Leadership and the Future of Nigeria

This is exactly why electoral reforms more than urgent in Nigeria to correct the defects of our present system.  This will ensure efficient and speedy adjudication of critical petitions, careful monitoring of electoral processes by civil society groups, and severe sanctions for all electoral offences. It is one of the strategic ways to get our politics rights, and when this happens, we can get our economic directions right.  We require focused and capable leaders to ensure that politics is no longer seen as a business, an opportunity to loot the treasury and mortgage the future of our dear country.
So, Once again, we are into the business of constitution review.  The very last effort was contaminated and destroyed by the narrow interests of a few at the expense of the common good.  So, we threw the baby, the bathwater and the bath-basin out and we lost everything.  Billions of naira went down the drain, no questions asked.  Today, we are starting all over.  This is not one man’s show and it must not be an ego trip.  It is not senators versus the representatives.  It is not the National Assembly versus the rest of the nation.  Rather, it is one more golden chance to give ourselves a living document, a true peoples covenant, a road map to show us how to organise and deploy power in the collective interests of our people.  It is an opportunity to correct historical injustices against women, the youth, the poor, micro-minorities and minorities.  It is an opportunity to stop oil theft, kidnapping, illegal-bunkering, arson, assassinations, money laundering, hostage taking and other forms of violence in the much neglected and exploited Niger Delta.  It is an opportunity to produce the document that will engender peace, stability, dialogue, tolerance, diversity, unity, democracy and progress in Nigeria.
Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen, I doubt if this will happen if the process is opportunistic, elitist and complicated.  We must draw lessons from Uganda, South Africa, Eritrea, Ghana and other parts of the world by adopting a truly open, consultative, transparent, accountable, process-driven and people-led approach to constitution-making.  This is the only way to produce a constitution that we can all understand and all own and defend with our lives.  This is the way to build the architecture to deepen, widen, promote, sustain and reproduce democracy and democratization.  The process of refederalisation will be possible and much more viable with a true constitutional consultation and process that brings our people together and restructures our political compact.  It is also the only way to build a culture of constitutionalism, the process publicises it, mobilises the people, and wins buy-in from the people.  If we do not get the politics right, we can never get our development right.  Political uncertainty, contradictions, distrust, violence and instability will continue to challenge well-intentioned programmes and policies and thus reproduce underdevelopment.  Given the challenges of growth and development in Nigeria today, this is not the time to fight over chairmanship versus deputy or vice-chairmanship or even the right to amendment the constitution.  Just involve the people, provide leadership and let the open process flow.

2 thoughts on “Leadership and the Future of Nigeria”

  1. Akemokue Lukman

    Dear Prof,
    May God give our leaders the wisdom, the will and the courage to access this treatise and practice at least a bit, if not all of the content therein. It is a wonderful piece meant for consumption, practice and for the record. Keep the flag flying. All hope is not lost. Not when one can still access this type of information from a resourceful mind.

  2. Omueti Oviebo Godfre

    Those who know your problem are far from you.i wish you know problem…

Comments are closed.