June 24, 2024

Political lesson to the youth about loyalty

By Amb. Aminu Iyawa

It is a thing of pride that democracy has finally stabilized in this country, having recently elected our fifth president in succession in 24 years (1999 – 2023) without interuption.

I am also proud to see how our youths are enthusiastically involved in the democratic process, particularly for their participation in party politics and in turning out enmass to chose candidates of their choice.

As excellent as this development is, many of the youths and even some among the adults, are naive and lack the understanding of fundamentals of democracy, including holding elected officials to account, but worse still, is the blind loyalty they aggregate to their political idols.

Often, they confuse the relationship between political assocites of an office holder or seeker, to that of his ‘boys.’ They ignorantly believe that once you have chosen to support a politician because you are attracted to his beautiful manifesto and have common shared values, you must surrender yourself to him, waiving your right to question his actions or even the right to leave him, if he deviates from acceptable values, norms and principles that define good leadership.

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They want you to remain subservient and to never show respect or even talk to any other politician, no matter how good and patriotic they are. They want you to see and treat all opponents of their political masters as your personal enemies, otherwise you are dubbed a betrayer.

In politically advanced climes, loyalty is a precious ingredient that citizens extend only to their country, state and city, before any politician. That, a politian invited you to work with him or appointed you to high office, does not mean you should bata your conscience and integrity to please him for fear of being branded a disloyal fella, even when he is treading the wrong path.

Sadly, I have witnessed the sinking of otherwise, wonderful upcoming politicians among the youths that sacrifice their ambitions and allowed themselves to drown in the pool of blind loyalty to their masters that neither mentor nor groom them to succeed.

On top of that, the youths are misled to believe that a loyalist, by the definition of most politicians, is someone who stands by and maintains a hundred percent loyalty to his hero, even when the politician is found inadequate, lacking in capacity or indulges in corruption and the looting of public treasury.

No Nigerian should love any politician more than he loves his country. The youths must wakeup from slumber and support only politicians who have the welfare of the people at heart and have the capacity to deliver democracy dividends.

The youths should not yield to blackmail by politicians and their hoodwinked supporters who alter facts to perpetually make you feel guilty for divorcing yourselves from their company.

Always have clear conscience, open your eyes and look for politicians that have the interest of the people at heart. They are easy to distinguish, because they always do more and care more for the community than even the government.

Also, never be burdened by the words ‘loyal’ or ‘disloyal.’ In the Nigerian context, they mean nothing more than adjectives popularised by the politicians to subjugate the most vulnerable, aimed at dominating them.

A word for the wise is quite sufficient.

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