It is politics. Anything can happen

Simbo Olorunfemi

By Simbo Olorunfemi
Some are so irrationally emotionally invested in the outcome of the forthcoming election that they can’t see anything else outside of it. They think everything is about the election. They are so emotionally invested that they assume everyone else is also equally invested and sees everything from the prism of a possible election outcome.
Moderate your expectations. Temper your optimism with caution. Don’t go overboard in your assumption that nothing else matters but the win you are so assured of. I know you believe that it is the win that matters, no matter how it comes and that the end will always justifies the means. I know. I understand. Still, be careful. Be cautious.
They assume motives for the most unlikely actions and even non-actions or the part of those whose minds are trained on other things. They are calling out those who are already blessed, those who should be models and exemplars for them, out of myopia and ignorance.
They are so carried away by emotion, making enemies out of friends, assuming enemies as friends, because of fleeting coincidence in interests on selfish and shifting grounds.
Yet, those who know know that there is no certainty in politics. Those who know know that the forthcoming Presidential election is particularly tight. Those who know know that you cannot foreclose any outcome in an election.
Those who know know that you must always prepare yourself for the possibility of three outcomes. Yet those who don’t know are the most vociferous here, fighting battles to which they have not been assigned on behalf of those who don’t know them and might never reckon with them.
Some of those you curse, assume and accuse of working against you had long moved on and divested themselves from any emotional attachment to the election.
Some are already in the post-election mode, already working on life beyond now, irrespective of what might come. They are wise enough to know that life will always continue, no matter what. The wise ones know that tomorrow is often not about the quantum of emotional investment from yesterday and that fortune might favour the virulent once in a while, but not always.
Whatever you do, keep your head. Well, that is for those who have not already lost theirs. Too many people lost theirs long ago, now battling to figure out who they have become. Keep your head, if you still have it. Keep your emotion at check. There are too many variables at play beyond the control of even the most powerful, not to talk of those whose parameters are driven by emotion. Keep your head.
Twenty-four hours is eternity in politics. Don’t make enemies for yourselves in a game in which the most invested participants have the possible outcomes better figured out and better prepared to deal with than yourself.
Remember that people are invested in the game for different reasons. Do not mistake everyone on your side for a fan. Some are on your side, or even the other side because, for them it is a gamble. They are driven by their stake in the lottery, with no interest in the sport itself, welfare of the players or the implication for the future. They are apostles of Baba Ijebu, fairweather gamblers.
You need to understand that there are all sorts of actors in the political space. There are different categories. Some are sympathisers that you might not even know. There are those who are content being backstage, pulling strings from behind. There are financiers who speak and act with their money.
There are those who are simply content to watch from the sidelines, even if they have their own circles of influence they can move, if they so desire, in certain directions. There are those who won’t speak out publicly for you, but will act in places you might never know or be in your interest. It is naive to lump everyone not visibly with you in one category. That someone is not with you does not mean that he is not for you.
You lose more antagonising people just because you don’t see them behind you. Who knows what is really on their minds? If they are not for you at the moment, who says they cannot be for/with you tomorrow or even at the most critical point?
Note that it is not everyone who is given to unrestrained public affirmation of their political position. Not everyone is a campaigner. It is not everyone that wants to play the role of attack dog or unquestioning defender. Some have their ways that are simply different from yours. Do not mistake silence for opposition.
It is naive to simply assume that everyone not lined up behind your position is an opponent or enemy. Do not antagonise just for the sake of it. It is naive and silly. Not everyone will ever be with you. But that someone is not with you does not mean he is with your opponent. It is better to leave him in the camp of the undediced or of the ‘neutrals’, rather than antagonise him into lining up against you.
Do not mistake friends for foes. Do not alienate based on assumptions. Keep your emotion in check. Prepare yourself for the possibility of any outcome.
Be mindful of all possible outcomes.