Edo 2024: Sanctimony and Politicized Tribalism

Map of Edo

Edo 2024: Sanctimony and Politicized Tribalism

Elempe Dele

Politicizing tribalism is the state of complete disorder, it is an attempt to create an order through tribal attachment by hypocrites. To me, it is a dangerous ideology and a festering sanctimonious conundrum no one should ponder.

This have nothing to do with highfalutin ideas on setting agenda for the incoming governor, rather, an attempt to inject our political veins and arteries with poisonous venoms.

As we grow into the gubernatorial election in Edo State starting from the primaries next month, tribal politics has started to take front seats in our discusses on social media platforms while ideological issues are relegated to the back benches.

Do we really have other serious alternatives than this? Yes we do with the kind of human resources at our disposal in the state.

What the medley of politics and tribalism connotes is not more than idea of how best we can share the state cake for selfish interest, and that is why you see those core tribalists becoming fierce even in their scholarship on the notorious subject matter that has pushed us to the brink of abject poverty materially and intellectually.

The tribalistic in politics is not interested in politics of the development in general terms, he is interested in how his tribe can get the biggest employment quota, how the government in power can situate industries in his home town, how he and his ilks can get appointment from hia brother, how amenities can come to only his district…this is partly why tribal passion is running high in Edo State as of today.

Edo State is divided into three senatorial districts: Edo North, Edo Central and Edo South. Politically, Edo South has the highest voting strength of about 50%, followed by Edo North with about 35% while Edo Central has roughly about 15%.

This goes to show the acute imbalance when it comes electing who becomes the next governor of the state. On this basis, there have been clamour for zoning in the state where the 3 senatorial district will device gentleman arrangement through dialogue, negotiations, horse-trading… of rotating governance in the state.

In a recent poll conducted by An Eagle Badger poll of 1,017 registered voters in Edo State has revealed that 78 percent of voters support zoning and power rotation and that the number one pain point for voters across the three senatorial districts as the 2024 governorship election approaches was roads.

“The two main reasons given for supporting zoning were ‘equity, fairness and justice’ and ‘inclusiveness’. On the two alternative reasons given by those not in favour of zoning were that ‘competence’ and ‘merit’ should be the primary determinants of who emerges as governor.

This argument suffers a premature demise because there is none of the three districts that is bereft of competent aspirants.

Tribal slur has taken permanent residence here and there. People now openly have ‘their’ agenda rather than ‘our’ agenda – the Edo Agenda. People now intentionally and openly cast aspersions on other tribes in Edo State which they do not belong for the mere pittance of politics and its potential gains.

Some from the larger voting districts openly threaten to use their superior voting strength to dominate in the coming election with that pitiable sense of ‘we’ against ‘you’. There is no vision or objective in this kind of ethnic politics. Some scholars agree that tribalism is an adopted social construct, a failure of our collective ‘existential experience.’

No doubt, the implication of this growing ethnic politics has its consequences, which are dire and known.

But the ethnic prophets and jingoist are not speaking on behalf of the electorates in this particular case. They mostly speak from a non-participatory perspective as bored bystanders.

They are advocating for sinful divisions that are thinly expressed in beliefs that ought to be exorcised in the recess of their homes, and minds. They tend to exploit and abuse that inherent tendency people have for their tribes basically for selfish interest.

They wish to adopt some ideology that on the face value looks like an advocacy for tribal attachment but beneath it is the lore to further segregate the people into vexatious units of hatred.

We cannot allow these sect to exploit the unsuspecting electorates using this veiled fake identity politics. No doubt, identity politics is not without its advantages, but what these people are doing with it is to use it to victimize smaller ethnic groups in the state. This must deliberately be resisted.

Edo State is very diverse, and it important to involve every ethnic group in governance, as much as possible. We must encourage and also navigate the idea of political power sharing in the state for obvious reasons.

We must stand against these few political elites and their proxies who are exploiting ethnicity as a tool for dominance.

Their self-held wand is the attempt to manipulate ethnic groups for selfish political gains. The tribal evangelists who have sworn like possessed clerics that they must pursue ethnic agenda must be discarded. We cannot allow them to interfere with our peaceful coexistence.

History is before us today, we must give prominence to political inclusivity in our dear state and askew bitter ethnic politics. Our focus should be on good governance, policies that will promote economic empowerment, welfare, growth, development, justice, fairplay, equity, understanding and genuine peaceful coexistence.

We must continue to advocate for distribution of power among the three senatorial districts for unity. We must not loose focus from the social issues we are faced with; poverty, social inequality, economic downturn, healthcare, education and others.

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