Tuesday, January 8, 2019 8:10 am
By Hope Eghagha
It was this ‘Brexit or no Brexit’ matter that made me start thinking about yeye politics and yeye politicians in recent times.
I have looked on as the very Great Britain, home and empire of Her Royal Majesty the Queen of England, made yeye of itself in the Brexit matter, made yeye and is making of its Prime Minister in the eyes of the world.
Even the British parliament is making yeye of its Prime Minister, the defiant Theresa May.
She too is making yeye of herself, travelling to and from Brussels begging for concessions from men and women who did not want Britain to leave the EU in the first place.
Boy! Are they having a pound of flesh! The ‘yeyedom’ has become so humiliating because Britain which taught us the English language wants to ‘eat its cake and have it! And the rest of Europe is having none that nonsense!
Of course I grew up in a society in which politicians were and are routinely described or referred to as ‘yeye people! A yeye person is one not to be taken seriously even on serious matters.
Yeye politics is used to describe politics which is not designed for the common good. It is often sectional, selfish, and self-serving.
To cancel or abandon a laudable project started by one’s predecessor is yeye politics.
For example, we could say that abandoning the Badagry Mile Two Road is yeye politics, just as we could assert that cancelling the Jakande Metro line project in 1984 was yeye politics! Abandoning the Badagry-Marina train project in Lagos is yeye politics.
To concentrate the security architecture of a country in the hands of an ethnic group is also yeye politics. To blame everyone else for one’s ineptitude is yeye politics too.
To promise restructuring when you know that you do not plan to restructure is yeye politics. To depend on only one product to run the nation’s economy is yeye politics.
Africa as a continent is not short of yeye politicians and yeye politics. Idi Amin Dada played yeye politics before President Nyerere of Tanzania assembled a force that kicked him out that yeye ruler from power.
Idi Amin it was who kicked out Asians and handed their shops to locals. It was a populist measure that made him a hero in the eyes of ordinary folks.
But it was a disaster for the Ugandan economy. What about the politician who awards a job when he knows there is no budgetary provision?
The highest level of yeye politics is when we loudly proclaim policies which we do not intend to implement. Promise and fail, is yeye politics.
Ethnic politics in time of promotion or assessment is yeye politics. Denying a group their rights because they did not vote for you is yeye politics.
Citing a major institution in your village is yeye politics. Governing with a click after being elected by a majority is yeye politics.
If you cannot articulate your points in a debate you are guilty of yeye politics. If you address fundamental issues of the day in a foreign country you are playing yeye politics.
And when your wife comes to the public to say that you are not in charge of the country it means that you are playing yeye politics!
Of late ‘yeye politics’ has become global; it has become institutionalized. Our very dear President Donald Trump is playing yeye politics on the international and national stages.
His own yeye politics has divided the country, his world and may soon split the Republican Party. With him there is nothing grand about the Old Party.
Republican senators are playing yeye politics. Trump panders to the whims of the ill-informed, the ignorant and highly prejudiced people in society. He has no respect for the values of the society which produced him. He calls a former attorney of his a rat.
Seventeen investigations are going on around him yet he rants on Twitter! He and former British Foreign Affairs Secretary Boris Johnson are great champions of yeye politics.
When I picture Boris Johnson as PM of Britain I see yeye politics.
Indeed the Great Britain is in a tight corner right now. Because of the level of yeye politics the opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn cannot, does not look like a likely replacement.
Has yeye politics taken over the world? Time and space will fail me to if I decide to discuss Putin and his yeye game of power politics.
From President to Prime Minister and from Prime Minister to President like a banana republic! North Korea and the Philippines are stepped in yeye politics right now.
A yeye politician plays yeye politics. He is not after the interest of the electorate. He is often into pecuniary interest or vainglory.
Yeye politics is highly destructive. It deprives the people of development. It denies the people the basic things of life.
Those who practice yeye politics do not hinge their politics on any principle. It there is a principle, it is a yeye principle.
Else, why should a superpower threaten the world, withdraw from sensible agreements, make inflammatory remarks that have led to mass murders and refuse to be on speaking terms with his Chief of Staff? Why should a leader abdicate his responsibilities to the unelected people in his kitchen cabinet?
But we must also state that if we continue to produce yeye politicians who practice yeye politics, it means we too are yeye people. Yeye people seem to like yeye politics, and yeye politicians.
If we are yeye people then everything will be jagajaga! The level of yeye politics in the country has been extended to the Senate where a Senator is only known for dancing and clowning and displaying flashy and expensive cars. In a country that is not dominated by yeye people we would have recalled him from the National Assembly.
Finally as we enter 2019 which is an election year, let us not play yeye politics with yeye politicians. Both the governors and the governed should say good bye to yeye politics and yeye politicians.
Just as Charlie Boy and his boys declared that ‘our mumu don do’, let us all say ‘yeye politics and yeye politicians don do! If we do not get rid of yeye politics we are likely to give birth to a generation that would know nothing but yeye politics and would therefore live yeye lives. I am sure that is not what we want for our offspring!
-The Guardian Newspapers