By Anayo Onukwugha, Port Harcourt
A chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Rivers State, Prince Tonye Princewill, has described as divisive and counter-productive, the type of politics being played in Nigeria.
Princewill, who disclosed this while speaking on a live radio programme monitored in Port Harcourt by our correspondent, linked majority of the challenges facing the country to politics.
He said: “I think our politics is in need of surgery. Why do I say that? It is divisive, it is counter-productive. If you look at a lot of major problems we face in the society today, it is clear that it is out and because of our politics.”
The APC chieftain, therefore, advised Nigerians to learn how to hold the political class accountable, rather than complaining, pointing out that transparency and accountability were part and parcel of leadership.
He said docility of Nigerians will not help the situation except they entrench participatory democracy in order to change the narrative.
“There is a famous saying that spectators are either cowards or ignorant. When you have politics as a dirty game; if you have a responsibility to your children, if you have a responsibility to your community, if you have a responsibility to your family, then, you have a responsibility to change the politics.
“Sitting back to say politics is a dirty game is not good enough. Ultimately, if you want to change politics, you have to be in there to play. You cannot improve politics by standing from a distance and watching. You don’t affect a game by watching it on television. If you really want to affect the game, you have to be there on the field.
“So, for those of us that are complaining, I want to ask you, what are you doing about the politics? Whether be it from the media, whether it be from supporting a candidate, whether it be being a candidate yourself. So, you must convince yourself that you are playing a role, no matter how small, to affect the politics of the day.
“Complaining is not good enough. I have said it before that if complaining was an Olympic sport, Nigeria would have been winning gold medals all the time. We cannot sit down and keep complaining from a distance, we have to be asking ourselves what are we doing about it.
“I will like people to be proffering alternatives. What do you suggest? The political class should be challenged. The political class should be held to account.
“There is no doubt that transparency and accountability are part and parcel of leadership. We expect criticism; we expect it to be constructive. Sitting down and throwing toys on your television screen is not good enough. We expect people to act,” Princewill said.