Political Osteogenesis Imperfecta (POI) – Part One:
Nelson Mandela, in his book ‘Long Walk to Freedom’ on page 549; says, “All men, even the most seemingly cold-blooded, have a love of decency, and that if their hearts are touched, they are capable of Changing”
Going down memory lane, I remember Fela’s hit & evergreen song –’ Na POI.’ It is a gender activity song; when a man holds a woman, they enter a room and shut the door; the gender action inside the closed door, as Fela sang, is called “Na POI.” But I am not singing or chorusing Fela’s song, but ruminating on another type of POI. I call this particular one Political Osteogenesis Imperfecta (POI). This particular POI needs a thorough examination.
In many ways, POI is like OI. Osteogenesis imperfecta (OI) is a genetic problem that causes bones to break easily, often for little or no apparent reason.
Osteogenesis imperfecta affects approximately 1 in 10,000 to 20,000 people worldwide. An estimated 25,000 to 50,000 people in the United States have the condition. There are at least four forms of the disease.
OI is a rare genetic condition that stunts growth and causes underdeveloped lungs and brittle bones; so when this disease affects Politics & Politicians, the result is Political Osteogenesis Imperfecta or POI.
Politics is a game that enables the enthronement of Power and Leadership. The Political game varies from Country to Country. In a country where the Rule of Law is sacrosanct and uppermost in the people’s minds, they enjoy full Democracy, transparent governance, and free will in the choice of their leaders. The bane in most African Countries is poor judgment, misplaced priority, and lackluster attitude toward the rapid development of Infrastructure. Over the decades, the germane decision of re-awakening a Nation like Nigeria has been overlooked. Yet, there is a recycling of the same decision-makers in the leadership of the Country.
In developed Countries & Economies, Youths are making waves, while in Africa, tired older men want to continue to rule despite dwindling knowledge and strength. They present themselves as Messiahs, and some of the youths who have been given the rare opportunity at the highest levels of leadership display stunted growth in their macabre behaviors. Is Africa a cursed Continent? No! But they need God’s directed revolution or surgery for the POI ailment. Mr. Oladimeji Esuola sent a forwarded mail to me years ago titled: Why Africa Is 25 Years Behind the Developed World? The comparison between the ages of African leaders and the First World leaders showed 25 years difference. The question is: How Do Africans Move Forward with the Old Squad? Let us take a cursory look!
Average Age: – 75.6; Approximately 76 years
First World Leaders:
Average Age: 51.1; Approximately 51 years
Real Democracy should be the ‘You’ and not the ‘Me,’ but the political situation and politicians in the African Continent, especially Nigeria, are affected by Political Osteogenesis Imperfecta. It is a severe disease that needs medical attention. The real OI is a genetic disorder present at birth, and an abnormality causes it in collagen. So also, the POI is present in the formation of political parties. Nigeria is the only Country, I know with over sixty (60) Political parties, with only about four (4) of them winning any election and still maintaining the other dead-on-arrival (DOA) party.
During the crisis of the Civil War, Frederick Douglas said, “The life of a nation is secure only while the nation is honest, truthful, and virtuous.” (1865). Somewhere along the way, the people shifted gears and covertly turned a cold shoulder to such notions. And now the Nation is more given to Vices than to Virtues. How did this happen? Somewhere back there, several years ago, a group of so-and-so’s decided to do a social experiment founded upon the faulty notion that Life and all things in it are better without God. Business is better without God. Politicking is better without God. Education is better without God. Sex is better without God. Money is better without God. Society is better without God. The Arts are better without God. We now see the fruit of these seeds in the dismal indifference that characterizes a society of non-virtuous people. Selfishness trumps self-sacrifice; personal interests take priority over the needs and concerns of others; petty arguments have replaced great debates — and the cry is, “ME, ME, ME,” all the way home. Nigerians have become fragile and ordinary bones with the milking of the Nation’s resources. Let us do a kind of SWOT analysis on the symptoms of OI and POI.
In the four most common types of OI, the symptoms include the following:
- Bone fractures
- Bone deformity
- Short height
- Loose joints and muscle weakness
- The sclera (whites of the eyes) may have a blue, purple, or gray tint
- Triangular face
- A tendency toward spinal curvature
- Brittle teeth
- Hearing loss
- Breathing problems
The Masses have become bones due to POI. Only in and through politics can one win and keep governmental control. A politician’s business is politics; one who has been elected to a position in government. Someone skilled at dealing with people in a way that is advantageous to themself or using a system to their advantage. (Longman Dictionary). Power. Intelligence. Athletic ability. Efficiency. Winning. Affluence. Visibility is among the values we hold in high esteem, idolize and even worship. We see human frailty, failure, weakness, and poverty we avoid like the plague. Certain acts are directly recognized as universally and unconditionally wrong. Falsehood, for example, is known to be wrong, not from its incompatibility with social well-being but from its very nature. Honesty is seen as right in itself and not because of its financial and social results.
Nigeria’s wealth has been hijacked by a few, leaving the majority weak and unable to defend themselves. This Comatose situation is mainly due to POI. So what happens when God deals with our pride through illness and frailty, possibly through failure? What happens when we cannot call the shots, control the circumstances, or determine the outcome? Are our peace of mind and sense of worth so fragile that it is predicated upon guaranteeing life’s optimum circumstances or a continual string of successes and recognition?
The 2023 Election is approaching with the commencement of campaigns going on. There is a dire need to enthrone righteousness in the politics of the Country. Only a righteous leader can rescue the nation from the present downstream situation. The only way to erase the POI viruses, i.e., ethnicity, nepotism, favoritism, greed, caprices, ‘419nism’, etc., from the polity is to choose righteous leaders. Treatment for POI can be done only by Infusion and transfusion of new ideas, new meanings, new orientation, new game plans, and new players. Political Players that are faithful, honest, and righteous can do this. Political players with Conscience, Character, Honesty, and Integrity can do the magic.