Monday, August 30, 2010

An Apology to Wole Soyinka by Okey Ndibe

Witty, critical piece...and more critical. Find it here.

"In the 1960s, the political parties still understood the meaning of party manifestoes and programs. On the stump, candidates for political offices could be expected to speak not about their programs but also to articulate the nature of ideological differences between themselves and their opponents. Today, any ignoramus can run for office. Manifesto is a word now used exclusively by mugus who don’t understand that the import of political office is to cart away millions in security votes, fraudulent contracts, constituency allowances, and sundry bribes.

Nigeria’s political rhetoric has been distilled – dumbed down – to two or three facile phrases, easily digested by even the most ignorant candidates. The standard, pat answer to the question, “Why are you running for office?” is: “To move the nation (or state, or local government) forward,” or “To deliver the dividends of democracy,” or “My people asked me to run.”

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