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Cost Of Governance And Democratic Dividends
Published Aug 24, 2022 IN Column, SATURDAY COVER,
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E are known to be running the costliest democracy in the world today without corresponding achievements in terms of its dividends. We are today a country notorious for our never- ending borrowing both from the advanced countries of the world and countries we were once better off than.

Aside the staggering salaries and allowances politicians receive, the many avenues open to them to steal money from the nation’s treasury make some of them to have in their possession the money some countries do not have, thus, making some of them to be richer than those countries. 

Democracy refers to kinds of governments or social structures which allow people to participate equally, either directly or indirectly

Our own system of democracy ranks one of the most extravagant and exorbitant in the world today. Our economy cannot sustain it any longer. If we are to uphold and endure this democracy, then we have to sacrifice the execution of capital projects and spendthrift attitude which is killing the economy and hurting our chance of survival.

Imagine how much we are spending on the National Assembly, National conference, Presidential fleet, Seminars, Oil subsidies, Presidential and Gubernatorial aides, giving financial succor to neigbouring countries, providing them with sound security vehicles while our own down here chase criminals with rickety vehicles with worn-out wobbling  tyres e.t.c

Nigeria is not a democratic nation, its continual description as such, is reportorial error and commonly held fallacy. This error arises from the inaccurate definition of democracy in terms of electioneering rituals; it’s not a question of a particular national style of Nigeria.

Variant of democracy, the extant model simply fails all the test of democracy definitions. If Nigeria is not a democratic nation, then what is it? At worst, one might say with some reason that Nigeria is “Cabatocarcy” nation, a failing nation with dysfunctional systems designed to promote the emergence of the worst breed as leaders.

Nigeria is merely in a post military era.

It is “Un-Nigerian” to say I am sorry, I have erred. And Nigerian rulers have refused to take the sound counseling of Bernard Shaw who says: “ If someone puts a mirror in your face and shows that there is dirt in your face , do not break the mirror, go for soap and water” No Nigeria officials would always choose to break the mirror.

For the past eighteen years, Democracy have had no visible impacts of their representations on the lives of Nigerians, so why are we funding their expensive lifestyles, and getting zero in return? What kind of legitimate work can anybody do in Nigeria that will fetch such atrocious remuneration or salary?

The obscene salaries and perks are the things attracting unscrupulous and dubious political charlatans to the serious business of governance and law-making, and this is why they will always rig elections, commit murder and assassinations to position themselves where they will steal, shutting out genuine and sincere democrats who want to do well for the welfare of their people.

Emphatically, a top member of Accord Party in Delta State who will not allow his name in print strongly criticized the huge cost elements of Nigeria’s presidential democracy and suggested the prompt return to parliamentary systems of government rule. The current variant of democracy in the county, the American presidential model was unduly demanding in terms of funding, Nigeria democratic systems of government should be jettisoned for the parliamentary model.

He stated that, aside of the huge cost of running it, the presidential model has the tendency to predisposed elected and appointed officials to dictatorial tendencies by consigning and assigning too much power to them. The necessity for African societies, including Nigeria to tailor their adopted western style democracy models to positive traditional African values. The effective alignment of the foreign governance model is the only way they can best serve African societies.

Apart from insurgency in the county, which we can’t find solution to in spite of external help, the greatest danger to our democracy is the high cost of governance; we can’t continue this way any longer.

We should articulate ways of eradicating these bad characteristics that define our ways of politicking.

Nigeria politicians’ desperation for power that informed their resort to politicking is based on dishing out money to people. Clinching politician’s power offers them unlimited access to financial till. Our perception of power is warped and perverted. Political leaders see their occupation in various political offices as opportunity to amass wealth.

Here in Nigeria, we worship those with ill-gotten wealth but feel counterpart for man with unscrupulousness, many political office holders compromise their moral contraption and work ethic for pecuniary rewards.

Dictators free themselves but they enslave the people. Now let us fight to fulfill that promise. Let us fight to free the Nation, to do away with national barriers! To do away with greed, with hate and intolerance! Let us fight for a world of reason, a world where science and progress will lead to all men’s happiness. Soldiers, in the name of democracy, let us all unite!

We all want to help one another. Human beings are like that. We want to live by each other’s happiness, not by each other’s misery. We don’t want to hate and despise one another. In this world there is room for everyone, and the good earth is rich and can provide for everyone. The way of life can be free and beautiful, but we have lost the way. Greed has poisoned men’s souls; in politics, politicians have barricaded Nigeria with hate, have goosed-stepped us into misery and bloodshed. We have developed speed, but we have shot ourselves on our feet.

Our knowledge has made us cynical; our cleverness, hard and unkind. We think too much and feel too little. More than machinery, we need humanity. More than cleverness, we need kindness and gentleness. Without these qualities, life will be violent and all will be lost. The airplane and the radio have brought us closer together. The very nature of these inventions cries out for the goodness in men; cries out for universal brotherhood; for the unity of us all. Even now my voice is reaching millions throughout the world, millions of despairing men, women, and little children, victims of a system that makes men torture and imprison innocent people. To those who can hear me, I say, do not despair. The misery that is now upon us is the passing of greed, the bitterness of men who fear the way of human progress.

The Baron Dr Montesquieu wrote “The deterioration of every government begins with the decay of the principles on which it was founded” while Confucius wrote “In a county well governed, poverty is something to be ashamed of, in a county badly governed, wealth is something to be ashamed of”

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