An ex-chieftain of Unity Party of Nigeria (UPN), Chief Kayode Moradeyo, has said that politicians in Nigeria have derailed totally from the tenets of modern democracy.
Chief Moradeyo said in an interview in Lagos that instead of practicing politics of ideology, what most politicians in Nigeria are practicing today is politics of poverty.
“The politicians are not after the welfare of the masses anymore. What concerns them the most is what they will get out of the society as if governance is business investment instead of service.
“How can you say you are a democrat and you are not doing what is meant to work for the benefit of the people. What I see in our politicians, especially those in the southwest region of Nigeria, who are claiming to be democrats and followers of Chief Obafemi Awolowo, is that they are into politics of poverty, giving money to the people in order to mortgage their votes. The politicians are buying the conscience of the masses, and unfortunately, the people, because of poverty, sell themselves. Politics of stomach infrastructure is what is being practiced in Nigeria today,” the former President of Lagos Country Club in Ikeja said.
He said that it is appalling to see some of these politicians calling themselves democrats and followers of the late Chief Awolowo. Chief Moradeyo, a former Administrative Secretary of UPN during the regime of late Lateef Jakande in Lagos State is sad that Nigerian political arena is full of people who do not meant well for the masses as against what Chief Awolowo stood for.
He noted that those who claimed to be followers of Awolowo are most guilty, deceiving people to their own advantage.
Chief Moradeyo, a former Executive Director, Finance and Administration of the defunct Compass newspaper said that if truly those who are parading themselves as followers of Chief Awolowo are democrats as they claimed to be, they would know that what Awolowo stood for is against what they are doing in the Nigerian political arena today.
“Awolowo practiced politics of ideology which clearly stated that you are a leader of the people for the overall wellbeing of the people. There is no shortcut to this. The leaders must think always what they would do for their people not what they will get from the people. That is what Awolowo stood for.
“I could remember that it was on politics of ideology that made success out of free education in the southwest region of Nigeria which UPN controlled in those days. We called those states LOOBO states, that is Lagos, Oyo, Ogun, Bendel and Ondo States. There was this master plan that mandated all these
states to do a uniform policy targeted at alleviating and empowering the masses in these states, and the world could see the successes recorded by UPN in these states.
“Unfortunately, however, the so-called democrats of today’s politics in Nigeria are doing the contrary with their politics of poverty,” he said.
Chief Moradeyo said he was not happy that instead of Nigerian democracy to have advanced steadily, the reverse has been the case.
“There is nothing to celebrate in our democracy if we take a critical look at what was obtainable in the days of the late Chief Awolowo then and what our politicians are doing today. Things are getting worst by the day,” he said.