Just like seasons, we have periods in the Nigerian calendar when the need to launch a new government in replacement of extinct political leadership by citizens stares us in the faces; with political parties and candidates on their toes and woes; incumbent leaders with chances pull their best strings to an expected goal; gullible youths applauding in confusion to campaign strategies; activists making headlines from handy facts and findings (which however, informs some of our decisions as electorates); geo-political zones having their clap backs and tussle for power; emerging arguments and discussions amongst citizens.

The pursuit of good governance in Nigeria should pivot on encouraging trustworthy and competent electoral candidates, yet over the years we exercise our vested powers carelessly and find ourselves surprised at emerging candidates.
Question: Did you exhaust your options when you had the right to?

Nigeria’s poor socio-economic performance, insecurity, widespread poverty, human rights abuses, corruption, incessant international focus and lack of trust in our political
Leadership springs from the monological sequence of our preparedness as electorates over the years, persons minding their businesses at the time their presence mattered most. The will and zeal immediately leaves persons in their number, just like a drained sac.

The level of lack of participation of citizens during elections is evident in the meagre level of basic infrastructure, weak health care and educational system, high unemployment and the number of out of school children, which obviously is affecting everyone in one way or the other, even some business owners that hop on chances to mind their businesses without minding whose guts is slayed.

Instances of human rights abuse has been on the rise with the citizens right to human dignity amongst others being ridiculed, the instance of the EndSARS brutality and unhealthy confrontations, palliative massacre are not folk tales for us not to heed to the sands of time and act accordingly with vested powers as at when due.

Have you had to take some time to think, the news of gullible Nigerians making waves at polling units might not be achieved if a large crowd was present as a formidable force, the likes of elites, professionals, business strategists that could be back bones to the unenlightened few and gullible persons at the poll. That on its own cannot be easily permeated. Reason being that prior to election dates, informed majority have their candidates at heart.

Recently, Nigerians are agitating in quest for the root causes of poverty, insecurity, human rights abuses, poor quality education and the rest. Question: Who becomes a political leader to achieve these goals?

A political leader motivated to run for a designated public office is a crucial representation of the quality of decisions and public policies adopted and implemented. The motivation of every public officer to run for an office is the pivot of his/ her actions while in office which is not far from self interest, the responsibility of public service, family background, enrichment, experience or a combination of these factors. It is therefore important to understand the present structure which is however attracting potential candidates with condescending systems of checks and balances.

Trite to mention, the constitution is subject to the powers of the President; immunity clauses on designated authorities estops arbitrary abuse of office which anyway has its merits to be more than the demerits; the separation of powers of the different arms of government which is almost impracticable in Nigeria as the two other arms (the judiciary and the legislature) are seen not entirely independent of the powers of the executive. This informs a better decision to emerge together and take steps towards an informed decision forthwith.

Over time, we find out that some Nigerians have voices (good alternatives) and measures that could be implemented to make it more likely that better candidates put themselves forward, but they turn out to be mere voices in the wilderness with no man power to put actions in place.

Social cleavages existing along class, ethnic and religious groups often inform citizens choice of candidate, rather than a glaring policy preference. The human force needed to improve an accountable and good governance begins now, the power is derived from the constitution as of right and it is now in the people’s hands. Even a Nigerian adopted common law jargon interprets,“You cannot put something on nothing and expect it to stand”.

By: Barr. Chidinma Izuagba.

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