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OPINION

Atiku And The Dynamics Of Democracy In Nigeria

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The political/policy thrust of Abubakar Atiku on restructuring in Nigeria, reflects his experience and understanding of the dynamics of democracy in Nigeria. His continuous reference and support for the devolution of power and resources to states and local governments in Nigeria attest to his high intellectual prowess and appreciation of the dynamics of democracy in Nigeria.

Democracy is simply a form of government that is characterised by social contract, rule of law and authorised by majority of the electorates in a periodic free and fair elections.

The dynamics of democracy in Nigeria is anchored on the social contract between the Nigerian citizens and the elected/appointed representatives into the three Arms of government-Legislative, Executive and the Judiciary. The respect for OR the abuse of the social contract and the rule of law constitute the dynamics of democracy in Nigeria. Atiku’s postulation on restructuring seeks to eliminate the abuse of the social contract and rule of law in the democracy of Nigeria.

The Nigerian political culture is vibrant and Nigerians understand the issues in the determination of a democracy without the abuse of the social contract. This can be supported with the facts of 1979 general election, when Nigeria People’s Party, (NPP) led by Nnamdi Azikiwe from Eastern Nigeria (Ibo man) won elections in Northern Nigeria. The electorates in Rivers and Cross River state, (South-South) voted for Shehu Shagari, (from Sokoto state), Northern Nigeria, on the platform of National Party of Nigeria, (NPN). Bendel state, including the Bendel Ibos, few kilometers from Onitsha, (the home town of Nnamdi Azikiwe) voted for Obafemi Awolowo, (Yoruba man) on the platform of the Unity Party of Nigeria, (UPN).The inconclusive 1993 presidential election generally acclaimed late M K O Abiola from the South-West as the winner of the election, defeating his opponent, Bashir Tofa from Kano state, in his local government and in Kano state.

This year, 2018 is significant and the challenge of intellectuals in Nigeria, political leaders, community leaders, delegates for the presidential primaries, Nigerian electorates, is to consider national interest above personal interest and support Abubakar Atiku in his presidential aspiration. The end product of Atiku’s political philosophy and his leadership will be a strong and united democratic Nigeria with efficient and effective public service at all tiers of government, available resources to all tiers of government for infrastructure, jobs creation, security of lives and properties, agricultural development and food security, internal democracy, inter -party democracy, local and international economic diversification and competiveness, less attraction of power at the centre and its attendant benefits of the professionalism of the military, the police, Judiciary and host of other social, economic and political benefits that will promote mutual trust.

A study of the political behaviour of Abubakar Atiku reveals his consistent politics and steadfast believer of grassroot democracy. His postulation on the restructuring of Nigeria is incisive, patriotic and not connected to parochial interest. Atiku’s commitment to devolution of power and resources to states and local government has a long history and it is comparable to the eternal legacy of the 1976 Local Government Reforms by Olusegun Obasanjo/Shehu Yar’Adua military administration in Nigeria.

Atiku’s speech on support for development from below instead of over concentration of power and resources at the centre during  his visit to Eyean in Uhunmwode local government area of Edo state in the year 2000, to commission the Coca-cola plant, and the opening of the Association of Local Governments of Nigeria, (ALGON) national secretariat in Abuja in the year 2000 as Vice-President of Nigeria are few of the numerous evidence of his long standing commitment to devolution of powers and resources.  According to Atiku,”Restructuring will be an advantage to all Nigerians, and it will not disadvantage any Nigerian”.

Effective leadership with ideas, intellect and merit is the inevitable requirement for Nigeria to mobilise and transform its abundant natural and human resources for the benefits of all Nigerians and occupy its rightful place among developed and democratic nations. Atiku’s political philosophy and his known reward system based on merit, if elected as the president of Nigeria in the next presidential election will offer Nigeria the ideas, merit and intellectual leadership that is urgently needed to reposition Nigeria for a sustainable development.

I join millions of Nigerians that are eager to vote out the present federal government of Nigeria and its painful, unclear and undefined social economic and political policies. The political culture of Nigeria is vibrant and I am optimistic that Nigerians will stand with Nigeria in the next presidential primaries and presidential election in 2019. To stand with Nigeria is to shun tribal, religious and other primordial loyalties for the support of Abubakar Atiku, the only presidential aspirant who has demonstrated intellect with his clear Political/Policy thrust, ideas and understanding of the dynamics of Democracy in Nigeria.

 

– Osifo is a former Chairman of Uhunmwode LGA in Edo state and a Lecturer at Igbinedion University, Okada.



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