The Oasis Reporters
December 23, 2017
A loose definition of democracy could well be a government predicated on the rule of law made up of chosen representatives of the people in periodic elections adjudged as transparent, free, fair and who are accountable to the people.
If these standards are used as a matrix for measuring elections, am afraid that we delude ourselves in thinking that we are running democratic governance.
The main militating factor against what passes as our own democracy is that a larger proportion of the voting population is either illiterate or barely literate. This could mean that their ability to make informed choices is impaired.
Little wonder then that some could be induced to vote for as little as a loaf of bread, a sequel to the level of poverty in the land.
It is still unclear why a presidential system of government was the choice of those who drafted our present Nigerian Constitution.
Even at that, why did they simply plagiarize the Constitution of the United States of America while leaving out the underpinnings which make that Constitution work? The American Constitution evolved over a long period while we simply went and lifted what we thought we needed. Sadly those who were to operate the 1999 Constitution were largely political novices since General Ibrahim Babangida arrogantly manipulated the return to democracy programme serially as a means to self preservation.
In the light of the series of cancellation of the programme coupled with the banning of seasoned politicians, the political space was made ready for criminals who gambled their way to political power. Their foremost preoccupation was to enrich themselves at the expense of the people.
Is there anyone out there who is still wondering why the two legislative houses simply sat down and carved a large chunk of our collective patrimony as their earnings without minding the health of the economy?
Similarly, this was repeated down the line by the State Assemblies. Essentially, there has been no motivation to serve and to grow this country but rather politics has been all about primitive accumulation. Had our country adopted or continued with the parliamentary system of government which was in practice before the Military coupist imposed themselves on the nation, we would not have been this stunted both economically and politically.
The current political arrangement has stifled our growth while encouraging laziness and a culture of dependency which is why restructuring has become an imperative if the nation is to make progress.
So much hope and goodwill was invested in the current government at the National level but the dividend is neither here nor there. The government has been heavy on rhetoric but almost empty in performance.
Agreed that the 16 long years of the locusts inflicted so much damage to the very fabric of this nation but almost 3 years into this government there ought to be tangible and verifiable results on the ground for everyone to see.
All we have been treated to is a menu of one complain after another to the extent that the Information Minister has become a laughing stock. A cabinet reshuffle would have shedded the excess baggage which the Federal Cabinet has become.
We have had a serving minister come out to upbraid the President and Party and she is still having her cake and eating it. There is a very clesr case of atrophy at the highest level of this government.
The case of the quartet of hyenas and jackals who are running the government which used to be discussed in hushed tunes in beer parlours, palm wine bars, and burkutu joints is now being openly discussed even by pedestrians in the street.
The quartet has become the life and soul of this government and by implication its albatross.
They have become untouchables in spite of the hues and cries of the people. For the Oga at the top, it is a policy of see no evil and hear no evil. It is rumoured that this cabal have so effectively pocketed the Oga that they technically decide what he sees and possibly what he hears. This is most absurd in the Information age, perhaps what they tell Baba is to disregard what Information is trending as the handiwork of mischief makers. If a staunch party official could come out clearly to declare that half of the governing APC had been taken over by the defeated PDP and nothing comes out of this by way of making amends, this explains the atrophy mentioned earlier.
If much of the problems this country is contending with are blamed on the previous PDP governments, it becomes quite ridiculous that the sane PDP elements have found very comfortable accommodation in the APC government.
How will this be explained when the time comes for surely we shall in due course get to that bus stop.
Recall that Oyegun once told Nigerians that the APC government was investigating the previous PDP government’s yesterday and that tomorrow, any government could investigate APC’s today. If Mr Oyegun is to be taken seriously, there are issues already even with the quality of leadership which his team are providing at the APC National Secretariat. The lawlessness that is the modus operandi of some of the governors particularly in Kaduna State begs for action by the Oyegun team more so that petitions clearly outlining some acts amounting to pure lawlessnes have been forwarded.
If justice cannot find expression at the level of the party, where then should aggrieved party members go to?
In Kaduna State the impish dictator and his gang of political outlaws are busy studying how to subvert the democratic process in the State. An example is the last delegate elections which was to have forwarded the names of those elected to the Party Headquarters. The said elections were to have been held under the supervision of INEC officials but no such elections were held rather names of the dictator’s good boys and girls were drawn up and forwarded prompting the petition by the Kaduna Restoration Group. To date there is no word from Oyegun and his team.
Our democracy will not grow in the absence of strong institutions. It is very clear that those with the responsibility of growing these institutions are the same bunch who will always be ready to undermine this growth.
One fact is obvious, which is that it is only the downtrodden masses of this country who have love for this country. As for the rich and powerful, they love themselves and the humongous resources they have amassed almost certainly at the expense of the same downtrodden masses.
When experimenting with a new system of government, granting wholesale immunity to reckless characters such as some of the governors we have at the helm of affairs is not a wise idea. The immunity has technically insulated these reckless characters from the law while granting them the latitude to behave as they wish including pocketing the State Assemblies if they so desire.
In our Kaduna State for example, we have outright brigandage on the prowl. Everything in this State is done recklessly both in speech and action. We are paying the price of voting to power strange merchantilist characters who have all but turned their backs on the electorate.
In Kaduna State, we have witnessed a human catastrophe unfold since 29 May 2015. Rather than keep the promises made to the electorate during the electioneering campaign, it has been demolition of people’s houses, the auction of public property to family members, friends or cronies. Even with the promise of creating jobs a major plank of the APC manifesto, the regime in Kaduna has been sacking workers at will. These include traditional leaders, Local council staff, teachers as well as other sundry staff in the State Civil Service. It is left to conjecture how the impish dictator intends to weather the raging storm.
One fact is certain, he has visited sorrow, tears and blood on the same electorate who put him in power. As bad as the situation is in Kaduna State, the Mallam is neck deep in a dubious subterranean scheme to remain as governor come 2019. To actualize this project, the ductator is glued to the name Buhari. He is the loudest VUVUZELA in the chorus of those quick to denounce anyone who is critical of Buhari’s style of leadership. The dictator has realised that but the Buhari factor back in 2015 there is no way he he could have obtained the tenancy in Sir Kashim Ibrahim House. If the dictator so wishes, he can go into an alliance with the Devil, the votes of the electorate in Kaduna State will serve him a quit notice in 2019. He can bet on that.
It is for Baba Buhari to either side with the serial lair, traitor and ever disloyal dictator or with the electorate in Kaduna State whose votes WE shall ensure will count. Ours for now is to continue to pacify the electorate assuring them that the dictator’s action is not yet the final solution. Since power belongs to the people, the final solution rests with them and so the preparation to reclaim what we have to Ali Baba and the gang of bounty hunters around him is well underway.