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NIGERIA; 2011 ELECTIONS, THE LEADERSHIP CHALLENGE

BY: PROFESSOR DR. EMMANUEL OMOH ESIEMOKHAI

Published September 14th, 2010


I start with a convincing theoretical, legal postulation that Nigeria is not a Federal Republic, but a Confederate Republic of Federated Nation States. Secondly, that every composite unit of the Confederate Republic is manifestly qualified to be a state in International Law. Thirdly, that the present composition of the Nigerian State, has fettered the development of the country as non-performing states benefit and reap, where they never sowed and are unwilling to sow.

While we accept the present situation as an expedient arrangement and as a historical imposition of 1914 (The Lugard Curse), we should look at our unchartered course and investigate the philosophical, legal, economic and social underpinnings of our underdevelopment, in the last fifty years.

There has been a culture of governance by escapism. In 1980, the then Federal Government promised housing, education, health for all, by the year 2000. Then there was a shift to 2010 and further move to 2020.

This government announced a seven- point agenda and shamelessly could not accomplish even one. Only a nation of idiots will accept to be led by a khakistocracy and are not moved by deceits and disappointments to ask strict questions about what is going on.

Perhaps, in anticipation of being appointed ministers, directors-general and other obscure government posts, many knowledgeable Nigerian intellectuals, who should lead opinion to awaken the people, watch with unconcern, as the nation gets fractionally close to shipwreck and retrogression.

They see activists as people, who are wasting their opportunities to be appointed ministers by writing articles and giving public lectures in order to sensitize the people.

This type of thinking is rampant amongst academics, who circulate among bankers, top government officials, senators and whoever can confer unearned honours and advantages, no matter how tainted such benefactors are National Assembly members, who cream off the nation's wealth through approving for themselves jumbo salaries and emoluments, will be remembered as Nigerians, with misplaced consciences, who do not qualify as decent legislators. What are their efforts in re-shaping Nigeria? They just saddled this country with an inchoate constitution, without sovereign authority.

They are no better than the kidnapper or the armed robber, in terms of the constitution of the fabric of their core values. If anger pushes Nigerians to revolt against this mindless violence on the people's psyche, the members of the National Assembly will surely be made accountable.

As the Nigerian Bar Association raises the issue in the Courts of the land, the Constitution is being violated by the "Law Givers", who give to themselves inexcusable funds in a nation, where the basic salary is N18, 000 per month.

They have regularly tampered with annual budgets placed before them from the executive branch, in total violation of the stipulations of the Revenue Mobilization Allocation and Fiscal Commission.

It is hereby recommended that any illegal monies paid to any legislators, in violation of the law be treated as misappropriated funds, which must be refundable as debt owed to the Federal Republic of Nigeria, in perpetuity.

Formidable Leadership Challenges

There are formidable leadership challenges facing Nigeria, in desperate need of a turn-around. We feel “an immediate sense of urgency and performance orientation”, which demand a new thinking.

This administration needs “to deliver short-term results, leaving longer term success of the nation to subsequent leaders”. Anyone, who has been involved in company, turn-around processes, should understand where I am coming from.

The most uncertain and anxious moments in the lives of people in modern democracies are during events leading to a change of leadership either through elections or other means of leadership change.

History has shown that after Hitler, Mussolini, Stalin took over power, the events they caused to happen, turned the world around for the worst. Italy captured Abyssinia, Germany occupied Austria and Stalin occupied Eastern European states.

At BOSAS INTERNATIONAL LAW BUREAU, Abuja, Nigeria, which is serving as the front-runner to the Faculty of Law of the proposed AFEMAI UNIVERSITY, Fugar, Edo State, Nigeria, members of the Curatorium, in its glittering Chambers, discussed Nigerian and Foreign Affairs.

Last week, we examined the Political, Legal, Economic and Cultural under-pinnings of Nigeria's under-development. We focused on the leadership challenge as the 2011 elections approach.

We started by reviewing Nigerian historical developments from 1895, when the Foreign Jurisdiction Act was passed in the British Parliament and which was made to have effect in all British Colonies, to aid colonial administration.

There have been political chance happenings and military coup de'etats by military iconoclasts in Nigeria as well as election rigging parties and other reactionary political governance from 1999 to 2010.

In my contributions at the BUREAU, I dealt with the retrogressive effect of some British Laws on Nigerian political, economic and cultural developments in the last one hundred years.

These views are contained in my book entitled, “The Colonial Legal Heritage in Nigeria” 1986, Fagbamigbe Publishers, Akure / Ibadan. Since 1895, a Nigerian jurisprudence has not emerged.

However, there have been, patchworks of Nigerian Constitutionalism which have been jettisoned, when a new leader came on board. Most Nigerian constitutions are discarded before they are tested. British legal ideas, rules, regulations, processes dominate the deliberations in our Courts of Law.

The question that is often asked is whether Nigeria is a Metaphoric Nation? We have observed that a nation that does not accommodate its thinkers, but causes them to emigrate will continue to grope in the dark with experimentation, trials by error, guesswork, rule of lawlessness and a corrupted public order.

A nation that kills its universities by refusing to fund and promote excellence will shamelessly live from the intellectual products of other more imaginative nations. It is a shame that no Nigerian university featured among the 4000 listed world-wide recently.

A nation that encourages mediocrity will continue to lament missed opportunities. A state in which compromised individuals hold sway in government will fail.

Political Leadership In Nigeria

The scorecard of Nigerian leaders has been dismal, when one considers the material and human resources that have been at their disposal since 1960 and what has been achieved. The Chinese became independent in 1949 and Nigeria got her independence in 1960.

Today, the Chinese are indisputably the leading world economy in spite of their problems with adverse climatic conditions.

We have been led by leaders, who crashed into governance without adequate and relevant educational qualifications and experience in statecraft. Some Northern leaders seem to have been unprepared for Nigerian governance.

In Nigeria, some leaders were discredited, others committed. Others were bloodied, disgraced, humiliated and like Bola Ige, Funso Williams, Murtala Mohammed, were killed, in circumstances of utmost brutality.

So, why do some people throw caution to the wind in the gamble of politics? While other nations honour their past leaders, in Nigeria they are forgotten after the last obituary had been published.

They are little quoted or revered. So, man, why are you strutting the nation in vain glorious efforts? The challenge of leadership today is the initialization of well planned societal programmes to uplift Nigerians.

In the past, most Nigerian leaders were used by their friends, associates and tribesmen to accumulate excessive wealth. Mammonic spirits do hold down the incandescent light of honour from flooding the soul of the nation. In spite of our poor records of national development, one does not see any credible leader, armed with the relevant educational knowledge in statecraft that will rescue our nation from the throes of divisiveness, tribe preferences and narrow-mindedness.

Yet, every scoundrel and rascal aspires to be Governor, Local Government Chairman and President. We are glad that the EFCC and INEC are now manned by people with sound judgment. The fate of those deluded politicians who did not walk uprightly is in jeopardy. They carry an inner torment.

The challenge of leadership in Nigeria must address the issue of the Naira’s standing in the global system. A nation with a weak currency suffers from diminished sovereignty and independence. Also, problems concerning national security, food security, electricity, water supply must be solved immediately. A lot of government pronouncements on these matters are always the subject of dialogue at conferences and symposia, but one hardly sees results.

We are still lighting candles, putting on our own generators and drinking from rivers. There is insecurity, in spite of a professionally trained army and police force. So what is the joy about 2011? In 2007, promises were made with little to jubilate about, years later.

Malversation is rife. Accountability is yet to catch on. We have to lay down principles and obligations for political leadership, if we are to make progress. Under-performance has always been the problem in Nigerian governance. There are always promises of transformation which seldom go beyond bellicose proclamations.

Between 2004-2007, the ruling party performed more as a bonded political association of like–minded politicians. All that will change, as a new dispensation is throwing up awareness among the marginalised.

There is incredible awareness among the minority nations, who do not want to be cheated any more. The militant wing of the Delta minorities have been tested in revolutionary resistance and have become a force to reckon with.

The quarrels among leading party members have resulted in many quitting their parties. This is partly because of opportunism and the love for posts. The emergence of new parties will lead to a dilution of party loyalties.

As far as ideologies are concerned, no party is offering concrete philosophical and societal developmental calculus. The Sovereign of the people, their democratic rights, accountability to the people and the rule of law are disregarded and nothing seems to have changed.

The ruling party should mend its fences and work for a “truly democratic society, distinguished by the rule of law, human rights, due process, national unity, equity, national values and purpose”. As of now, no social system is in place to excite enthusiasm and hope.

The PDP had its heads up, rose against itself and became divided. Some politicians in Nigeria manifest “androgen insensitivity syndrome”. They jump from one party to another, which suggests that profit and self-exaltation is paramount in their ambition to govern.

We are still having nightmares about the possibility of inconclusive elections, rigged elections and other inherent stratagems that stultify the democratic process.

Political parties in organized societies are the arrowheads of societal progress. Members of political associations ought to be highly motivated, altruistic, committed, knowledgeable men and women, who have meticulously prepared themselves for leadership.

They are usually armed with ideals, perspectives, plans, strategies, discipline and integrity. All these attributes help politicians organize and implement party manifestos, guidelines and prepare programmes based on party ideology. If this happens, they should earn the confidence of voters.

In Nigeria, some believe in vote rigging, corruption, electoral malpractices, intrigue, subterfuge, mindless violence and the pursuit of reactionary-minded tendencies that are anti-democratic. The late Chief Adedibu was a clear example.

All political parties should desist from pursuing fiscal policies that serve foreign investors at the expense of local stakeholders. Government sells oil to foreign interests.

Many politicians in Nigeria need to be schooled in political thought from Machiavelli to Marx acquaint themselves with the theory and praxis. of modern politics.

Nigerian political parties do not last. They either merge with bigger parties or die slowly, with no hope of resurrection. This leads to stunted political development. In some cases, cross carpeting and other undemocratic practices are prevalent. These create instability in the polity.

One observes that some Nigerian politicians are driven by avarice, misappropriation of national wealth, bare-faced stealing of funds, misuse of power, tribalism, irredentism and all these affect the quality of governance in the country. When will Nigeria put its strong feet forward?

Politicians must be free to speak out even when they operate within a consolidated power space where no contrary opinion is tolerated or even invited.

There seems to still exist a semi-feudal and aristocratic dispensation, which cares less about those who are not privileged by birth or education.

The Northern region of Nigeria is poverty stricken, especially in the villages and small towns it is difficult to explain the billions of Naira Local Governments receive every month.

A study by BOSAS INTERNATIONAL LAW BUREAU, Abuja about the state of hunger and desperation in Northern Nigeria, cannot be made public. Some villages are so ravaged by harsh conditions that entire villages move to greener pastures. Yet, the Babanriga- wearing elite pretend that all is well.

It is very difficult to conduct credible elections in such remote villages. They see their political leaders once in a blue moon and so, consider it their right to accept whatever the politicians offer for votes. Kow-towing to decadent, societal ethos have become anachronistic and unhelpful, since these hinder our march forward Nigeria's Political Economy.

As of now, the Nigerian political economy defies scientific analysis. Foreign economic analysts have inundated us with hackneyed macro and micro economic jargons and these are peddled by the so-called Board room “ gurus”, all in the service of foreign interests.

A sizable amount of Nigerian money is in foreign bank accounts, where the locals borrow from such accounts and get richer, Nigerian fiscal policies oscillate between dogma and voluntarism.

Nigeria should encourage freedom of expression and free association and not promote bonded political associations, which act as occult brotherhoods.

A permanent solution to the Niger Delta problems must be found. Poverty among Northern citizens should engage the attention of our political parties. The Delta situation will not yield to amnesty alone but a developmental strategy that must be total and effective.

Today, there are more than 11 oil companies operating over 159 oil fields and over 1481 wells. Nigeria’s total earnings from crude oil has been put at over $ 600 billion and N1.8 trillion per annum in the last 46 years. (See ADB Report, 2005). Yet, the country is replete with marginalized under-achievers from the Niger Delta to Kutuwenji.

The 2007 Elections. The International Republican Institute, a US based non-government organization, on 23rd of April, 2007, scored the April 2007 elections as below the standard set by previous elections and international standards witnessed by IRI around the globe.

The report said that “Nigerian leaders and the system put in place to mid-wife the process, failed Nigerians and lacked credibility because it denied many people the opportunity to vote”.

The observers noted that “ neither the spirit of Nigerians who went to the polls to cast their ballots nor the dedication of the thousands of poll workers struggling to execute their responsibilities in polling stations throughout the country were matched by their leaders”.

The report said that irregularities were observed on a higher scale during the federal elections than during the state elections, noting that underage voting and lack of privacy at the polling units, falsified result sheets and manipulation of voters by the police and party agents were re-curing occurrences. There were violence-related security concerns during all the elections.

The current INEC Chairman needs to plug these deficiencies, if the 2011 election will not suffer the fate of the 2007 elections. This is a Herculean task.

General Buhari, the ANPP leader, who was a contestant at the 2007 presidential elections in a statement to the Nigerian Press, said that the presidential elections were neither free nor fair. He declared the elections were “blatantly rigged, surpassing even the massive fraud of 2003”.

He noted that “Nigeria will survive only if the elementary and basic rules of democracy are observed”.

Alhaji Abukakar Atiku said that the 2007 elections were the “worst poll in Nigeria history”. He spoke to Alifa Daniel at his Oba Akenzua Street, Abuja in2007. He observed that “70 to 80 percent of Nigerians were disenfranchised, while symbolic elections were made to take place at the state capitals”.

He said that two people must be held responsible for the electoral chaos, Professor Maurice Iwu and President Olusegun Obasanjo. He complained that his picture did not appear on the ballot papers. He described this as anomalous.

Mr. Max Van Den Berg, the EU representative and Madeleine Albright’s NDI, declared “the 2007 presidential election heavily flawed and perhaps the worst in all region of the world”.

The NDI said that the flaws could cast a big question mark on the credibility of leaders, who emerged from the polls. This was true, going by the disclaim and contempt with whichthe international community treated the regime of Umaru Yar Adua.

The NDI observed that the elections “were marred by poor organisation, lack of essential transparency, widespread procedural irregularities, significant evidence of fraud, particularly during the result collation process, lack of equal conditions for contestants and numerous incidence of violence”.

There were barriers to popular participation and disenfranchisement as well as orchestrated delays in the delivery of electoral materials and in the opening of polling sites, which the NDI said were unprecedented.

The ECOWAS team led by Sir Dauda Jawara of Gambia called for a reform of the electoral process. The ECOWAS team recommended that the independence of INEC must be assured in terms of the appointment and security of tenure of electoral commissioners as well as guarantee adequate and autonomous funding for INEC.

The atmosphere for impunity for elections violations must cease, executive impunity should be removed and political will must be demonstrated by parties at both federal and state levels to end the practice of hiring thugs to perpetuate electoral violence.

Responding to INEC Chairman’s, 80 percent self-assessment in 2007, Mrs. Madeleine Albright said, “No, I will give INEC a failing grading and that Nigerians can ask the National Assembly to do something about INEC”. However, what Mrs. Albright did not know was that 80 per cent of the members of the National Assembly benefited inexorably from the ELECTORAL FRAUD of 2007.

The NDI statement was authoritative in that the six-page NDI report was the handiwork of eminent world personalities like Dr Amos Sawyer, former President of Liberia, Mahamane Ousmane, Speaker of ECOWAS parliament and former Nigerian President Joe Clark, former Prime Minister of Canada and Justice Yvonne Makgoro of the Constitutional Court of South Africa.

The EU team was joined by a delegation from the European Parliament led by John Attard Multalto and Vittorio Agno letto, both of whom endorsed the 11-page statement read by Max Van Den Berg.

In spite of all the evidence provided by General Buhari’s Attorney, the Supreme Court of Nigeria entered a curious and amazing judgment, which many Law students all over Nigeria have mocked at ever since.

A Bonded Political Association

The Guardian Newspaper (Nigeria) on Sunday, February 4th 2007, reported that the PDP had “compelled PDP candidates to a "Bond of Allegiance, during the April polls and subsequent inauguration of the next dispensation from May 29, 2007.

Office holders (elected and appointed) of a new government that may beformed by the party are also to be covenanted to a strict “articles of commitment”. The aspirants/candidates to various offices on the platform of the party were reportedly made to sign the bond contained in a three-page document headed,’ .

A PDP leadership Bond- Articles of Commitment’ “a sore –point in the document wrote Ezomon,” is the subjugation of candidates /office holders to the supremacy and authority of the party at all times, others are to avoid joining opponents of the of the party to organize attacks on its leadership and policies in such a manner as to bring the party into contempt and public ridicule, and any measure or position that would tend to polarize the party”.

Dr Eluyemi, the late Apena of Ife and also a founding member of Osun PDP expressed dismay at the development.

I Some PDP governors and candidates were quite uncomfortable with the document but ambition was too strong for them to reject the document. There is nothing wrong with being loyal to the party of one’s choice but to swear is to call God to witness and it is a serious matter.

The declaration by the candidate/office holder that if at any time he failed, refused and/or neglected to abide by these principles, he shall accept the verdict of the party in accordance with its constitution is frightening This affirmation robs the candidate /office holder of his free will and the status of a free willing participant.

Since the 4th of February 2007, many have quit the party and some have returned. The PDP manifesto; PDP Electoral Guidelines, PDP Code of Conduct, PDP Statement on Candidate desirable Qualities, the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the Electoral Act and regulations are regulatory documents to assist party ruler ship.

The party has to learn from the history of political theory and statecraft in order to effectively govern a complicated nation made up of those who run, those who walk and those who do not move at all.

Writing in the Nigerian Guardian newspaper on 13th November 2006, in an article entitled “Destroyers of Nigeria”, this author observed that Nigeria has been hurt deeply by untutored praetorian guards and political under-achievers.

Consequently, we have had to waltz through the nightmarish cabaret of broken dreams. Nigerians must prevent all destroyers of the Federal Republic of Nigeria from getting near to centers of power, in our own interest. Conscientious and courageous compatriots must arise.

We must re-structure Nigerian politics, economics and law so that their guiding principles could reflect the ethos of Nigeria's cultural life.

We have been on the wrong road and have insisted in running along it. We must make a clear distinction between belief and knowledge. Those who appear to have gotten away with their stolen wealth are brazenly out to seek office again.

The Nigerian psyche seems vehemently opposed to learning from its history. It is important for our citizens to insist that the State shall abolish all corrupt practices and abuse of power

(Section 15 (5) of the 1999 constitution (as amended).

We do not seem to know where we are coming from nor where we are going. We ought to lay the philosophical and practical foundations for good governance in Nigeria. This is far more critical than having a successful election. If after a good election, we enter the same whirlwind of uncertainty, of chance happenings, guesswork and ad-hocism, it could be tragic.

It is not improper to ask Nigerians to be better than their traditions. Political absolutism as it is being orchestrated by one party could lead to despotism. For example, someone had

Suggested that the EFCC and ICPC should tap the telephones of suspected citizens. It is trite to say that such practices can be misused.

It is one step away from Neo-nazi incandescent light of repression. It breaks the golden cord of law, which good men abhor. Constitutional rule is effective when it guarantees the dignity of subjects. Law must protect human rights. When leaders accumulate governance experience they can then articulate the wisdom that aids social intelligence. This point is of fundamental philosophical importance in that wisdom and knowledge enhance the leader's decision-making processes.

A leader’s socio-political awareness is crucial to good governance. A very important issue in Nigeria’s governance is the issue of foreign capital. It continuously and progressively exploits and de-humanizes the people of the client states. Imperialism and foreign capital impose leaders they can manipulate.

Those of them intensify a high degree of penetration and control of client states. These are felt in the manufacturing, oil and agricultural sectors. Our national political economic decisions are defined in Euro-American boardrooms located in Nigeria. This practice is more acute in high-tech and big corporations which shape and share power in Nigeria.

When our nation produced cocoa, palm oil and groundnuts in abundance, we had a major say in our economic organization even though European firms and their agents, with cash advances played a significant role in whittling away our total control.

Now that every sector of our economy is dominated by foreign interests, we are economically very dependent. Even our Central Bank was brazenly tinkering with selling local banks to foreign capital until better counsel prevailed. In Nigeria, there is the conflict of the ideal and the actual.

Many conflict situations in Nigeria, must find answers, so that after a successful run of Election 2011, we do not begin again to go nowhere slowly.

In an organised society, political parties play a major role in governance since they are expected to formulate the ideas and ideals that should move any society to gain acceleration in the right direction. They proffer reasonable and rational programmes for societaldevelopment.

POLITICAL PARTIES

The constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended) under Part III supplemental, from 221-226 grants a monopoly to only political parties “to” canvass for votes for any candidate at an election or contribute to the funds of any political party or to the election.

This restrictive proclamation excludes broad participation and further excludes capable candidates, who could have been sponsored by other associations. Registration with the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) is important for the sake of regulation and proper documentation.

Opening membership “to every citizen” falls short of checks on citizens whose civic conduct have been tainted by criminal conduct and these will only compound the problems of political parties.

Article 223 (i) says that the principal officers of the party should be democratically elected periodically. This is a positive declaration since political association is voluntary, forcing governing bodies and the executive committees to “reflect federal character".

Article (225) (3), (4), 226 (1) spell out in detail the regulatory functions of the Independent National Electoral Commission for these regulatory measures to work successfully, the Chairman of INEC must be fearless, knowledgeable about the constitutional authority which guides his office.

Article 228 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria spells out the regulatory role of the National Assembly vis-à-vis INEC.

POLITICAL TRUST

From Nigeria's dismal history of elections, the people have irredeemably lost interest and trust in our political parties conflicting claims to power. The noisy talk about “building confidence in the electoral process” is merely hortatory. Confidence building takes time and any rational thinker will see the period of seven months before 2011 elections as too short to build confidence in the electorate. Jingles, radio and televised campaign advertisements are inane measures. They will prove inadequate.

REGISTERING VOTERS AND VOTERS RESOLUTION

Voter apathy is so strong that getting people to register o vote will be a problem. Disenchantment with elections in Nigeria has eaten into the marrow of the Nigerian electorate. Some people are asking what happened to their votes in 2007?“ What is the guarantee that their vote s will count even after registration and casting of ballot?

How am I sure that the 280 people who were killed in 2007 will not resurrect to vote again?

What happened to those who physically meddled with ballot boxes in 2007? Only an incurable optimist will speak tongue-in-cheek about “achieving credible voters registration” within the short time available.

It is difficult to convince the voters about “credible” voters' registration as their memories reek with pain and disappointment.

As we have already discussed earlier in this paper, “Constitutionalism and the Electoral Process” is a fascinating idolatry. Those who were declared winners by the Supreme Court in 2007 were conscious of the fact that judicial manipulation and not upholding constitutionalism put them in power.

Even if the electoral process is free and fair, the short-comings in the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria cannot guarantee social and economic rights. Chapter iv, which deals with “Fundamental Rights” does not guarantee those social and economic rights that accelerate social development.

Some of the fundamental rights proclamation are political and ethical. The analysis of actual forms of constitution show that states that are capitalist-oriented are satisfied with political and ethical proclamation s without any determination to actualize any social contract with the under-privileged compatriots.

The result is that a neglected populace engages in despicable self-help measures like armed robberies, stealing, terrorist acts and mindless violence.

An entrenched oligarchy is stifling the democracy we are trying to build with vain ambitions, declarations, proposals, good intentions, cutting tapes, hilarious ceremonies, self praise, adulation and neglect of the humanistic needs of our poverty-stricken population.

Democratic and oligarchic principles do not always pave the way to sustainable development. The social foundation collapses each time the contradictions manifest in a mixed-up socio-economic system Where such a situation exists the magistrates are over-worked and overwhelmed. Then, people would be pushed to revolt.

I recall the events that led to the French, American, Russian, Hitler- led revolution, Mao-led revolution and other revolutions. Lack of knowledge of history, law and political science creates that emptiness that favour passivity and adulterated wishful thinking of the governing class, who are propped up by armed force.

THE PRESS AND ELECTIONS

The press can only report what goes on in society. During elections, the press tells its version of the truth which no politician wants to believe The success of the new dispensation will largely depend on Nigerian journalistic. Objectivity, in an era, in which journalists consider their time to make good.

ELECTION PETITIONS IN NIGERIA

After elections in Nigeria, even those who were clearly losers do litigate based on the hope that the counts can be manipulated either by the intimidation of sitting judges and Corruption. Appeals are filed to stultify the democratic process.

In Nigeria, election petition processes last very long and at times, the election petition processes become mystified and get compounded by occultic advocacy.

THE PROBLEMS OF CAMPAIGN FINANCING IN NIGERIA

There is no art to monitor campaign financing. Some Nigerians are generally ingenious at cutting concerns. Since political office is seen as a money-yielding enterprise, some office- seekers are known to invest their energies and borrowed funds in their campaigns. Many politicians have gotten away with the gamble but many have lost fortunes.

PROSECUTION AND ELECTORAL MAL-PRACTICES

Since 1960, the prosecution of Electoral offenders has not been very successful as a result of the lack of adequate information, solid evidence and the crass incompetence of the police prosecutors when they face lawyers, especially Senior Advocates of Nigeria, who carry the awesomeness of Law gods. There are also tedious studies involved which the average police prosecutor is not used to.

The politician, who had invested a lot to win an election, is not likely to hesitate if giving out little more can win him the coveted seat.

In a State, where the end justifies the means prosecuting even small cases that are obvious and straight forward runs into the deep waters of repeated adjournments, strategic delays, technicalities, preliminary objections, which are manifestly distracting and perverse.

Since the judiciary has admitted their helplessness. in dealing with corrupt judges, may the ALMIGHTY GOD help Nigeria!

ZONING OF PRESIDENTIAL OFFICE

The Nigerian political space has been hypnotized by an invidious cliche dubbed "zoning". I hope Nigerian politics will transmute and survive the impending self-imposed tragedy, waiting to happen.

If a group of our compatriots think that they have the divine right to rule, other compatriots would challenge a myth they have tolerated for too long. The Delta militants are not taking any arrangement that will exclude them with equanimity.

Poor governance has awakened anarchic instincts in most Nigerians and the chaotic life they live does not seem to cool down the complexities of their minds.

The issue of zoning is deeply embedded in the Caliphate culture and the politics of the administration of Nigeria from 1861-2010.

As A.E Afigbo said during his lecture at Trenchard Hall, University of Ibadan, on 12th April 2002, we quote," What is now known as Nigeria, is a by-product of the British Conception" Each of the Northern, Eastern and Western areas of modern Nigeria began by way of establishment of administrative technique.

Professor Afigbo put the technique thus "... The first to emerge was the Colony of Lagos (1861), which within 20 years or so, grew into the Lagos colony and protectorate, mostly Yoruba land" The next was the Oil River Protectorate (1885), which by (1886) grew into Southern Nigeria Protectorate. Then, there was the territory of the Royal Niger Company(1886), which again became the Protectorate of Northern Nigeria This protectorate was predominantly inhabited by Muslims.

Kanem- Bornu developed a feudal system between 1393-1501. The Dorgu dynasty, which lasted for over one thousand years. It sustained the statecraft of the Nok culture (500Bc-AD 200).

This is why scholars are surprised at the ineptitude of modern Northern leaders, who have not done well, each time it was their turn to govern.

In 1914, the Northern, Southern and t the Colony of Lagos became amalgamated. Between 1960 and 1970, it became clear that the rate of educational development in the Muslim nation-states was slow, as a result of lack of higher educational institutions in the North.

Those, who attended Barewa College and later, the University of Ibadan, like Mallam Adamu Ciroma, Senator Jibril Aminu and Alhaji Dikko., Alhaji M D Yesuf, who studied in England have done wel in the Nigerian scheme of things.

However, tribalism in some higher institutions discouraged a lot of Hausas, Igbos and Edos from moving on.. From the narrations of Dr. Obi Wali, Dr. Ken Saro Wiwa and Professor Dr.. Emmanuel Omoh Esiemokhai, when he was at OAU, Ife, suggests that the proliferation of Universities in Nigeria, now gives minorities, a good chance.

The Northern elite got used to the concept of Federal character and zoning advantages and their politicians seem to be insisting on still having their way.

However, since federal character and zoning were meant to be temporary measures, these forms of statecraft are now anachronistic and unhelpful.

There is a lot of work to be done before the 2011 elections. Having settled the INEC request for adequate funds, the law enforcement systems need to be re-vamped by adequately equipping the police and the intelligence services with necessary gadgets and life-sustaining salaries.

The studies by BOSAS INTERNATIONAL LAW BUREAU Abuja show that under their present working conditions, the Nigeria Police live in decapitated barracks, dingy offices and lack mobility.

Even ordinary stationery are often unavailable forcing complainants to bring or buy these items. We have not agreed to publish police salaries, which the Minister for Police Affairs, will be shocked to receive.

The politicians are quick to exploit these harsh conditions of life of the police. In a nation, where we all buy from the markets, the desperate situation of some citizens, create those complexities of mind that lead the people to lose confidence in governments.

The purchase of three airlines by the presidency and the reason given by the government, raised serious issues of balanced judgment capability.

The police that will be crucial to the 2011 Federal Government Elections do not have cars, trucks. Motor-cycles, that would increase their mobility and efficiency.

Why pay the huge amount for planes that would be delivered in December and beyond?

It was no surprise that the labour unions, civil society groups and other sensitive intellectuals felt very despondent at what is obviously a misplacement of priorities.

NUPENG and NEPA announced that they would go on strike in a protest of their discontent in the last week of August 2010.While the government was justifying its purchase of three presidential jets, a nation-wide outbreak of cholera, which had already 350 lives, was announced on August 2010.

This fostered more discontent among doctors, student groups and civil society. The outcry by citizens on the NEPA strike caused the government to change its policy. In the last three months, we have seen the government reverse itself after making inexcusable decisions.

The new Nigerian dispensation can only be managed by anointed persons, not by men with blood on their sleeves, blood-money, stolen wealth and satanic connections, through oath-taking and other negative spiritual initiations.

The Spirit of the Lord will prevent politicians with ancestral linkages to negative demon ism, foundational bond ages, covenants with the kingdom of satan, infested with curses, attachments to demonic spirits, satanic bewitchment, initiations into multiple satanic cults from ruling Nigeria.

Those politicians, who cannot surrender to the Triune GOD, cannot rule Nigeria as Nigeria enters the Era of the Gentiles, Atonement and the Brotherhood of Man.

After the American Federal Bureau of Investigations collaborated briefly with the EFCC, an empowered EFCC, announced that the anti-fraud agency would "bar 14 ex-governors, five former ministers and 35 other political office holders from the 2011 elections.

As screening starts, it has become clear that transparency could dominate the electoral process.

The curious news that the PDP headquarters got burnt down is reminiscent of the burning down of the NITEL headquarters, during the Shagari regime.

Dark Thoughts and Negative Pronouncements

The statement issued by the Arewa Consultative Forum Chairman, General Ibrahim Haruna that anarchy looms and General Olusegun Obasanjo's revised version of do-or-die politics, code-named "operation totality" are frightful and thoughtless.

Primate Olabayo’s cheap predictions in the last 30 years are a patch-work of asinine guess-work, which are inconsistent with inspirational, Holy Ghost illuminations.

Bishop Gbonigi and Reverend Bakare are also in the scare the people Assembly. A man of God, who turns himself into a scare-crow, will surely face occasional degradation and opposition.

God did not ordain any preacher to terrorize the people's peace with predictions of woes that catch the headlines.

The problem with Nigerian pastors is that those, who acquired dubious fame or notoriety keep assailing our sensitivities, with cheap, sensational, tithes-attracting pronouncements.

There is need for more Pentecostal fire that will burn away the satanic order in Nigeria.This type of ecumenism does not ride on cheap, occasional rantings and inconsequential, political predictions. We need intercessors and not hallucinatory musings by primates.

Of course, there are some Nigerians, who wish destruction upon the people, but as long as the birds sing, rivers flow, the Olumo Rock and the Zuma cannot be moved by negativism, such evil pronouncements will remain a nullity and of no effect whatsoever.

Kidnappings and the Electoral Process.

It will become very difficult for political leaders to campaign freely if kidnappings become rife.

If anyone thinks that holding successful elections will solve our societal problems, such a person or persons are not imbued with the realities and complexities of Nigeria's real politik.

I have extensively and consistently canvassed that we hold a Conference of the Federating states of Nigeria, in order to find out what house we are going to build unless and until we go through this democratic process of consultations and accord, the Federal Republic may be standing on a broken tripod.

This is based on scientific, social appraisal by the scholars at BOSAS INTERNATIONAL BUREAU, Abuja.

Since the elections are scheduled for January 2011, we can use the month of October to organise the Conference of the Federated States of Nigeria. There are many illegalities that could render the constitutional amendments of the 1999 Constitution inoperative. The Republic is fond of rushing things, only to reverse itself.

In a National Assembly, in which those, who know the legal processes, are dutifully excluded, the nation's legal development will be the subject of endless debates.

Even non-lawyers with a modicum of commonsense should know that the imprimatur by the Sovereign representative of the people confers jural authority on the Constitution. Where guess-work by unlearned National Assembly members often prevail, the nation must face occasional confusion.

The retired Permanent Secretary of the FCT, Dr Adegoke Adegoroye, in his valedetory address to the Civil Service chiefs at the Transcorp Hotel, Abuja on August 28, 2010, said " I have seen on the national scene and political landscape the sudden emergence of people ( including Vice Chancellors and Professors), without traceable antecedents and pedigree, people of questionable tract record making it to top positions in government.

This, also applied in the academia, where General Sani Abacha's Vice Chancellors embezzled funds meant for University administration. A notorious Vice Chancellor, now a reporter and his Pro-Chancellor, were disgraced out of office, after Abacha's death.

Lamentations will not be enough to change the situation, whereby crooked people get top jobs. It is important to expose such people in good time to prevent them from being bulls in China shops.

Squander Mania

The National Conscience Party of Nigeria, has called upon the Federal Government to explain how trillions of Naira, which should be in the Federation Account seem to be missing. The details were published on page 66, Vol 15, No. 5601 in THIS DAY newspaper of August 23 2010.

Barrister Femi Falana, who is now the leader of the NCP disclosed that " Out of the sum of N24,966,963,665,224,50, received as internally generated revenue, by ministries, parastatals and agencies of the Federal Government from 2004-2007, the sum of N21651,084,008,087,20 was deposited in the Federation Account, leaving a balance of N3,315,879, 657.137.26, with-held by the Federal Government The 20 billion dollars left in the crude account in May 2007, has been drawn down to 460 million dollars.

With colossal sums disbursed to INEC and other sums awarded to contractors, especially, the recent awards of 1.914 billion dollars contracts for 96 projects, very little funds will be available to whoever wins the elections next year.

The authorities seem to create the impression that they are in a hurry to empty the treasury, in case they lose elections." The grand mismanagement of the economy has also been demonstrated in the renewal of oil licenses to foreign oil companies operating in Nigeria. For instance, the Federal Government is alleged to have renewed some oil licenses for Exxon Mobil in the sum of US600 million whereas a Chinese company had offered US5 billion for the same licenses. Thus, the country lost 4.4 Billion dollars in that single transaction."

Concerned Northern professionals and Northern leaders.

A group of Concerned Northern Professionals published an objective assessment of the role of Northern leaders in Nigerian politics and development.

In an advertorial entitled, "THE NEW FACE OF THE NORTH" and signed by Arc Ibrahim Jatau, the professionals wrote," One important question we, northerners must ask is this: how does the rest of the country see us? The painful answer to this question is that other Nigerians see us mostly through the eyes of us leaders.

Therefore they see us as under-achievers, who only love to acquire power for the sake of it. When people from other parts of Nigeria say that our leaders have failed us, they are indirectly saying that the North has failed Nigeria. It is for this reason that the argument against zoning, in some quarters were presented as arguments in favour of competence and efficiency.

It was as if the North is not competent of producing one competent leader. We may contest these assertions as much as we may, but the truth is that other Nigerians believe that the perennial leadership failure in Nigeria is the "north-man's burden

They ended by saying that the new dispensation "is an opportunity for all Northern elites from all walks of life to rally and present a new face of the north that is built on efficiency, integrity, inclusion, creativity and trust."

To my knowledge, this is the first effort to take an intellectual approach to the role of the North in national development.

This new thinking that is objective self-criticism will be needed if we do not operate on "not hurting Northern leaders" in order to keep Nigeria one. This almost became a religion.

June 12 and Elections in Nigeria.

The issue of June 12 keeps coming up each time elections loom in Nigeria. There is this boring lamentation that the election, which M.K.O Abiola contested was the "freest and fairest elections in Nigeria"

However, some commentators disagree. They refer to certain factors that cast doubt on Abiola's candidacy. The have exposed the fact that Abiola and Atiku manipulated the electoral process, which could have resulted in the nullification of their candidacy.

They allege that Abiola was in the service of a foreign intelligence agency. They allege that the Nigerian military had their reservations on his ITT and oil deals. It was openly stated that they complained to IBB that they could not support Abiola's presidency and that they could take severe action against Abiola.

All these coincide with a recent newspaper article that referred to "higher security problems" in the Abiola candidacy.

IBB must clarify these allegations in order to give history a credible reference and disprove wrong beliefs by gullible, ethnic proselytes.

It would appear that the young voters in Nigeria have become analytical and prefer performance ability than supporting ethnic chieftains. It can be recalled that this type of consciousness put Obama in the White House.

Professor Dr. Emmanuel Omoh Esiemokhai is the President of the proposed Afemai University, Fugar, Edo State, Nigeria. He is a Writer and an Academic.




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