By Jerome-Mario Chijioke Utomi
Looking at the number of politicians in Nigeria who conduct politics without ideology or principles, it will not be characterized as hasty if one concludes that Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, popularly known as Mahatma Gandhi, an Indian lawyer, anti-colonial nationalist and political ethicist, had Nigerians in mind. , particularly politicians, when, many years ago, he commented that seven things having to do with social and political conditions would destroy a man.
Gandhi, who employed nonviolent resistance to lead the successful campaign against the colonial master in India, named these seven sins to include; Wealth without work, pleasure without conscience, knowledge without character, commerce (business), without morality (ethics), science without humanity, religion without sacrifice, and politics without principles.
In fact, this article does not need to go far to know that large numbers of Nigerians are, in their social, economic, religious, moral and political endeavors, guilty of these sins.
While this state of affairs remains ugly and reprehensible, there are nonetheless some hopeful signs that not all politicians in Nigeria are unprincipled.
Judging by recent news that Benue State Governor Samuel Ortom, a member of the Democratic People’s Party (PDP), recently endorsed Labor Party (LP) presidential candidate Peter Obi in the upcoming election, just 48 hours after With former President Olusegun Obasanjo posting a six-page letter endorsing the former Anambra State Governor, one would largely believe that Ortom is among the very same Nigerians currently playing politics, not for private gain but for the purpose of the greater good for the oldest. number, the policy tied in principle.
Governor Ortom, according to the report, highly recommended Peter Obi to Nigerians as the man who has the ability to effectively address the economic, security and other challenges facing the country, noting that Obi possesses the qualities of a leader who will be a true president. of this country by ensuring justice, fairness and equity for all Nigerians.
Essentially, in addition to having a reputation for nation-building prowess and being linked with a burning desire to see Nigeria transform into a nation where equity, justice and peace reign supreme, Ortom, in the latest statement, has demonstrated that their sense of nation, the public good, national cohesion and development is stronger than ethnic, religious and political considerations.
In addition to the above, there are other traceable indices and feats of creative and critical leadership and ingenuity that vividly qualify Ortom as extraordinarily famous in today’s circumstances.
First, he is one of the five aggrieved governors of the PDP known as the G5, or Integrity Group. Others are Nyesom Wike (Rivers), Seyi Makinde (Oyo), Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi (Enugu) and Okezie Ikpeazu (Abia).
Governors have refrained from campaigning for the PDP presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, amid opposition to the party’s national chairman, Senator Iyorchia Ayu, who hails from the same region as the standard-bearer. Ortom, in the opinion of this piece, believes in fairness, fairness, and justice.
Also notable is the fact that the Benue state governor did not hide under the cloak of ‘party supremacy’ or anti-partisan activity in his presidential endorsement of Peter Obi.
Another area of interest worth commenting on is the news that the Governor supported Labor’s Obi without caring if such action would affect his (Ortom) senatorial ambition on the DPP platform.
Again, prior to Mr. Obi’s latest endorsement, Governor Ortom has scored so many firsts in the past as a result of his farsighted leadership strategies.
Take, for example, that he spearheaded the campaign against open grazing. In the wake of the farmer/pastoral crisis across the country, many were against Governor Ortom’s position on it, so to speak.
Like a prophet and a lone voice in the desert, he persistently cried out that the need for solutions to insecurity has become more urgent today because the problem is much more serious now than it was a few years ago.
At another time and place, he called on the Federal Government to address the deterioration of insecurity in the country, which is manifested in murders, kidnappings, arson, and other acts of banditry and terrorism.
Making matters worse was the fact that his calls came at a time when someone outspoken, with a different set of ideas, values or organizational techniques, was seen as ‘the enemy within’. And constructive debate is perceived as unnecessary, messy and divisive, and different political ideas and strategies are perceived as destructive to the interests of the nation.
For critically minded Nigerians, Governor Ortom’s ban on open-air grazing in his state is important because open-air grazing is the front line of conflict between herders and farmers. The friction caused untold hardship as millions worth of farms were destroyed and farmers were killed for resisting the influx of herders onto their farmland; consequently, many farmers were forced to flee their farms, farm yields declined, and food inflation was gaining ground across the country.
Today, there is progress in all areas. In the National Assembly, both the upper and lower chambers have finally come to their senses and are currently aligned with their position on insecurity in the country.
Ortom’s display of objectivity, truth and patriotism in backing Peter Obi clearly confirms that leadership holds the key to unlocking the issue of transformation in Nigeria. Only a sincere and selfless leader and an organization politically and economically restructured by national consensus can unleash the social and economic forces that can ensure the total transformation of the country and propel it towards true greatness.
Without a doubt, the country, as Ortom recently argued, is on the verge of collapse, due to leadership failure and its attendant consequences of poverty, increased insecurity with banditry, kidnapping and other acts of terrorism that threaten the very foundations of the nation.
Ortom may not be alone in the current circumstances, as farsighted Nigerians have argued in the past that the president Nigeria needs at this difficult time in the country’s history must be one who understands the urgent need to unite the people and Quickly initiate policies and actions. redirect the ship of the nation on the path of growth and development.
In keeping with the above belief, this article, as usual, calls on Nigerians to use their Permanent Voter Cards (PVC) to get rid of the current socio-economic system that has spawned corruption, inefficiency, primitive capital accumulation and socially excluded the vast majority of citizens. our people.
Just as the only way this can be done is to work to build a new social and political order that can mobilize people around common interests, with visionary leadership to drive this enterprise forward. Only then can we really begin to resolve some of the socioeconomic contradictions that afflict the nation.
Finally, as I pointed out in my previous intervention, there are, in fact, two amazing attributes worth mentioning that make Ortom stand out; First and very fundamental, he is a national leader highly respected by all.
Second, Ortom is among the few public office holders in the country who have made politics using global rules and dictates. He is, in the opinion of this article, a clear thinker and belongs to the class of those who can boil everything down to the right points regardless of political divisions.
Jerome-Mario Chijioke Utomi is the Program Coordinator (Media and Politics), Advocacy for Social and Economic Justice (SEJA), Lagos. He can be reached via email@example.com/08032725374