-By Austen Akhagbeme:
One of my many concerns as we prepare for the 2023 General election, is the wanton amplification of our fault-lines by the deliberate glorification of identity politics in our already fatigued polity today.
It has become a norm even in our very psyche that for someone to vote for anyone, such factors as religion, ethnicity and region must consciously or unconsciously be the first consideration. But why is it so?
There are so many explanations, postulations and perspectives given as an answer to why we are the way we are as a people in a heterogeneous nation like ours.
Some of these perspectives range from precolonial influence vis-a-vis the ethnic and regional disposition of the early nationalists who “fought” for our independence and subsequently took over the reins of power from the colonialists.
And also the fact that these compradors nationalists became ethnic champions and promoted the same in their outlook and disposition at all times.
This was what gave birth to regionally based political parties that sowed into our psyche the preference for politics of tongue, creed and tribe.
This monster of ethnicity and religious inclination in our politics has become a common denominator and an opaque prism by which our political preferences and decision are based and viewed respectively.
As 2023 beckons, politics of tribe, religion and region have again taken over the political space while the real issues of welfare, security and development takes a back seat. This has always been the bane of our politics and politicking in Nigeria.