Five of us got talking and we drifted to distinguishing between professional politicians and professionals in politics.
We asked that we all wrote two names each, in not more than two minutes, of notable Nigerians who are professionals in politics, limited in the first instance to Senators.
I wrote only one name and I was still wondering if we would accept the name of a deceased Senator when my time was up. The name I wrote stood out because no other person wrote a name which at least one of the other four had not listed. Besides, my candidate was not a current Senator. And she was the only female in all the suggestions.
My candidate, Senator Khairat Abdulrazaq-Gwadabe fielded questions under the cover of “OBASANJO WENT AFTER ME FOR BEGGING HIM NOT TO GO FOR SECOND TERM IN NATIONAL INTEREST” in an interview published in Vanguard of today.
I am going to be quoting her one statement at a time, in my next blogposts, without any endorsement nor the question she was answering, to demonstrate the differenting issues.
“But one thing in the Senate, in the very early stage, that shocked me into understanding that this place is about knowing how to lobby your fellow people and not assuming that everybody is going to see things with you the same way, was when we were filling our biodata. In one place, they left space for four children’s names and, as I was filling, I could hear one of my fellow senators saying: ‘distinguished, there are not enough lines here for us’. And one other fellow asked, ‘how many children do you have?’ He replied, ‘I have 13’. Another senator said, ‘I have 26’. So, I turned my head just to see the faces of those who had this number of kids. What I took away from that was that I had to map my people there. If I needed something to be done in a particular way, I knew the people who will stick with it and those who will not and I realized that the number of children you had and that you’re taking care of will determine your strength in holding onto a bargain or a position on any issue. And that helped me throughout my tenure in that place. The point is that when people have too many baggage – and we are all getting the same pay – you find it difficult to stick to principles when the heat comes because the first consideration for most (not all) would be that, well, this would be a way of solving part of their problem.”