An Open Letter to All Newly Elected Nigerian Reps – By Adewale T. AkandeAdewale T. Akande, Articles, Columnists, House, Legislature, NNP Columnists, Senate Sunday, August 28th, 2011
By Adewale T. Akande, Barcelona, Spain – August 28, 2011 – Your excellency lawmakers, I am using this forum to congratulate you all for having opportunity to be among those political trustees elected to represent our opinions, perspectives and interests in leading us to a nation of our dreams. We have lived in the worst political times. A change has just come and you are the change. That is why we entrusted you all with this position to make decisions that will benefit all Nigerians and solve those problems that come with today’s complex lifestyle. Time for a nation, where the new generation and our children will not bear the burden of the past inept leaders left behind. A nation where we can shape our individual and collective destinies with hardwork, personal responsibility, integrity, patriotism, and optimism.
A government where our collective political support, ideas and effective strategies will lift large numbers of Nigerian citizens out of poverty. It is now time to reject politics of racial identity, hatred and revenge and embrace politics of unity, love, healthy competition and progress. This is the time to forget all the festering grievances of the past, admit those mistakes of the past, and move on healing old wounds which is essential for future success. Working together, we can do more and better. We are due for a government that will truly represent and serve all Nigerians. The country is now weak and fragile. It is our collective responsibility to fix it back. There is no problem on earth that doesn’t have a solution except death. Nigeria should not die in our generation.
My dear representatives, as you know that Nigeria is the most populous country in Africa with more than one hundred and fifty million people. The whole population cannot all go to Abuja to debate and negotiate their interests and problems. That is why “we the people of Nigeria” elected 3 Senators from each thirty-six states and Abuja federal capital, making a total of 109 Senators to form the Upper house. We also elected 360 members to the House of Representatives representing the 774 local government in the Nigerian federation to form the lower house and represent our various interests. That is to say, in essence, we elected total number of 469 representatives to organise a democratic conversation around our collective future in the National Assembly in less than 1,440 days-every four years. This house must not divide against itself.
Dear ambassadors of Nigeria in Abuja, the time is short and that is why you men of integrity and trust have to give your deep commitments. It is time to work hard on new initiatives, performances and improvements. Leadership is full of opportunity to do the right thing. It is not for fun or glamour. Doing the right things is more important than doing things right. If we do the right things, we all live in peace of mind, but if we continue doing wrong things, there will be no end to poverty, unemployment, corruption, kidnapping, armed-robbery, hired-killers, bomb-blasts, and religious crisis. This is time for serious men to do serious work to save a sinking nation. Let me remind you that this is not a direct federal government appointment. It is an appointment from the consent and will of the people. A sacred bond. You represent the whole people of the nation. You are our only voice and source of joy. The mirror of the whole society.
Your excellency lawmakers, the Nigeria people repose their confidence in you in finding lasting solutions to irregular electricity and water supply, live security, food shortage, bad state of education, transportation problems, unemployment, corruption, shortage medical facilities, and obsolete infrastructures. The people in return promise to obey the laws of the land, work harder, pay their taxes regularly, care for their families to prevent deliquents, and love the country that make it a better for them fulfil their hopes and aspirations. Nigerian voters still believe in representative democracy and that is why you saw them came out enmasse to vote for you in the last general elections. James Madison, one of the important architects of the American constitution gave his support for the system of representation as a mechanism “ to refine and enlarge the public views, by passing them through the medium of a chosen body of citizens, whose wisdom may best discern the true interest of their country, and whose patriotism and love of justice will be least likely to sacrifice it to temporary or partial considerations”.
My dear patriotic representatives, the Nigerian voters wanted something different and solutions to their problems considering the level of awareness in the last general elections. They came out in multitude despite all odds to cast their votes under a neutral and non-partisan electoral body of Prof. A. Jega. Politicians are true representatives when they make promises and keep those promises. You are better when competently manage the country’s resources to the advantage of its citizens. To set examples of hard work and principled living. The idea behind a representative government concept is that, every sovereign nations or societies are invariably formed for a particular purpose and no individuals can acquire all of the genuine necessities of life. Thereby a representative government is formed for mutual achievement of common goals and aspirations.
My honourable lawmakers, a representative government is a system in which the people elect representatives to represent their ideals, desires, opinions, problems, needs and interests in the governning body. The governing body as a whole serves the will of the people that makes it to exist in the first place. A representative is a person who is authorized to act on behalf of another person or organization. Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia defines representative democracy as “a form of government founded on the principle of elected individuals representing the people…”. Edmund Burke, an Anglo-Irish stateman, political theorist and philosopher also goes further to explain the duty of a representative in a democratic state; “ It is his duty to sacrifice his repose, his pleasures, his satisfactions, to theirs (the people); and above all to prefer their (the people) interest to his own….unbiassed opinion, his mature judgement, his enlightened conscience are a trust from Providence…for the abuse of which he is deeply answerable”. Providence will never smile on the faces of those who betray this trust.
My dear brothers and sisters of the National Assembly, the only contribution I can offer now to my great country is through my pen. This is our fatherland. You have to be happy with enough, and know what to believe and what to ignore. You are at the best position to unite with common challenges, ideas, hopes and aspirations to lay the foundation of a new Nigeria. This can be done by making vital and conclusive decisions on power supply, free and standard education, fighting crime and promoting public safety with 21st century police force, research development in science and technology, building modern infrastructures, economic security and equal opportunity for all Nigerian families, social security, handicap and child support, affordable health care, create more jobs, and safeguard of our environment. You should replace despair with hope, and keep Nigeria secure, prosperous, free and re-write its history of greatness. Nigerians deserve the best. Thanks and may God bless the Republic of Nigeria.
Adewale T Akande (M.sc.Political Sc.) University of Ibadan. Author, Educationist and Road Traffic Safety Consultant. Barcelona, Spain. Tel: 0034-600877296
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