‘Emi lo kan’ politics breeds dictatorship, good politicians don’t avoid debates — Tunde Bakare
Tunde Bakare, the serving overseer of the Citadel Global Community Church, says politicians who practise the “emi lo kan” kind of politics do not intend to serve the people.
Bakare spoke on Sunday during a state of the nation broadcast delivered at his church auditorium in Ikeja, Lagos.
The broadcast was titled: ‘Bridging The Gap Between Politics & Governance’.
Speaking on the forthcoming polls, Bakare asked Nigerians to shun vote buying and focus on politics that can spur development.
Highlighting bad forms of politics, the cleric mentioned politics of division, deception, manipulation, merchandise, exploitation, betrayal, slander, intimidation, elimination, and entitlement.
Commenting on the politics of entitlement, Bakare said such form of politics is also known as the “emi lo kan” politics, which gratifies personal ambitions.
Although the cleric did not mention Bola Tinubu, presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), the catchphrase — emi lo kan — was popularised by the former Lagos governor.
“Emi lo kan” is a Yoruba phrase which loosely translates to “it is my turn”.
In June 2022, Tinubu, while addressing APC delegates in Ogun state prior to the party’s primary, mentioned the phrase and said it is his turn to become the country’s president.
“Politics of entitlement — this is the ’emi lo kan’ type of politics that insists on one’s turn, even if circumstances do not align,” Bakare said.
“Politics of entitlement also manifests as perennial candidacy, not with the intent to serve, but to gratify long personal ambitions.
“It could also manifest as insistence on a given political office as a reward for what one considers a lifetime of sacrifice to the nation.
“Politicians with a sense of entitlement evade political debates and do not consider it imperative to communicate with the electorate.
“Entitlement politics will breed an imperial presidency that is distant from the people and has no sense of responsibility or accountability to the people. Such imperial governance will slide towards dictatorship and will be intolerant of dissent.
“Entitlement politicians set low performance benchmarks for themselves when they secure power and are content with projecting molehills as mountains of achievement. That is bad politics and bad fruit and all that it is.”
Speaking further, the cleric said politicians who practise good form of politics communicate with the people and do not avoid debates or delegate questions.
“Good politics — it is communicating. Politicians who practise good politics talk to the people they intend to govern,” he said.
“By communicating, they allay fears, restore hope and assure the citizenry.
“It is engaging and interacting — practitioners of good politics are open to interrogation and they do not avoid debate or evade difficult questions. They don’t even delegate their questions to people to answer for them.”
In December 2022, Tinubu, at the Chatham House in the United Kingdom, asked some persons on his team, including Femi Gbajabiamila, speaker of the house of representatives, and Nasir el-Rufai, governor of Kaduna, to answer questions on his behalf.
Tinubu’s action elicited reactions on social media as some Nigerians questioned his decision to not answer all the questions himself.
The APC candidate has also avoided attending presidential debates.
Meanwhile, in June 2022, Bakare and other presidential aspirants such as Rochas Okorocha, Ikeobasi Mokelu, and Tein Jack-Rich, had zero votes at the APC presidential primary, which was won by Tinubu.