But my personal POSITION because we must not allow Political Discussion to put our relationship asunder!*
Martins became my friend when our path crossed as Executives of Nigerian Economics Students Association (NESA), Unilag branch.
He was the Editor and I was the “General Secretary”. We struck a strong chord. We lost contact for many years. But Facebook found us.
That chord was almost broken in 2015 when Jonathan/Buhari rivalry hit the social media like whirlwind.
Like many people from South-South and South-East, Martins was totally for GEJ. I was a keen advocate for change, a canvasser for Buhari’s election to end sixteen years of PDP mis-rule.
I assumed his passion for GEJ was driven by sheer irredentism. He probably assumed my passion for Buhari was totally unfounded.
One ugly Sunday evening, we disagreed till we had to knock ourselves off our social media network.
A friendship of many years went under. Interestingly, both of us were mere “analysts”. We belonged and still belong to no political party. We are not politicians!
We are Economists by training and are only keen on the economic renascence of our Country. Buhari and GEJ separated us. He “unfriended” me and I blocked him.
On a particular Sunday in church, the Pastor announced that a certain Mr. and Mrs. Martins……got married a day before and will be coming for thanksgiving. “That name sounds familiar”, I told my wife.
I looked back. It was Martins, my friend. He got married in my church. I received no notice. We had parted ways on facebook some years before.
He put on a fabulous Ibo attire, looking totally radiant.
As he danced forward with his new bride, he radiated so much joy and affability. I stood up and joined the train to the altar. We all danced.
He took no notice of my presence until the Pastor ended the prayer for the couple. He turned back and screamed Kayyyyyyyy.
Right at the altar we embraced each other. It was a happy re-union. We laughed and hugged at the altar, in His presence.
Right there we practically renewed our friendship. “How dare you come to my church without clearance from me”, I queried.
He laughed and laughed and screamed my name again. Those providence has joined together let not politics put asunder.
The lesson was not lost on me. We are too divided as a people.
Our treacherous history of political deceit has made principled stand on political issues almost impossible.
Political discussions come with a lot of bitterness and bickering. They generate so much emotion that take almost everyone below the limit of civility.
Policy analysis is seen in the prism of political rivalry and division. There is virtually no room for independent examination of political and economic issues.
You are either seen as for or against a particular party or candidate or as one seeking attention.
The social media is dominated by poisonous wind of desperation, uncultured tendencies and needless hatred and bitterness.
Unfortunately, key actors, the real politicians who enjoy all the loot and spoil of office along with their family members, sit quietly in affluence, plotting how to further take advantage of the deprived critical mass on social media and other places to advance their wicked interest and maintain their firm grip on power.
They move from one political party to the other like simple pendulum.
They stand for nothing but their protruding belly. Most of Nigerian leaders are not only selfish, they are unredeemably wicked.
To them, everything is about power. It is politics of power.
In their politics, there is no room for ideology – good governance comes after they have settled their pockets and created an ocean of endless opulence for their lineage.
We are in another season of election deceit and comedy.
Before you abuse any one, ask a question:
“Do the Governors or Ministers or Commissioners or candidates you are fighting for have their kids on social media abusing anyone.
Where are their kids?
Right there at the altar, as I embraced Martins, I knew my days of discussing politics on social media were numbered.
I knew I must limit my involvement in political discussions. I must keep relationships made and I must make no foe.
*please have a rethink*
Posted by Philip Okobi