a collection of Life Puzzles written by Waheed Abiodun Ogunjobi, an Editor with Gateway Radio. I knew in my mind that I will finish the book before the plane landed in Abuja but then, I did not envisage the kind of reactions that it generated. Before I finished the micro book, many ideas kept crossing and crisscrossing my active mind. I was in deep thought and unusual inspiration was passing through my mind so I took my pocket diary and a biro and started scribing words. At a point, I paused because something dawned on me; I cannot fathom some issues especially the behavioural pattern of my fellow Egbas’. I started pondering on Political Imponderables. As an author and researcher, my mind went to several Imponderables and rested on Political Imponderables.

Biologically, I am a full-blooded Abeokuta woman. No one can take from me, my birth right. My father is an Owu man from Agbogunleri Compound, oke Ago-Owu in Abeokuta North and my mother is an Egba-Ake from Ijemo-Agbadu in Abeokuta South. By marriage and politically, I belong to Obafemi-Owode. My pedigree is fully integrated in Egba Culture and history yet I find the way of my people enmeshed in Imponderables. At times I ask myself; what really do the Egbas’ want? This is a question that keeps agitating my mind. One of us got the chance to wear the political crown years past; he came, he saw but failed totally to conquer and made the desired monumental changes. Pre-2003, my homeland (Abeokuta) was nothing but a glorified village.

Then came a man predestined by God from a neigbouring zone still within the same territory even though we can trace part of his origin to Owu Kingdom. He came, he saw and conquered. What His Excellency, Otunba Gbenga Daniel has done in the past seven (7) years that he got the political Crown is beyond human comprehension. OGD worked tirelessly sacrificing his hours of sleep, directed his energy and God’s given talents to developing the land. The Infrastructural development, the Vision, the Mission, the accomplished goals and objectives, the paths and direction, the lights shone and the benefits accrued to the land of my birth are so incredible and eye-popping but unfortunately my people fail to see or they see and refuse to appreciate. OGD understands the terrain very well having schooled in Abeokuta, precisely Baptist Boys High School. As part of his contribution to a town that nourished him educationally; he was determined to take Abeokuta and the rest of Ogun State to an enviable height. This was his mantra and he did it so well yet he has been maligned and accused at all angles. What then is our problem in Egba Land? Why are we bent in producing anti-thesis to his thesis? Why do we not appreciate his good governance? Why have rumours taken over the truth? Where is the fear of God in a place that historically had the first Christian Worship (Service)? Why are we making Governance a thankless job? These are my puzzling questions; Imponderables indeed!!!

The opening guns of the Governorship Campaign that will lead to 2011 election will soon be fired. The pre-congress struggles have commenced already. Who is fit to wear the Crown? Who can we trust to sustain OGD’s legacies of Excellence? We will listen to the arguments of all parties; those that make sense or otherwise. The sovereign voters must be careful and follow a performing leader who knows the way and will not mislead them. The party machinery, the party structure ably led by the State party leader must bear the brunt and ensured a continuum to avert disaster in future. Political Imponderables are all around us. The way of politicking is truly imponderable; Belle-aches of politicians are imponderables; pull me Down syndrome is imponderable; destructive criticism is imponderable. What else can I recount? There are millions of Life’s unthinkable that confront us daily in politics; how do we resolve them?

Scholars reflect on imponderables with deep thoughts for self actualization and knowledge; yet enough research has not been carried out on politics and politicking. The destructive tendencies of some politicians need to be examined and re-examined. Does this tendency fall under addiction? Or can it be Psycho? Why would a sane man be determined to destroy goodness or a leader just for political reasons or gains? Political Imponderables easily lead to ‘Frustrations’. They are examples of imponderables that occur in politics, the sudden, the unusual, the bizarre, and the surprising. These imponderables affect everything and everybody. Some of the wrongs are: a word spoken by a politician out of order, a thousand and unplanned actions, uncalculated little events that can occur and change the course of events; negative and wicked media reports. Imponderables play an enormous part in politics. An imponderable is a state of affairs that which comes into existence without known cause. Are our politicians ascribing to Isaac Newton’s law of gravity that for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. In this context for a good deed, there is an equal devilish deed by the opposition. No wonder the attacks are many on my leader, he is blessed and has many things others crave for; to mention a few:

1.     A handsome face

2.     A charismatic appearance

3.     An endowed physical build (Body)

4.     A powerful dresser

5.     An intelligent man

6.     Intellectual capability of high repute

7.     Uncommon high I. Q.

8.     Wealth and in fact became very rich before 30 years of age

9.     Gold Personality

10. Stands out in a crowd

11. Uncommon Wisdom

12. Deep Intellectual knowledge

13. Warm Personality that commands respect and Love from men, women and children,

14. Proactive Nature, and above all

15. God Fearing

The above listed and more stands OGD out of a Crowd, no wonder there are so many belle-aches. I appeal to my people to turn from animosity, antagonism, acrimony, hostility, enmity to goodwill and appreciation of good deeds. Yorubas’ must learn to celebrate their own and not pull them down. His Excellency Otunba Gbenga Daniel has performed creditably well, and does not deserve attacks but commendation. He is an Icon, a man of Integrity that should be celebrated by all. Politicians of both divide must learn to appreciate each other. Politics must not be a do or die affair; it is a service to God and humanity. A selfless service must be sung for others who are not doing so well to learn and note. OGD is about ending his mandate; it is our duty to encourage him by appreciating his efforts and contributions to the growth and development of Ogun State. Why do we pour encomiums on our leaders when they are no more rather than when alive? Let us start to appreciate & reward the living Icons; it is a sure way of getting others to serve meritoriously.

Politics in Nigeria today is a game of self-aggrandizement, self-seeking, idol worshipping and fleshy traits; so to have a man of righteousness serve with Integrity; we must thank God and appreciate such a man. OGD is truly a man of solid character. In fact it is undisputable that there is no moral fibre of any worth in today’s politics. Nigeria Politics is that of opportunities and circumstances of seeking immediate advantage with little regard for principles or ultimate consequences. This actually leads to social chaos and anarchy; samples of imponderables. We can begin to ask ourselves these questions and annex the answers as we go on:

1.     What is it to enthrone in Politics? Or what is Enthroning?

2.     What is Righteousness? Or who is Righteous?

3.     What are Politics and who are Politicians?

Enthrone by definition means to mark the official beginning of the period of rule which, is seating a Subject on a Throne. The Subject in this terminology is RIGHTEOUSNESS. What does it mean to be righteous? Or what is Righteousness? To be righteous means doing what is morally good and just; morally blameless, having JUST CAUSE.  When we examine the meaning of Politics we see a kind of contradiction to what righteousness stands for. As Christians, we believe that we cannot attain righteousness by ourselves except we are in Christ. Jesus Christ is the Righteousness of God Almighty. Righteousness is a fruit of the Spirit of Christ.

Politics or Political affairs can be described as a means of winning and keeping governmental control. A politician is a person, whose business is politics; one who has been elected to a position in government. Someone who is skilled at dealing with people in a way that is advantageous to himself or herself, or at using a system to his or her advantage. (Longman Dictionary). This, as we can see, is in conflict with righteousness. How then can we enthrone righteousness in politics of self-advantage and self-aggrandizement? To my mind; it is possible, it can be done.  Next week in concluding this topic; I shall delve into what needs to be done to enthrone righteousness in politics. Be alert; watch out for the political dogs. They can never deliver dividends of Democracy.

Give a deep thought to my puzzling questions for they are truly puzzling Realities.

Political Righteousness can be done only by Infusion and transfusion of new ideas, new meanings, new orientation, new game plan, and new players. Political Players that are faithful, honest and righteous can do this.  Political players with Conscience, Character, Honesty and Integrity like my Leader (OGD) can do the enthroning.

Let me enumerate the need to enthrone righteousness in Politics; the great need to avert the consequences of Political Imponderables. This can be done only by Infusion and transfusion of new ideas, new meanings, new orientation, new game plan, and new players. Political Players that are faithful, honest and righteous can do this.  Political players with Conscience, Character, Honesty and Integrity can enthrone righteousness in Politics. Certain acts are directly recognized as universally and unconditionally wrong. Falsehood for example is known to be wrong, not from its own incompatibility with social well-being but from its very nature. Honesty is seen to be right in itself, and not because of its beneficent economic and social results. Nigeria’s wealth has been hijacked by a few, leaving majority weak and unable to defend them-selves. This Comatose situation is largely due to unrighteous leadership.

There is then a dire need to enthrone righteousness in the politics of the Country. It is imperative therefore for us as a Nation to produce righteous Leaders. Only a righteous leader can rescue the nation from the present downstream situation. This is the only way to expunge the unrighteous viruses i.e. ethnicity, nepotism, favoritism, greed, caprices, ‘419nism’, etc. from our polity. Godly men and women must stand up in order to achieve morality, selflessness, justice and integrity in Politics and government without which this generation and the coming generation may never have a taste of peace, security and even prosperity in our Country. In the past, Christians had been inhibited from taking a public stand against societal evils by some neo-colonialist propaganda of docility admonishing that Christians had no business whatever in Politics; even in the face of wide spread satanic encroachment in all public institutions of our Country. Who is to enthrone righteousness then? All of us are to enthrone righteousness in politics. We are all political animals.

As long as you cast your vote in any election you are part of the system. That your lone vote can actually build on a foundation of righteousness; using your vote wisely, voting the personality with integrity and character according to the dictates of your conscience. Character is the sum-total of personal traits possessed by an individual that makes him what he is. Character has special reference to moral qualities, ethical standards and principles, which guide a person’s conduct and cause him to choose one course of action over another.

One vital aspect we must consider is the concept of honesty and integrity in the politics of any nation. The dictionary defines integrity as soundness of moral principles and character, uprightness and honesty.

Integrity means living by the laws – both God’s laws and those of the society. Integrity presupposes that there is a situation and a desire to live by it. A person who lives by integrity will aim to do right and to wrong no one. His conscience will be clear, both towards God and Man. Conscience is basic to a work of integrity. Integrity is basic to righteousness. You must strive towards righteousness to be able to enthrone it in politics.

Two basic requirements bring peace and blessing to a nation. That is:

1                    The ruler must be JUST

2                    The Ruler must rule in the fear of GodEvil is so entrenched in our Country today to the extent that the virtuous, the law-abiding, the innocents, the charitable and the altruistic are nowhere while charlatans, swindlers, villains, fraudsters, traitors, dishonorable men & women, murderers, robbers, manipulators and hypocrites are in charge. Nothing is in proper order. Justice is thoroughly perverted, everything is upside down, truth is crushed, and evil repressed good. Our politicians must learn to walk in integrity, blameless and with conscience. Some people act against what their conscience tells them for so long that eventually their conscience becomes numb – seared – no longer sensitive to right and wrong.

Election is an integral part of politics. Election involves moral responsibility. Israel presumed that election would automatically guarantee God’s presence and blessing. Divine Election involves Service to God. Instead of Politicians seeing their elections to offices as special priviledge, they should look at them as participation in the purpose of God in the world. Isaiah poetically described Israel’s election Mission:

          I have called you in Righteousness

          I have taken you by the hand and kept you

          I have given you as a covenant to the people

          A light to the Nation, to open the eyes that are blind

          To bring out the prisoner from the dungeon

          From the prison those who sit in darkness     (Isaiah 42:67)

The agent of God’s Will is Man and God’s Will is for us to prosper, to have hope and future. I have identified Thirteen (13) practical ways to enthrone righteousness in politics. They are:

1.                 Mobilization of masses’ interests in politics.

2.                 Promotion and participation of true believers in politics.

3.                 Educating the masses on their rights and awakening their   consciences to do what is right & Just. ‘Don’t sell your     conscience for a pot of porridge.’

4.                 Educating the masses on proper utilization of their votes.

5.                 Each person in different ways must help to build a stable  society for the survival and prosperity of future generations.

6.                 All of us are to be law-abiding citizens; no one must give  bribe or take bribe. All concerned to pay taxies & levies as at when due. Romans 13:5-8 “Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also because of conscience. This is also why you pay taxes, for the authorities are God’s servants who give their full time to governing. Give everyone what you owe him; if you owe taxes,pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect; then respect; if honour, then honour, let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for he who loves his fellow man has fulfilled the law.”

7.                 Organizational bodies to be vocal on sensitive & crucial   issues through press releases, debates, seminars, organized     talks, workshops etc for the enlightenment of the society.

8.                 Those in government at all levels of governance to recognize      commend & reward excellence and integrity in private and  public services. This will ginger others to be honest,                   dedicated & disciplined.

9.                 Promoting peace and reconciliatory activities individually & corporately.

10.             To always stand on Justice. “The Righteous cares about  justice for the poor, but the wicked have no such concern.” Proverbs 29:7. So let us all be on the side of justice

11.             Refrain from fleshy traits such as Pride, Lying Tongue, Bloodshed of the innocent, wicked         plotting, quick to do evil, False Witness and Discord.

12.             Keep your way pure and Flee from Wickedness & ungodly traits i.e. Carousing, Impurity, Licentiousness, Idolatry, Sorcery, Enmity, Strife, Jealousy, Anger, Selfishness, Dissension, Party Spirit, Envy, Drunkenness & Immorality.

13.             Let us imbibe and pursue Godly Character Traits: Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness and Self-Control; Virtue, Knowledge, Temperance, Patience, Godliness and Brotherly Kindness; Meekness, Hunger & Thirst for Righteousness, Merciful, Pure, and Peacemakers,

I want to share with you, readers the twelve (12) rules for Godly living. These rules when imbibed can change your orientation & views from unrighteousness to enthroning righteousness in all your ways.

1        Reject your sin, but never yourself

2        Be quick to repent

3        Be honest with God & yourself about yourself

4        When God gives you light, walk in it.

5        Stop putting yourself down, you’re contradicting God

6        Never have an exaggerated opinion of your own importance

7        Don’t always assume that when things go wrong, it’s your fault.      Admit when you’re wrong; learn from it, then go on to become   stronger and wiser.

8        Beware of having yourself on your mind too much. Don’t     obsess over what you have done, right or wrong; both activities    keep your mind on yourself instead on God. Listen to Isaiah              26:3You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you.”

9        Take care of yourself physically. Do the best you can with what      God gave you, but don’t be excessive or vain about your appearance – it’s temporal at best.

10   Don’t allow your education to become a point of pride, or your lack of it a source of inferiority. God doesn’t use you because of your I.Q. He uses you because of your ‘I Will’.

11   Your talents are a gift from God, not something you    manufactured yourself so, do not look down on people who cannot do what you do.

12   Don’t despise your weaknesses – they keep you dependent on God.


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