By Onyedika Agbedo
FORMER Lagos State chairman of African Renaissance Party (ARP) and former chairman of Lagos League of Political Parties (LLPP), Chief Charles Udo Udeogaranya enjoys playing politics and it really engages him. But he does not see politics as his vocation. Udeogaranya, who is currently the National Leader of the Better Nigeria 2019 Movement, says he creates time for his business off the political beat.
“I do find time to relax because every time is not for politics. That is why our policy makers in their wisdom created time when electioneering campaigns can commence; but beyond that, underground politics will always flow. When I’m not politicking, I spend time in my business to keep my livelihood going. I also spend time with my family and friends.
Usually, when I spend time with friends, we discuss politics and issues in social circles. We wine together; we watch football together at times, whether it’s English premiership or the Nigeria premier league. I played football at some point in my life any way.
“I also love music. I must tell you that I share the same day of birth with Bob Marley. I listen to his songs a lot and can virtually sing most of them off head. I know all the lyrics and I must tell you that they are very inspiring. One of his songs I like a lot says, “there is a natural mystic in the air, but have no fears for these, because everything is going to be alright.” That is my message to Nigerians this New Year; they should have no fear for Buharinomics because everything is going to be alright.
“Above all, I spend time with God. I like reading my Bible; I receive spiritual encouragement as well as knowledge from the Bible.
The Bible says we should seek God first and every other thing shall be added unto us. It also says that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. So, I seek God first. It’s just the life we live, so when politics is not there, I engage myself with these activities,” he notes.
Explaining his understanding of politics and the way it should be played, Udeogaranya says it is an avenue to gauge the mood of the electorate and articulate policies and programmes that resonate with it.
He says: “Politics involves reading the mood of the people; what do people say? And you know their views change from time to time. That is why some people describe politicians as prostitutes.
A core politician must always, and at all times, try to reflect the views of the majority of electorate. If you are unable to articulate something that can resonate with the voters, you will not be able to have your way and you will be confined to the dustbin of history.
But if you have programmes you think the majority of people will prefer, you can come up with such programmes in the way that others could not, so that the majority will support you.
“For instance, if people feel that banning the importation of certain items is not right for them now because they don’t have the infrastructure for production, it means that if you go to the polls with the promise to lift the ban on importation, majority of the people will vote for you.
That is why it is unhealthy to have a political environment where the system is corrupt and voters are induced to support candidates other than the articulation of healthy programmes. This is one area I think the incumbent government is not doing well.”