This is a continuation of the series on ‘Educational Revolution’ which started with ‘Finally, Our J.J. Rawlings Is Here' and then ‘Democracy 101 - Part 1’ with the main objective of highlighting the rights of the electorate and the limit of the power of the elected officers. When the people know their rights and act on them, the revolution is already on the go.
The series is all about the change that we deserve and desire which will certainly come when we know true democracy and keep ourselves informed. We have to commit ourselves to educate our families, relations, friend, enemies and neighbours to populate the educated camp till the ignorant camp is totally deserted. An individual’s commitment to a group effort is what makes it work. It makes a team work, a society work, a civilization work and a change work. Now is the time for all good people of our great nation to come to the aid of our nascent democracy. Education is all we need for this revolution.
Every great change begins with a dream. We have dreamt dreams and we all have to always remember that we have within us, the required ingredients to reach for the stars and change the world. We have the strength and the passion which are God-given, we only need to activate them! “Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future” JFK. Change neither comes from the East or the West nor from the North or the South, it comes from you and I. We are the real CHANGE that
Having introduced this topic in part 1, it is pertinent to know that in a democracy, political parties are the bedrock of activities.
A political party is an organised political group formed with the intention to put forward candidates to be elected for government. It seeks to attain and maintain political power by participating in electoral campaigns. A party is expected to be based on ideology and specific visions and goals hence membership should be of people whose political beliefs and interests are geared toward the same ideological direction and principles. Democracy starts at party level where every member is expected to have equal access to a political office through primary elections at the party level. In a democratic election, it is often allowed that different political parties with disparate interests can form a coalition in order to gain power.
We all have political rights that include freedom of political association. This is contrary to the belief in the first and second republics where people from certain zones were erroneously expected to belong to certain political parties and if they did otherwise, they were regarded as rebels, infidels and public enemies. This even degenerated to burning of houses and other properties of the so called ‘infidels’ and in extreme cases, killing. EVERYONE IS FREE TO BE A MEMBER OF ANY REGISTERED POLITICAL PARTY OF CHOICE. In some cases, members of the same family can be divergent politically.
Arnold Schwarzenegger, the action film icon turned republican ‘governator’ (a combination of Governor and the Terminator, one of his film roles) of
A member of a political party is free to leave and join another party but this is not a common scene in a true democracy because people don’t often change in principles and ideologies but it is a common thing in our system as most of the politicians are 100% self-seeking. In a case where a public officer cross-carpets to another party, the Nigerian constitution makes it mandatory for the officer holder to relinquish the office won on the platform of the former political party except when the old party has evidently disintegrated. This is a provision of the constitution that is often breached mostly when it favours the ruling PDP as evident in the recent crossing of the Yuguda, Ohakim and some National Assembly members. They all ate their cakes and still kept them.
What an irony! The President and the Attorney General of the nation who are supposed to be the chief custodian and enforcer of our constitution to which they swore to protect are the chief abusers as they openly embraced this unconstitutional moves. Are they ignorant or they think we are? Constitutionally, those who decamped have technically lost their offices!
Advice: All good meaning Nigerians should join political parties of their choices in order to start making changes right from the grassroots. The problem is not with the parties but with the members. We should join with the mind to be agents of change, to make a difference and to serve in any capacity possible. It so bad that all the people who really know how to run the country are busy doing other things or building other nations! We have left the nation for too long in the hands of middle-of-the-road politicians and marauders whose road-side politics is all about personal interest, looting and no result. If good people ignore politics, bad people will continue to take advantage (as we have now) to make bad laws, bad budgets, bad government and bad system for good people…. To be continued.
In the subsequent parts, different forms of democracy, separation of power, the rule of law and electoral reform will be discussed as they apply to