In Maths, when something is an inverse of another you could describe it by raising it to a negative index, like -1. In Nigeria, we have Politics to the power of -100. That is to say, many, many, times the inverse of what politics should be – the recent election mess in the USA is no excuse. Here instead of convincing voters (consumers) to cast their votes (buy the political offering) it is the inverse: Politicians buy votes with money, food, religion, tribalism and thuggery. They feel no need for ideology, causes, philosophy, vision, honesty and ability as the essential value-package to sell to consumers. When they achieve their aims, they exercise an unabashed justification for self-reward in cash and power. No surprise then that some of the richest Nigerians are politicians and those who pay rent for their business favours – import waivers, destroyed competition by deliberate policies, which impose monopolies on the market. They exact vengeance tax on the poor voters who had long since eaten their own share of the poisoned fruit of political corruption. The consumer is left to rue his decision but will soon forget, under the strains of deprivation, so that, come the next election, he’s so hungry that he’s again willing to play the fool for a momentary gain, and, of course, the wily politician knows that. That is why his only one and entrenched political marketing strategy is to keep the people poor and hungry, and to confuse and daze them with religious and tribal sentiments, then watch them queue in the sun and rain, and stumble in and out of polling booths on election day to complete the cycle, just for a few pennies more.
Who’s guiltier, the electorate or the politician? Are Nigerian politicians selling to Nigerians what they want – emptiness? The political market is just a one-product, monopoly market. The Political system holds all of us captive. We have no choice but to consume the products that the parties regurgitate. We have no say in how political officers become candidates that we must vote for and it’s that same political factory that churns out corrupted products that we must purchase with our votes.