As soon as a politician have learnt to buy political support from the ‘public purse’, and conditioned electorates to embrace looting and bribery, the democratic process reduces itself to the formation of (Mancur Olson’s) ‘distributional coalitions’ – electoral majorities mortared together by common interest in a collectively advantageous pattern of theft.
The Nigerian democratic space is fast becoming a system where every considerations are made towards elections except the electors. The southern governors forum recently declared to the nation that the next president of Nigeria must come from the south
In a counter declaration, some northern governors and elder state men have made a case for the north, arguing that the north will produce the next president and the heavens wouldn’t fall. In this whole drama, where it seems like the masses don’t have a say under our democracy is nauseating and quite unfortunate to say the least.
It appears to me that democracy as a concept under the Nigerian setting has no ethos. principles or tenet. The unfortunate reduction of the 2023 election to a regional affair with everyone calling on their region to produce the next president is a testament that we do not believe in our electoral system or the electors as the determinant factor in our electoral process.
It is sad that rather than hold our current leaders from the president to the governors,senators,rep members both at the federal and state levels, chairmen and counselors responsible to their manifestos and promises made to their people we are busy arguing where the next president should come from.
The Nigerian problem still remains that of leadership, therefore the process of electing our leaders into office must be reworked and this can only be achieved through the people’s resolve to make a deliberate change in their lives.
I would therefore advocate that we must think beyond ethnic and regional considerations and ask the hard questions to our serving and prospective political office holders, like who amongst them can proffer solutions to access to education to all Nigerians with proof. Provide security, public health care,electricity,good road networks and many more.
We must resolve today to participate in the process of electing our leader by getting registered to vote and carry out our civic responsibility as expected of us and protect our votes so that on this premise our collective aspiration will deliver on to us the leaders we desire to move Nigeria forward.
Evans Ufeli Esq is a Lagos based Lawyer and Executive Director Cadrell Advocacy Centre