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Doctrines & Morals
 
 
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NIGERIA AND DEMOCRACY RE-DEFINED

DEMOCRACY IS DEFINED AS the government of the people, by the people, for the people-put simply, it is governance by consensus. The founding fathers of this system of government desired a break with the absolutism of monarchy, which the world woke up to find, post-stone age and its susceptibility to arbitrariness.  The constitution (a body of rules of engagement) becomes the sole definer of the rules, the society and its members are, thus, under the rule of law-a powerful doctrine that brings all citizens, under the law. This, naturally, strengthens institutions, over and above individual citizens

In the course of the history of political experimentation, Nigeria, in 1999, adopted the presidential democracy, of the American model, in which executive powers are given to an individual to seek resources with which he runs government, for which he is, wholly, accountable to the citizens. Nigeria’s adoption of this system, was, most probably, as a result of some frustration with the parliamentary democracy, which in the view of most people, seem not to give room for the separation of powers, as in the presidential system. The idea of complete separation of power seems attractive, as a mechanism for checks and balances, a bulwark against arbitrariness.

Nigeria,by its practice, like some other countries  of Africa, re-defined democracy, limiting the relevance of the citizenry to the polling booth, in which case, after election, the elected officer transforms into an emperor, his wife transforms into the first lady and his family transforms into the first family. While in more civilized democracies, this tag, first, imposes on the leader, a burden of responsibility for the needs of society and its people, it is the reverse in Nigeria and most countries in Africa.

In what looks like a legacy of the military rule that took a, proportionally large part of our history, an elected official sees him/herself as the repository of knowledge, power and, hence, is above the laws that govern society.Representatives, like Nigerias, who do not consult with their constituencies, in a bid to seek their views, on bills, cannot, truly, be said to represent anybody but themselves. Nor are those whose contacts are not made known to constituents.The welfare of the citizenry and the communities of abode, are first and foremost, the responsibilities of a worthy government.

It follows, from the foregoing that, Nigeria, today is in a state of anarchy and the outlaws we call leaders won’t let go, ordinarily. They have constituted themselves into cogs in the wheel of our progress, by ensuring that, only, they and their families, control politics as well as businesses and all resources in our country.The citizens must demand, using all means possible, that things get done right-it is their entitlement. A government that leaves the populace in darkness looses the moral right to have any of its agents, including the president, enjoying light, by any means. Medical tourism enjoyed only by a few people, including Mr President, at the expense of the public, is tantamount to corruption, it is immoral and it is ungodly, in a situation in which the ordinary citizens have no good hospitals to attend. A senator or any elected official (not a manufacturer) who earns more than five times the minimum wage of the country, cannot be said to earn but steal-at best, he/she is a beneficiary of impunity and ungodliness. It takes no rocket science to see through all these. The elite of such a society is, at best a failure-it failed to be a source of light to society, as expected. It’s education and exposure, are of no use and an exercise in futility.

Greed, which is selfish desire/covetousness is the innate want to have everything to oneself. Though human, too, it thrives in a lawless society, in which anyone does whatever suits his/her fancy, regardless of the effects on any other person or society. Law and its enforcement get muzzled in any society in which, by omission or commission, outlaws find their ways into leadership positions. These outlaws, because of their excessive wealth/satanic opulence become role models to ill-parented children with their sordid acts being references. The society, consequently, becomes a theater of chaos and disorder, as it is, now, with Nigeria in which security personnel engage in criminal practices, including robbery and kidnapping! Here are people trained, clothed, armed and paid to secure the citizens. Not even the Judiciary, an institution whose members are trained in laws have its members shying away from illegal practices, as it’s being revealed, daily.

Unfortunately, the society looks the other way as if virtues have been reversed-defined as the populace looks up to an unwilling-leadership, in its bid to topple irresponsible governance and make life worth living for the citizenry.

The Nigerian brand of democracy cannot stand the tests of civilization, fairness or godliness-it, therefore cannot guarantee peace and security.

I wish to use this medium to wish all members of my congregations at St Joseph’s Catholic Church, IgogoEkiti, St James Catholic Church, Ilorin as well as all my readers, a merry Christmas.

-WILLIAM ABORISADE

oosha53@rocketmail.com

 


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