- Category: Opinions/Interviews
- Published on Tuesday, 06 September 2011 08:21
- Written by Nnamdi Nwokedi
- Hits: 1100
At the recent Bishop Mike Okonkwo scholarship lecture at MUSON Centre in Lagos, I listened to an insightful and thought-provoking treatise on the state of the Nigerian nation given by a retired general, Ishola Williams. He chronicled the degeneration of the polity since independence, the unfortunate adventure of the military into matters of state and the great corruption that has bedevilled this country for the past 50 years, crippling it in its entirety virtually to a point of stupor and ridicule.
In other words, the emergence of an entirely new system. A few weeks later, I heard another lecture at a Men’s Summit at The Redeemed Evangelical Mission (TREM), given by a dapper young man, Fela Durotoye, who sang the same song about the state of our nation, variously lamenting the degeneration of our moral values, the liquidation of our middle class, the pulverisation of our economy, the sorry state of security, the erosion of our value system and the attendant consequences on the Nigerian family. The common denominator in both lectures was the emphasis on structural change.
There is no doubt we need to change the political structure of our country if we hope to see the Nigeria of our dreams. We need a complete re-invention of Nigeria. We need to rethink and reassess the feudalistic nature of the political structure on which our democracy is founded. The structure of our polity has to change, period! Anything short of that, five or 10 years from now, we will be back at the ‘drawing board’ singing the same old song again, just like the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) and Nigerian football. We need to summon our collective will to institute whatever changes are necessary to move our country forward. An now! No one should ever imagine that we cannot do it. We must, because we have no choice.
Any system that can allow a man and his mother to loot the collective wealth of a people in a political contraption called a ‘state’ for eight painful years and then install a puppet to continue to loot that state until his puppet rebelled against him, is severely faulted. Any system that can allow a family to loot the commonwealth of a people and run down a state, so called, to the point where the state is comatose, while the people look on helplessly, unable to do anything, is a failed system.
Any system that allows a man to ‘put’ his son as governor and then turn around, eight years later to position his daughter to continue the ‘good work’ is a system bereft of morality. Some state governors have even used public funds to purchase oil blocks for themselves. No benevolent leader We have tried the parliamentary system of government, military dictatorship and the presidential system of government. They have all failed. If we had a benevolent strong man, I would have been the first to jump at autocracy because I have seen how it has turned some countries around for the better.
Unfortunately, benevolence is one quality our leaders lack completely. This system has failed. It is no longer worthy of repairs or amendment. It is fundamentally flawed, not because democracy has failed us but because we have failed democracy. The presidential system of governance has not been adapted to counter the maniacal idiosyncrasies of a poverty stricken and largely uneducated third world people. Our leaders took advantage of our lack of education and sophistication, and our simple-mindedness and raped us sore.
We can no longer trust them to wield the enormous concentration of power that a presidential system of governance bequeaths on political leaders. We must stop them from continuing with the rape of our children and generations unborn. We have to check their power and their ability to loot and plunder. The war against corruption in all its ramifications is a hoax and will never succeed. The problem is the system; it needs to be changed.
We need to have a system in place that will detect and punish offenders without recourse, completely unmindful of whose ox is gored. We need to sit around a conference table, do some cold maths and decide which way forward for our sovereign nation. (234Next)