Time To Look Inwards | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Time To Look Inwards

Nnedi Ogaziechi
Posted: Sep 19, 2016 at 7:10 pm   /   by   /   comments (0)



The rescheduled Edo state gubernatorial election has so far presented Nigerians with some political talking point for days now. The triangular debate has been between the two prominent political parties, the APC and the PDP on one hand, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the twin national security agencies, the DSS and the Nigerian Police.

So many questions are being asked about the reasons and propriety for the postponement but in all, what is obvious is that the Edo story seems to be the story of a larger whole of which it is a microchip so to say. We have been listening to politicians, government agencies and the electoral umpire and the puzzle only gets more complex.

However, this column is not about to solve the Edo riddle. In contrast, an Edo debacle exists today because fifty six years after independence, Nigeria seems to lack a clear cut home grown system that is modelled to aid development and insulate the system from the nuances of individual idiosyncrasies.

It is not enough for us to always seek to compare our system to American or Western democracies merely on paper without developing models that are home grown meant to work for the people.

The blame game in the Edo story exposes the systemic failure in our democratic journey over the years. Politicians play the Ostrich, revel in blame game or deliberately decide to pretend to be lone solutions to problems.

The challenges confronting the country today can only be solved when politicians and people in leadership positions make real conscious efforts to develop solutions tailored towards solving problems that are peculiar to the environment rather than trying to always sound politically correct to some distant global models.

Is it not ridiculous that most governments from 1999 till date both at federal, state and local council levels often celebrate the construction of roads, building of schools and other sundry projects as achievements that the people are supposed to roll out the cymbals and celebrate? Politicians that were elected by the people feel the people owe them some gratitude when they do what ought to ordinarily be their jobs.

As it is at the moment, the leadership at all levels should realise that problems can only be solved in house with domesticated models that the people can buy into given the peculiarities of their existence.

The chain of economic problems that has pushed the economy into recession cannot be wished away. The onus is on the leadership at all levels to be realistic enough to roll up sleeves of partisanship and work towards viable solutions.

As the National Assembly resumes from recess, expectations are that the rancorous past would give way to sound legislative duties that can help the executive navigate the country out of the present economic quagmire.

The legislative roles in a democratic setting cannot be overemphasised. All eyes would be on the legislative arm that have spent the better part of this 8th assembly either in power struggle or mired in various scandals that the people are beginning to question their relevance.

Media projections of either executive or legislative actions or lack of same does little to solve the obvious problems on ground. Only positive impactful actions can. The cold war that has been going on between the two arms of government since June 2015 must come to a quick end so that the people who voted the representatives into power can begin to see changes in policies that have brought the country almost to its knees.

The system might not survive any docility, clothed in the famed executive/legislative harmony that has seen both arms behaving as though they want to redefine democracy. The National Assembly has to be more focused at carrying out their roles in ways that clearly put the people at the forefront.

Playing the famed political and partisan cards by all arms and tiers of government would only deepen the tragedy of the present situation. No matter how much any country hurts either politically, economically or otherwise, only ‘home grown’ solutions backed with strong will can make the difference.

Let the truth be told, no foreign investor or lover of the country, no matter the good intentions, can begin to change a system from outside. Those in positions ought to realise this and put more effort at acting in ways that can convince the people who can, in turn, willingly buy into the programmes to engender the type of progressive change that can make the difference between our yesterday and tomorrow.

   By Ogaziechi Nnedi