By Seunmanauel Faleye
In today’s world, politics is often more about bitterness and division than finding common ground and working towards a better future for all. However, it doesn’t have to be this way.
There are examples throughout history and around the world of politics without bitterness, where people from different backgrounds and with different beliefs come together to build a better society.
This was displayed in a recent video made public by APC’s Vice-President-Elect Kashim Shetimma in a video he shared recently on his TikTok account where he shared pleasantries with NNPP’s Vice-Presidential Candidate, Bishop Isaac Idahosa, along with other dignitaries at one of the forums leading up to the 2023 election. Underneath, Spryro’s sensational tune, ‘Who’s Your Guy?’ promoting friendship and loyalty was playing.
Though diverse in ethnicity, and religion, both men have shown a common passion to unify Nigeria. Kashim Shetimma is a Muslim from the North East, while Bishop Isaac is a Christian from the South-South of Nigeria.
One key to politics without bitterness is a willingness to listen to and understand the perspectives of others. Instead of assuming that those who disagree with us are ignorant or malicious, we can seek to understand their reasoning and find common ground.
This doesn’t mean we have to abandon our own beliefs or values, but it does mean we can engage in constructive dialogue rather than shouting at each other.
Another key is to focus on shared goals and values rather than differences. For example, if we all agree that we want a safe and prosperous society, we can work together to achieve that goal even if we have different ideas about how to get there.
By focusing on what we have in common rather than on what sets us apart, we can build bridges and find solutions that benefit everyone.
Of course, politics without bitterness doesn’t mean there won’t be disagreements or heated debates. But it means we can disagree respectfully and without demonizing those who hold different views.
We can recognize that people on all sides of an issue are human beings with their own experiences and perspectives and that we are all ultimately working towards the same goal of creating a better world.
There are many examples of politics without bitterness throughout history and around the world. In Iceland, for example, citizens came together in 2010 to rewrite their constitution after the financial crisis.
The process was open and inclusive, with citizens of all backgrounds invited to participate, and the resulting document reflects a consensus vision for a more just and equitable society.
Similarly, after decades of civil war in Colombia, citizens came together to form a truth and reconciliation commission to address past abuses and build a more peaceful future.
Despite deep divisions and mistrust, the commission brought together people from all sides of the conflict to work towards a common goal.
Ultimately, politics without bitterness requires a willingness to see the humanity in others and to work towards shared goals. It requires a recognition that we are all in this together, and that by working together we can create a better future for everyone.
While it may not always be easy, it is a goal worth striving for, and one that can bring us closer to the society we all want to live in.
Faleye wrote in from Lagos
Comments expressed here do not reflect the opinions of Vanguard newspapers or any employee thereof.