Nigerian politics are described by observers and analysts as politics without ideology. The only dominant ideological front seems to be ethnicity and tribalism. With over 100 years of nationhood and around 60 years of independence and autonomy from Britain, Nigerian politics are still steeped in crisis and instability caused by an unfavorable socio-political environment and the inability of politicians to overcome small differences and limitations imposed. by religion and regional feelings. Nationalism and patriotism seem to be an aberration in the political system, as true nationalists and statesmen are scoffed at while ethnic chauvinists are hailed as heroes and sages.
Not surprisingly, just as it is difficult to underpin a clear political ideology in Nigerian politics, it is also difficult to identify the political philosophies of wholesalers and political gladiators. The dominant philosophy seems to be selfishness, self-preservation and self-adulation. Our politicians see politics more as a means of advancing the parish interest rather than the general interest. Politicians come to be served rather than to serve the country or the citizens. Thus, unprotected by a defined objective and a sound political philosophy, our politicians indulge in political demagoguery and personal aggrandizement to the detriment of the nation and the masses.
Ideally, political philosophy should be seen as the driving force that tends to get involved in political activities. A strong political philosophy should revolve around influencing or deploying the powers and resources of the state towards achieving the goal of nation building and improving the quality of life of citizens.
So, writing about the political philosophy of an average Nigerian politician could be a daunting task given that many do not know what it means to be in politics other than the conspiracy to seize power. But in Prince Ingr. Dr Arthur Eze, there seems to be a difference. If there is one politician in contemporary Nigeria who has subordinated self-interest to national interest and has shown an unusual interest and commitment to empower the masses, it is Ing. Arthur Eze the prince of the kingdom of Ukpo. Indeed, if there is one Nigerian politician who has identified himself positively and actively with the masses, it is the kingdom of the Prince of Ukpo. He is too difficult a personality to ignore in Nigeria today. He is altruistic and altruistic and because his manners are quite different from the generality of other politicians, he is most often misunderstood by his compatriots who find it difficult to reconcile his unbridled act of generosity, openness and frankness.
Without competing for or holding political office in the country, Arthur Eze has had a great impact on the lives of citizens more than any other political office holder in the annals of this nation. He devoted his time, his talent and his treasure in the service of his people. And because of his supporting role and liberal nature, every politician desirous of political office seems to consult him for advice and financial support and he has supported every candidate he finds capable and credible, whatever regardless of tribe or political affiliation. It may not be wrong to say that Prince Arthur Eze is not a full-fledged politician. It may be appropriate to describe him as a political activist or an enthusiast as his level of patriotism and knowledge of politics is higher than that of the ordinary ‘professional politician’ and therefore his knowledge and the power he wields make him an influencer. and a mentor. No wonder his admirers affectionately call him the “godfather”.
Thus, its political philosophy is anchored on altruism, patriotism, pragmatism and service to the people. He believes in liberal democratic ideals and the sovereignty of the people. He believes that the task of national unity and cohesion can only be achieved through tolerance, peaceful coexistence and the creative integration of disparate interests by building bridges across political divisions. Its political virtues are guided by the ideals of respect for human dignity and the rights of the individual. And its mandate and its motto is to serve the people. Without a doubt, his political philosophy may have been shaped by his urban nature, his royal lineage, and the liberal orientation he had in America where he had stayed in the 1970s for higher education.
In general, Prince Arthur Eze is a lot of things to a lot of people. He’s a patriot, a merry fellow, a shrewd business mogul, and a quintessential philanthropist. For his people, he represents hope, for future politicians, he is a common thread; a statesman par excellence. But, to rude politicians, he can be a dreadful figure because of his frankness and the sincerity of his goals. He can also be considered an internationalist because his benevolence and philanthropy transcends religious, ethnic and international boundaries. He is a humanist who believes that the ultimate achievement of the individual is the number of souls he has touched. His notion of wealth and power is that they both belong to God and whoever possesses wealth or exercises power holds it in trust for God and should use it to further the course of mankind. Again, this probably explains why he tends to support the government of the day, something that has been misinterpreted by his translators, as he believes that it is God who gives power and that the success of the government in power is. for the benefit of the people.
It is not out of place to assert that Prince Arthur Eze is a lover of his Ndi-Igbo people. He did everything in his power to promote the interest of his people and therefore the appellation Ozoigbondu– the one who saves Ndi-Igbo – rightly attached to his name by his people. As a politician, he is not interested in a political appointment or an elective mandate, rather his interest is to support and promote activities which will advance the political interest of his people. The All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA), Ndi-Igbo’s political platform, was formed in Arthur Eze’s house in Enugu. He financed the registration of the party and its take-off and since then he has continued to provide support where and when it was needed. His intention was to give the Ndi-Igbo a voice and a platform to articulate and advance their political interest knowing full well that one of the reasons for the apparent political unhappiness and marginalization of the Igbos in Nigeria is the demonstration of apathy in political matters by Ndi. -Igbo. In addition to using his personal wealth to empower his people, he has also used his position to influence the development of his region. Under the current regime, he was able to influence the establishment of a zonal police command (Zone 13), the second in south-eastern Nigeria. It is on the realization that security is a major challenge in this part of the country.
However, Prince Arthur Eze seems to clearly understand the variegated nature of the country and therefore his aversion to exclusionary policies. He believes that the search for consensus and the aggregation of interests should be the panacea of political harmony. He believes that any politician interested in peace and nation development should rise above the primordial and regional sentiment. For him, it is only the lower mind that allows the primordial feelings to cloud their sense of judgment. On the issue of the Igbo presidency, he believes that what Nigeria needs right now is a charismatic leader who will unite the country and usher in a new era of much needed peace, prosperity and progress. in the country and not necessarily a president of Igbo extraction. However, he believes that for the Igbos to take their rightful place in the country, it would be necessary to close ranks and seek rapprochement with other ethnic groups and political blocs in the country.
He believes that the biggest problem in the country is that of politicians and public office holders who have a bad idea of their roles; who see their positions as an opportunity to engage in primitive accumulation rather than serving the people. And to continue to engage in their thefts, they play religious and ethnic cards to continually keep the people disoriented and divided. It is the root cause of corruption in the country. As a general rule, he believes that public officials should be ethical, legal and civil in their conduct, as the hallmark of public service is dedication to serving the people.
As a seasoned political activist, he knows that in the authoritarian value assignment process as politics is defined, conflicts are inevitable due to conflicts of interest, but conflict resolution and management should be done. through effective stakeholder engagement, consensus, dialogue, arbitration and other civil proceedings rather than violence. He advocates tolerance and compromise where necessary in the interests of peace and national unity. He believes that those who play politics with bitterness and conflict have nothing to offer; it is the unemployed politicians who see politics as a zero-sum game and a livelihood rather than a call for service.
Obviously, if there is a political gladiator in Nigeria with a well-defined political philosophy, it is Prince Dr Arthur Eze. And if others were to emulate him and practice principled politics, our country, Nigeria, would be better off.
Irogboli, economist, media activist and public policy analyst, writes via
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