Is Nigeria disintegrating politically and Economically? Part 2

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By Chris Odinaka Nwedo

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The people making waves in the two most outstanding political parties in Nigeria are collections of tired but still firing retired military officers, ‘finished’ former civil servants and ‘expired’ old political tacticians. …Regrettably, the old approaches have not demonstrated enough compatibility to the current needs of Nigerians. As a nation, this is a time to deal proactively with the prospects of positive transformation. Nigerians must work in unity to take the nation back from the ‘kidnappers’.

The paradox is that Nigerian politicians continuously switch alliances and defect, it means in practical terms that the discordant voices generating commotion and twisting facts to distract and discredit a few performing governments are mostly of those craving to be heard and who are yet to switch over to the ruling party. Besides, the lamenting politicians are the yesterday’s oppressors who are the sole reasons for excruciating national pain of today, the pain of retrogression in our nationhood. An average Nigerian politician is highly ‘mobile’, capricious, changes parties and political alliances subject to trends. They follow the axis of power unappologetically. It is democratic for them to move from one party to another. They form alliances, join alliances and conspire defiantly against friends and associates in never-ending desire to remain connected. Contemptibly, wrong inclinations to politics is the reason for the disorientation, and the current unproductive governance that has turned Nigeria upside down.

Not many politicians and political parties understood their roles as chastising tools against imprudence of the power-drunk in any objective sense. This is quite predictable as the Nigeria’s plight is expressive of the lack of quality or principled politicians. We are in an era of “blind politicking”. However, the ones fiercely fighting for power, as was the case in 2015, criticized imprudently and combatively in desperate do or die approach. The approaches of these natures do not pretend lack of collective good will and patriotism. In contrast, 2019 general election was more calming and reassuring only in terms of security of lives and property. However, many were sent to untimely grave just before and after the charade.

It is natural for opposition politicians to harp the negative and defective parts in their assessments of the performances and programs of the party in power. Nevertheless this is, ideally, to pressurize for more productive services in the interest of the collectivity. It is not the case that tactical and benignant approaches by parties in power to critical issues are indiscriminately denigrated according to dictates of impure motives of irrational detractors. Surely, neither the opposition political parties nor parties in power have done enough to earn sufficient support and confidence of Nigerians. It is on account of this that most political analysts believe that Nigeria’s democratisation effort is gravely impaired.

Since 1999 Nigerians were promised responsible government and improved socio-economic infrastructures as evidences of progressively constructive transformation, but regrettably what are on display on the score cards of performances are intensely decaying social services and infrastructures, sterile economy, unprecedented levels of corruption, political lawlessness and retrogression in the values of Nigerian person. The sterile economy is largely responsible for multiplication of abjectly poor Nigerians, joblessness and economically motivated desperate crimes. The aftermaths of the poor policy and poor government programmes are continuous impoverishment of Nigerians, pervasive insecurity and socio-economic and political bewilderment. Ironically, the ruling parties at various levels have outlandish claims of exceptional diligence, boast of due processes and prudence in the management of the resources and affairs of their enclaves. However, the glaring facts are that there are nothing sufficient to justify the claims.

For approximately twenty years, Nigeria has not made a proper leap for progressive democratic governance. The elections are still rigged massively, campaigns are not issue based but opportunities for display of levels of proficiencies in tirades among folks who are shameless and devoid of discretion. More people are slaughtered during elections by political combatants than in regular communal clashes, while voters’ cards are bought and resold by politicians. The politics has been gravely unproductive, uninspirational and upsetting. For the twenty years the Nigeria’s politicians have woefully failed to give the people any feeling that things are moving in a right direction. This is to the point that there are no substantially concrete efforts by the political leadership to provide platforms supporting hope and individual economic efforts for diffusive national growth, most economic policies of the government are elite-supportive.

Today, the living conditions of most Nigerians are impoverished instead of improved. With the growing rate of poverty and crime, Nigerians scamper to stay connected to the political power track for safety. This is why it less and less flabbergasting that Nigerians are becoming eager human shield for corrupt and irresponsible political office holders and influential public servants who have become so powerful and so irrational. Eager human shield in the sense that survival instincts are compelling many nigerians to place themselves in harms’ way on behalf of the ‘powerful’. Consider the degrading humiliation of selling ones right to vote, a job as political thug and the fatal expedition of snatching ballot boxes. These crimes are never committed by the politicians directly. The crimes are out-sourced to folks converted to political mercenaries by hunger and want.Image result for election violence in nigeria

Elections are brutal warfare where only the most treacherous survives. The reason behind this is that the money-bags and political god-fathers have abundant supplies of Nigerians ready and willing to start and finish the ferocious political warfare on their behalf for economic reasons. Treacherous politicians fight ruthlessly to cease their political parties’ administrative structures to ensure absolute control of the structures without which they can hardly impose order and preferred candidates. Every four years Nigeria boils and gravely shaken by intense intra and inter political fights among politicians. The intra political fights are triggered by covert ploys to confiscate the party structures for manipulation of selection procedures within the party while the inter political fight is the shooting, killing and vast turmoil that facilitate falsification of the election results. And there is characteristically no fair and credible political contest since the democratisation starts and ends in all manners of imposition by endless chains of political godfathers. Nigerian society is ruled unchallenged by proxies with neither discretion nor positive reproach to issues of productive governance. Ours is a leadership system devoid of partnership with the people, ‘sole leadership’. ‘Sole leadership’ is leadership that vigorously carries on without the assent and collaboration of the subjects. This style of leadership characterizes a nation conquered in absolute terms by the ones in command and who intend never to relinquish power in spite of the costs. The situations in Nigeria demonstrated more lucidly that credible election processes are not supported and imagined by rulers with determination to stay on. The elections are apparently ritualistic. They summarily represent opportunities for renewing illicit authorisations for dictatorship and political absolutism.

It is calamitous that Nigeria is progressively witnessing diminishing prospects of cultures positive politics. 2019 general election is a new high in the politics of indiscretion. Nigeria is seemingly invaded by recalcitrant groups of fierce, wrong and strong politicians more determined than ever to enslave the nation. Today we have in Nigeria an extensively exclusive leadership demonizing inclusion and dividing the nation according ethnic and religious fault-lines. They criminalize valid clamour for change and liberalization of collective political fortunes. For these political criminals, elections must be won at all cost to maintain the vicious hold on power. However, the most disturbing phenomenon today on the political sphere is the desperate attempts by the criminals to impose specific religious culture on the citizens. Nigeria is seriously contending with desperate forces relentless in determination for Islamisation and Fulanisation of the country. They criminals are cherishing the sentiment that the have absolutely conquered the country and are going ahead unchallenged to change the social and religious cultures subject to their preferences. With the debilitation of all oppositions compounded by the perennial lack of viability of the challengers, the Nigeria’s wrong and strong folks have the fanthomised feeling that the sky is their only limit in doing with Nigeria whatever they will.

The collective enemies conquered Nigeria subtly at first by stealing the political power through fixations of elections and the results. About half of the states in Nigeria have never had Council elections for about of two decades. This is because the governors are afraid of betrayal by poor performance scorecard. What this implied is that the governors used unconstitutional and illegitimate means to administer the Council Areas. Elections at this ground level are the deepening elements in the democratisation processes. By hanging the elections indefinitely, the third-tier mobilisation process is abridged and impaired because the process is incomplete and unproductive. The stifling of the third-tier of the government is significant in a number of ways. These include stagnation of development at the most crucial segment and diversion of the resources, the impoverishment of the masses to render them vulnerable to political and economic manipulations and to ensure that the people do have what it takes to challenge the statuesque of oppression and repression, among other reasons. Democratisation at the grass root by implication is hanged due to wrong motives. The wrong motives included the fact that inclusive political processes naturally imply involving political participation and selection but these are antithetical to political god-father manipulations. It does not give the god-fathers the feeling of political security and ultimately the sense of absolute ownership and control of the system.

It is incontrovertible that governments cognizant of democratic compulsions are more likely to complete the process of democratisation. Democratization is “democratic deepening’, the continuous ability of democratic institutions to improve political participation to make the process more open and inclusive. Deepening democracy describes those active steps taken by the governance in collaboration with the citizens to make it more functional and proactive to the political needs of sundry participants. It is consolidating the processes of inclusive politics through various platforms. Political parties, free media and bills constitutionalising freedom of association are such platforms.

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For some political scientists, consolidating ‘democracy’ “is the process of achieving broad acceptance such that all significant political actors, at both elite and mass levels believe that the democratic system is better for their society than any other realistic alternative they can imagine.2 “Democracy is all about inclusiveness. If there is no provision for people’s inclusion in the party, there may be little participation since one begets the other. Inclusiveness stresses how wide the circle of party decision-makers is.3 In the most inclusive parties, all party members, or even all party supporters, are given the opportunity to decide on important issues, such as the choice of party leader or the selection of party candidates. Due to the fact that inclusiveness is a matter of process and formal rule more inclusive parties will offer more opportunities for open deliberation prior to the decision stage.4

Democratic consolidation revolves around inclusiveness, accountability and dedication to platforms indispensable for making the processes secure, extending the life expectancy, “making them immune against the threat of authoritarian regression and building dams against the eventual reverse waves.5 For Nwankwo A.(1992), “democratization is a process of political renewal and the affirmative acceptance of the supremacy of popular will and consensual obligation over the logic of elitism and parochialism. It embraces both the shift in the disposition of individuals and classes towards the polity and the institutionalization of genuine representative political structures and organs of mass mobilization and conscientisation.6

Political indiscretion is a brand in the politicking culture of Nigerians. The tendencies to remain in power and control perpetually even after an apparent expiration of strength and wits are weird and wonderful. The people making waves in the two most outstanding political parties in Nigeria are collections of tired but still firing retired military officers, ‘finished’ former civil servants and ‘expired’ old political tacticians. Hanging on to power beyond relevance is a problematic legacy the national political community needs to renounce. Regrettably, the old approaches have not demonstrated enough compatibility to the current needs of Nigerians. As a nation, this is a time to deal proactively with the prospects of positive transformation. Nigerians must work in unity to take the nation back from the ‘kidnappers’.

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