Politics Without Bitterness: The Onna National Unity Show


The funeral service for late Elder Gabriel Nkanang, father to Governor Udom Emmanuel, held last weekend in Onna turned out to be a lesson in unity and a ray of hope that the political class can overcome partisanship for a united Nigeria.

The roll call at the event cut across the political divide and was indeed a broad spectrum of all the political juggernauts assembling in harmony to condole with the Governor Emmanuel family.

It was indeed a beauty and a thing of joy to see politicians hitherto perceived to be mortal enemies shaking hands and embracing themselves and side by side publicly at the event.

A sense of oneness as Nigerians was palpable in the air as they sheered banters and participated lively at the occasion.

At the end of the day those who witnessed it all came away with a feel-good sense that in spite of politics Nigerians are one.

After the tumultuous happenings of the past few months especially the issues of insecurity which seem to have split Nigeria down the middle, and along party lines it was indeed gratifying to see how Nigerians put their differences aside in Onna.

Mark you, there was no pretence about the Onna unity as Nigerians spontaneously and genuinely put on display a true sense of brotherhood.

Gradually, Nigerians may be gravitating towards the philosophy of the late political leader Waziri Ibrahim who was a proponent of politics without bitterness. In fact he propounded and made popular the slogan-“politics without bitterness. ”

He was the leader of the then Great- Nigeria People’s Party and a complete gentleman who tried to play by the rules away from mudslinging and murky politics. Unfortunately he came years before his generation. Therefore while his politics without bitterness slogan became a swan song and was popular, his philosophy was not imbibed.

Rather Nigerian politics has continued on a roller coaster of rancour, divide and rule, winner-takes-it-all, greed, avarice, ethnic bigotry and chauvinism all of which combine to drive the nation toward the edge of a precipice.

However, given what happened at Onna and from their body language to the outward show, it seems the political class has realized the need to rewrite the narratives. They are gradually coming to the consciousness to turn the leaf and do away with politics of acrimonious.

Politics should not be a do-or-die affair intended to destroy than build. Neither should it be seen as an end on its own but a means to development.

Henceforth the new slogan should be: Politics Without Bitterness.

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