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A Case For Political Order In Nigeria

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Their authority was personal, derived from charisma or rank, so that the choice for the people, so far as they had a choice, lay between the demagogue and the general. Some were good, some were bad,  but all lacked systematic political backing.

They were obliged, therefore, to rely on their wits or swords. The natural outcome of any regime without focus becomes either an entrenched tyranny or constant shifts and instability while freedoms are curtailed or abused on the plea that the autocrat or the one party state would be more efficient.

But such regimes failed to deliver the goods. Industrial and commercial failure became the order of the day, roads and educational institutions decayed, and the health system deteriorated, with corruption at all levels and sectors thriving.

The instability of the Nigerian state and its disappointing performance are due to the kind of leader who power poverty, corruption and crime in swollen proportions. They indulge in ill-conceived and ill-managed economic policies which produce crippling external debts.

This is against the principles of a strong economy, which is the prime element in political power and in the public glare, while economic weakness and inequality promote disorders.

The political independence and sovereignty of Nigeria had not been able to assuage the height of poverty plaguing the citizenry and remove dependence on other counties. The country’s trading system among other trading nations still suffers some barriers in tariffs and quotas as the economy weakens day by day, despite the fact that Nigeria has entered the international economy.

Worse still, the country’s economic ties with other nations are not properly protected due to the corrupt tendencies of our leaders.

Nigerian manufacturers are ill-equipped for international economic competition and they produce inelastic goods for which demand (except in the case of oil is less than world standards. The effects of economic recession is clearly marked on the faces of majority of the nation’s populace and there is desperate poverty, in some areas famine.

The rich are getting richer, while the poor soar in abject poverty. Governments at all levels have talked for decades about poverty eradication without implementing the policies.

The time is, therefore, ripe for new measures to be devised principally to rescue the country’s numerous industries and other sectors of the economy to create wealth for the citizenry and afford radical relief. The current ‘cold war’ and tensions among the ranks of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the country is a detraction from the main problems of the country.

The focus of the government should be rested upon chiefly paternalism and not plots to unseat one another for personal aggrandisement.

The purpose of democracy is to allow the citizenry-ruler or ruled to acquire special rights and enjoy the dividends of power trusteeship, because when leaders are installed after elections, what the electorate expect is service delivery.

Nigeria is rich in human and material resources and these resources are meant to be used to transform the lives of the people through the provision of infrastructure and poverty alleviation. The rules governing the country and its economy must be strictly and religiously enforced and adhered to since the emergence of a democratic rule in the country is seen as a blessing and not as a curse, hence it must be used to drive national development.

The political nature of Nigerians is that which seeks gratification and self-aggrandisement or greed, and where everyone is a law unto himself, thereby, creating a state of war of all against all. In this situation there is no leisure, no peace or culture but only constant fear of violent death.

The is unacceptable to the political order as it breeds hostilities and political disorder. There should be stainless respect and loyalty among the ranks of the ruling class. We must strive to get out of this political quagrnire bearing in mind that Nigeria’s democracy is still nascent and does not require political radicalism capable of truncating the system.

People feared democracy in Nigeria due to radicalism extremity of some players which had led to loss of lives in the past.

The best thing to a common good in Nigeria is the maintenance of political order which enables people to go about their selfish pursuits without destroying one another. “Government exist merely to maintain order for the physical security of its subjects,” says Hobbes.

According to him, the executive as the only beneficiary of an undertaking which other people have made among themselves, is a party to the contract to set up government and is obligated by the terms of the contract, especially to enforce the law of nature and the right of nature judiciously.

In the words of Abraham Lincola, “We have inherited a government that is of the people, by the people, and for the people. The right to participate in governing ourselves in order to protect our rights and promote our common welfare carries certain responsibilities.

Among these responsibilities are the need to develop the knowledge and skills to participate intelligently and the willingness to promote liberty and justice for all. It is the responsibility of the leaders to administer the programmes and policies laid-down for the restoration of the severely battered or damaged economy to make it essentially sound and skilled economy with powerfully engendered financial aid impelled both by generosity and fear of corruption and collapse.

Governments should find out or identify the immediate needs of the people through valuable economic surveys, bisect them for economic as well as political purposes.

Political culture is very important and too important to ignore. Our state and society have changed immensely since democracy came in but the underlying culture has remained recognisable the same.

There is, therefore, the need for our politicians and leaders to develop a potential lever to change their behaviours towards politics and governance.

Nigerians and the world at large are watching the roles of our political institutions and their impacts on the country and the people.

Recalling Nigeria’s history and political culture will go a long way in effecting change in the political activities of Nigerians and also strengthen the political system of the country.

History is beyond manipulation and culture is difficult to change.

Political parties in the country can operate differently but must understand that history and culture are important and determine the success or failure of a country or its democracy.

If the nation’s democracy is to function well, the thinking of our politicians and leaders must go beyond voting in elections and occupying positions. They should know that they are entrusted with great responsibility of serving the people and ensuring the delivery of democratic dividends.

 

Shedie Okpara

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Politics

2023 Guber Poll: Group Denies Rift Between Okowa, Ibori

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A political pressure group, Movement for Stronger Delta (MSD) says there is no fight between former Governor James Ibori and Governor Ifeanyi Okowa over who governs the State in 2023.
The group in a statement by its National Coordinator, Dr. Festus BomoPatani, said: “The attention of the Movement for Stronger Delta, MSD, has been drawn to a recent publication by a pan-Delta online platform, titled: “DELTA 2023: Okowa, Ibori Fight Dirty Over Successor”, and posted on several social media groups and portals on Sunday, January 16, 2021.
“As a conscious and proactive Movement, determined and committed to ensuring a stronger, peaceful, and united Delta, in the run-up to the 2023 elections and beyond, it behoves us to set a few records straight, concerning this publication, as our own way of educating and informing Deltans with accurate, verifiable information on the true position of affairs and also protecting ourselves from misleading misinformation that is capable of heating up the polity and instigating unnecessary and avoidable conflicts, provocations and conflagrations in the State.
“The original story was first published with the title: “DELTA 2023: Okowa, Ibori face up on successor…•Gov takes charge but counter-attack looms”, written by Emma Amaize, Regional Editor, South-South and Published in Saturday Vanguard, January 15, 2022.
“The online publication in question, copied the story verbatim, and then proceeded, for reasons best known to the publisher, to change the headline from the original, without informing the readers or even acknowledging the source and author of the original story; and this, from every professional standpoint, is a crass and brazen display of unethical journalism, bordering on plagiarism. Journalists must be cautioned to avoid sensationalism and inaccurate reportage intended to deliberately mislead the people, especially when they copy stories from other more seasoned and recognized mainstream publications.
“There is a fundamental headline difference between: “Face up” in the original story and “Fight Dirty” in the copied online version, which every journalist worth his salt, especially those knowledgeable enough in the basic use of the English language, which is the major tool and instrument of the profession, should know and apply in their proper contexts.
“For the avoidance of doubt and for the purposes of educating the Journalist against future ignorances: “face up: means ‘To confront or deal directly with someone or something previously avoided”, while “fight dirty means, ‘To use every possible way and especially the most treacherous way, to beat someone in a fight’

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PGF-DG Tenders Resignation Letter

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The in-fighting between the Progressives Governors’ Forum (PGF) and All Progressives Congress (APC) Caretaker and Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee over the conduct of its national convention took a fresh twist on Monday following the resignation of the PGF Director-General, Salihu Lukman.
Lukman tendered his resignation letter to the Chairman of the Forum, Abubakar Bagudu, on Monday.
In the letter, he slammed the committee over its shoddy handling of matters relating to the national convention.
He had earlier accused the Mala-Buni committee of frustrating the party’s plan to hold the convention in February.
The APC leadership and the governors had agreed last year to conduct the convention next month in a bid to strengthen the party ahead of the 2023 general election.
The committee had been under tremendous pressure to step aside following the crises that trailed last year’s congresses where several factions conducted parallel congresses in defiance of the party’s directive.
The latest development has further confirmed that all may not be well with the ruling party with just 13 months to the next national election.
Lukman said: “Progressive Governors, like all party members, will not associate themselves with any act of disrespect to decisions validly taken in consultations with President Buhari.
“They will not take the responsibility for actions or inactions of the CECPC. Every responsibility of organising the convention is vested with the CECPC.”

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Jega Tasks Buhari, NASS On New Electoral Law

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Former Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Attahiru Jega, has  called on the National Assembly and President Muhammadu Buhari to pass the Electoral Bill so that INEC can hit the ground running towards the 2023 elections.
Jega stated this during a panel discussion at a town hall meeting organised by Yiaga Africa on the passage of the Electoral Amendment Bill on Monday.
Jega, who said it is difficult to conduct elections in Nigeria, added that since 2010, there has not been a significant improvement in the electoral framework.
He said while there could be some grey areas in the Electoral Bill that President MuhammaduBuhari declined assent to, there are other good things in the bill, arguing that the baby should not be thrown away with the bath water.
“I believe Nigeria should go into the next elections with a new law as there are many good things in the bill that will improve the integrity and conduct of elections.
“As I have said earlier, since 2010, we have not had significant improvement in the electoral framework.
“Speaking on direct and indirect primaries, some people believe that governors do influence the outcome of indirect primaries and some feel direct primaries is a way out of this, but the question is, how many parties have credible register of members?
“Give INEC the law to begin preparations for the 2023 elections. Any governor that manipulates direct primaries under this present condition will also have the capacity to manipulate indirect primaries.
“What we are saying is that you cannot throw the baby away with the bath water. Let’s think more carefully. The good things in the bill should be signed into law immediately so that INEC can start serious work for the 2023 elections.”
He lamented that the commission has a short period to put a lot of its mechanisms together for the conduct of the elections.
He called on the National Assembly to resolve all issues and give INEC the law within 10 days of resumption to enable it operate it seamlessly for the 2023 elections.
According to him, INEC made 31 recommendations to the amended 2010 Electoral Act to conduct credible elections, but NASS only approved 25 of the recommendations.
“Give INEC the law to begin preparation for 2021. Drop issue of direct and indirect primaries and let’s move forward,” he said.
Also speaking, the governor of Nasarawa State, AbdullahiSule, said the 36 governors are not afraid of direct primaries as being alleged by some Nigerians.
Earlier in his welcome address, Yiaga Africa Executive Director, Samson Itodo, explained that the town hall meeting would specifically discuss key provisions of the Electoral Bill and their implications for election management, election security, electoral integrity and voter participation as well as legislative and executive action required to conclude the amendment process.

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