A Chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Rivers State, Princewill Tonye has said lack of clear-cut implementable political ideology across party lines was the cause of the absence of developmental politics in the country, saying Nigeria’s politics has been divisive and needs major surgery.
According to him, there is no difference between the APC and PDP, noting that what differs was who was leading at any point in time.
Tonye, a one time.governorship aspirant in that state, said this during a live radio programme, “Politics Nation Wide” in Port Harcourt.
He asserted that politics is too important to be left for only politicians, and called for active participation.
“I think our politics needs a lot of surgery. Why do I say that? It is divisive, it is counterproductive. The major problem we face in society today is politics. Rather than our politics building us, our politics is breaking us down.
“Rather than our politics bringing us together, our politics is dividing us. And you can point a finger in many different directions.
“That is why you can find somebody in APC who is a governor in one State running a completely different set of policies from somebody who is APC governor in another State. In other words, there is no ideology,” he said.
Drawing analysis of three major groupings in the society, including the Traditionalists, the Modern Class, and the New Age, he said the various groups see Nigeria from different perspectives.
“If you look carefully you find out that politics has not done anything to address various negatives that each of these groups carries along with them and that is why I say politics require major surgery.
“Unfortunately for us as a society, we rely heavily on politics whether it be for development or sustenance.
“Politically speaking, we are now suffering from that inactivity of the intelligential class, people who should know better, who know better, who should have gotten involved in politics, who felt that politics wasn’t that important and it is that we are still trying to recover from,” he added.
On his view that politics as a dirty game, he called for active participation in politics and urged people to refrain from complaining but to engage in constructive criticism.
According to him, “There is a famous saying that spectators are either cowards or ignorant when you have politics as a dirty game. If you have a responsibility to your children, if you have a responsibility to your community, if you have a responsibility to your family, then you have the responsibility to affect the politics.
“Ultimately, if you want to change politics, then you need to be in the play. You cannot improve politics by standing at a distance and watching. You don’t affect the game on TV. If you really, truly want to affect the game, you have to be there on the field.”
“So, for those of us that are complaining, I want to ask you, what are you doing about politics? Whether be it from the media, whether it be from supporting a candidate, whether it is being a candidate yourself. So, you must convince yourself that you are playing a role, no matter how small, to affect the politics of the day.
“I will like people to be proffering alternatives. What do you suggest? The political class should be challenged. The political class should be held to account.
“There is no doubt that transparency and accountability are part and parcel of leadership. We expect criticism; we expect it to be constructive. Sitting down and throwing toys on your television screen is not good enough. We expect people to act.”
Meanwhile, he advised the present crop of politicians to define an ideology and imprint it on their party.
By Victor Uzoho
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