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Published On: Thu, Jan 8th, 2015

Gov Aliyu, you’re wrong on this

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Dr Babangida-Aliyu-and-President-Goodluck-JonathanGovernor Babangida Aliyu’s infamous comment only last Monday that “If you cannot lie, get out of politics,” implying that all politicians must of necessity lie to the people as part of the strategy to secure elective offices is a slur on the character of Nigerian politicians.

The Niger state governor cast this aspersion on politicians, himself inclusive, at the inauguration of the PDP gubernatorial campaign organization, where he ironically declared that politics is meant to remind people of the party’s achievements to secure victory in future elections.

“If you cannot lie, get out of politics. Anything you are involved in has its own rule. You are in politics to win. Win first, let other things follow. Don’t be the one crying. Rather, let you be the one they will take to court.

“If you are talking of honesty or moral, go and become an Imam or Pastor. Politics cannot be the way it used to be. The challenges are more now. The variables have changed.The issues that we are going to face in 2015 (are) different from the ones we faced in 1999. We must bear that in mind. Our society is not as grateful as it used to be. The values and morals have gone down.

“If you want to win, use the modern morality. We have worked for the people. Politics is not about ‘sadaka’ (giving alms). Politics reminds people of what you have done. Go out and remind the people of what we have done,” the governor told the people.

This comment will rankle the general public who feel betrayed by the hypocrisy of our politicians who do not have regard for the sensibilities of their followership. Perhaps, it is the reason there is voter apathy in Nigeria as quite a reasonable number have become cynical about elections due, partly, to the type of reckless comment made by Aliyu.

We disagree with Aliyu’s claim on grounds that because some politicians are liars, all others are so. We believe as those who seek to represent the people must stand on truth as they strive to represent the people because it is only truth that can set you free at all times.

Politics is service to humanity that demands sincerity of purpose, integrity, commitment and dedication to the people and therefore inevitably imposes upon aspirants to elective offices the need to be honest and incorruptible both during and after campaigns and in handling the affairs of state in furtherance of the common good.

We are rather stunned by the confession of Gov. Aliyu that politicians should resort to telling lies to get elected into public offices. This betrays not just crass desperation but readiness to undermine public interest for selfish reasons.

Granted that some desperate politicians whose interest in public service is anything but selfless service may have succumbed to smug and illicit ambition stopping at nothing to satisfy their whims and caprice, but there are honest politicians, who have had impeccable records of public service.

They are men and women of integrity whose adventure into politics has been and remains enviable for the improvement of the welfare of the people. To such worthy politicians, public service is a call to duty, service to humanity, a quest to uplift the society, improve the quality of life and bequeath a lasting legacy to generations unborn. Those in this category would hardly indulge in sophistry in an attempt to hoodwink the people or arm-twist them to surrender their mandate on illicit grounds.

We urge the general public to disregard Aliyu’s deceitful claims in the forthcoming general elections billed for next month and be alert to vote for only trustworthy, industrious and truly pious and selfless politicians, who will truly execute the people’s yearnings and aspirations without being unnecessarily loquacious.


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