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Adewale T. Akande – New Nigerian Politics http://newnigerianpolitics.com A New kind of Politics Thu, 09 Apr 2020 17:37:07 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.7.16 http://newnigerianpolitics.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/05/logo_new_draft_April23_NNP-50x50.jpg Adewale T. Akande – New Nigerian Politics http://newnigerianpolitics.com 32 32 The Importance of Voting in a Truly Democratic Society – By Adewale T. Akande http://newnigerianpolitics.com/2019/02/28/the-importance-of-voting-in-a-truly-democratic-society-by-adewale-t-akande/ http://newnigerianpolitics.com/2019/02/28/the-importance-of-voting-in-a-truly-democratic-society-by-adewale-t-akande/#respond Fri, 01 Mar 2019 02:53:07 +0000 http://newnigerianpolitics.com/?p=52119 By Adewale Akande | Barcelona, Spain | February 28, 2019 – 

In a true democratic society, it is essential to ensure a government that follows the will of the people and not the one that force the people to follow it, that is, a “government of the people, by the people, and for the people” as said by Abraham Lincoln in his Gettysburg address which lasted a little over two minutes on November, 19, 1863. Democracy is not government of some people by some people and for some people as a frequent practise in some developing nations. Democracy is a nation ruled by its citizenry. The beauty of democracy is that the minority will have their say but the majority will have their way. Functioning democracy implies where the people approve to the government operating the nation. All eligible voters are given chance to select their leader through their right to vote and to be voted for. In a truly democratic society, the representative or candidate who have been elected are liable in many ways to the people who voted and elected them. They have to implement those pledges made during elections with much transparency, accountability and good governance.

The basic principles of a democratic government include; the rule of law that nobody and no authority is higher than the law of the land, all fundamental rights such as freedom of speech and expressions, freedom of religion and conscience, freedom of assembly and civil liberties are assured and guaranteed to all citizens in the country, citizens rights cannot be infringed upon by anybody. independence of the judiciary, seperation of powers and check and balances of all the public authorities, transparency of the government to the citizens about its functions and programmes, periodic free and fair elections to be conducted by an independent electoral body, recognition that citizens have a right and a responsibility to play a part in government and in social community, a multiple political system with equality of opportunities, opinion, ideas and prospects that will benefit all the citizens and not only selected fews as seen in some developing countries of Africa.

Voting dates back to elections held in ancient Greece, ancient Rome and throughout the Medieval period. It is a right that, throughout history, our founding fathers have fought for and sacrificed everything to achieve. “One man.one vote” is the most fairest method to choose leaders in any democratic society. Voting is patriotic right to choose your representative government. A citizen’s vote is a secret ballot. Voting is the most important exercise a citizen will do as a responsible citizen of a democratic nation. In a functioning democracy, being able to vote allows citizens to express their political opinions by voting a particular policy or candidate that has your best interest in mind. By this, you can decide your very own future by opting a candidate who might speculate your own aspects and possibly those people who share the same opinion with you.

Voting is a right of all eligible voters in any country. It is seen as the normal or typical form of political activity and it remains the primary means of political participation. The goal of any voting system is to establish the intent of each individual voter and translate those intents into a final tally or reality. According to Abraham Lincoln; “No man is good enough to govern another man without that other’s consent” This further explains that in a truly democratic society, governments are instituted among qualified and responsible men who derive their just powers from the consent of the governed. Another ex-American president, Lyndon Johnson have this to say in support of Abraham Lincoln that “The right to vote is the most basic right, without which all others are meaningless”. Voting is the first duty of democracy. Government is based on citizens votes for representation. In a democracy, your vote is your voice and the act of standing up for what you believe. Voting helps to preserve our way of ife.

In a perfect democracy, voting is the opportunity to elect or re-elect government officials and allows you to have a voice at any level of government and the areas that affect the life of citizens. Voting helps to eliminate the threat of a tyrannical government. A vote cast today have a way of having impact to the present and future generations that follow. The responsibility to be a good citizen, and citizenship requires voting during an election. Voting gives the population an equal opportunity completely blind of sex, race, origin, education in contributing to community development. This explains the argument that without freedom of information, our choices are distorted. Voting helps to shape public policy on a local and national level especially when you a well informed about the government activities. Voting for a candidate with little or no chance of winning or for the lesser of two evils is both a priviledge and obligation in a democratic republic.

Voting is gathering of human experiences in determine the future of a particular nation. Voting in an election shows your commitment and care about your community, by this, you become engage with diverse people of the society and the activities of the nation in general. Voting is the best way to influence the nation in which we live. Your vote holds your state and national leaders responsible for the decisions they make. Voting gives true meaning to the immortal words of Abraham Lincoln that “You can fool some of the people all of the time and all the people some of the time, but you cannot fool all of the people all of the time”. Eligible and responsible voters always take their time, to read the parties programmes and agendas, study the candidates ideas, integrity, capabilities, personal records, their future plans and how they stand on public issues.

Moreover, it is always advisable to vote for credible people or candidates and not political parties as this determine the faith of the nation. It is the law of the nature that those who vote for a candidate for money, out of anger, ignorance, race, sex or ignorance will surely get what they voted for. The result is inept and corrupt leaders and politicians. The positive impact of eligible voters in electoral process make voting important. A country’s democracy and people’s choice depends on voting. So we should take the initiative to vote for someone that reflects our overall views. Your vote affirms your rights as free citizens to elect your representative and take part in democracy. The truth is that your vote count and it can make a difference every time you cast your vote. Without voting, definately, there will be no democracy to talk about. Voting help to us to have new set of people representing us with fresh new ideas to help heal the damage that their predecessors have done.

Meanwhile, on the other hand a citizen that just decide not to vote without resonable reason is a plain ignorance. Apathy to voting may be due to lack of willingness or illiteracy. Inaction does not breed change, but only worsen the situation. The citizens apathy or laziness to show up and make their votes count is frequently lead to country in a very vulnerable and perilous position due to incompetent and irresponsible leaders. If you don’t vote during an election, you are surely voting indirectly against democracy and making way for irresponsible leaders. By not voting, you give away your right to influence the government overall. According to Smithstein 1, if you decide not to vote, you are taking away the “…will of the majority that governs….,but replaces it with the will of the minority”. It is essencial that registering and voting are really ways that we can control the way we live in a democratic dispensation. The sheer volume of non-voters simply destroy democratic process making it gradually slip away. Your only vote can make a difference because many local elections can be decided by just a single, solitary vote or handful of votes. If you don’t vote, it encourages bad officials. Voting is the formost way to exhibit good citizenship and civil responsibility. People should get involved in elections and educated in all political measures. By this they become a good and responsible participatory citizens. We should always remember that some people sacrifice their lives to preserve our freedom and let us have this voting opportunity as our sacred right. True democracy demands the involvement of the people otherwise in absence of that there is no democracy.

Written by,
Adewale T Akande,
Author, Educationist and Road Traffic Safety Researcher,

University of Autonoma, Barcelona.

Email: adewale_akande@hotmail.com

Spain. Tel: +34632511469

 

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An Open Letter to the Good People of Oyo State – By Adewale T. Akande http://newnigerianpolitics.com/2015/01/02/an-open-letter-to-the-good-people-of-oyo-state-by-adewale-t-akande/ http://newnigerianpolitics.com/2015/01/02/an-open-letter-to-the-good-people-of-oyo-state-by-adewale-t-akande/#respond Sat, 03 Jan 2015 05:01:44 +0000 http://newnigerianpolitics.com/?p=39871 akande176[1]

By Adewale T. Akande | Barcelona, Spain | Jan. 2, 2014

AN OPEN LETTER TO THE GOOD PEOPLE OF OYO STATE

Good day and compliment of the season to all sons and daughters of Oyo State.

Precisely on the 3rd of February this year, Oyo State clocked 38 years. In 1976, our able State was created by the then military government led by Late General Murtala Mohammed from the then old Western State which was divided into Ogun, Ondo and Oyo states respectively. In 1991,Osun state was carved out from Oyo state which as of today is having 33 local governments.

Our dear state, Oyo is noted for its prominent historical and physical landmarks in art, science and culture. Up till date, the exploits and brilliance of our warrior-forefathers in the old Oyo Empire is still being talked about. We are proud to have the first University in Nigeria (1948), the first teaching hospital in Nigeria (UCH), the first television station in Africa (NTA Ibadan), the first ever sports stadium built in Africa (Liberty Stadium-now Obafemi Awolowo stadium), the first skyscraper to have been built in Africa (Cocoa-House). All these were efforts of the sacrificial initiative of late Obafemi Awolowo as the first Premier that spent government money to better the lives of the citizens. No generation will forget him.

My people of Oyo State, now, thirty-eight years after the creation of the State (from 3rd of February, 1976) and fifteen years of democratic government in the state (from 29th of May, 1999), we have not seen any major development in the state apart from the continuation of roads construction and rehabilitations by subsequent governments without time-limit. It is so difficult to point to any landmark or significant infrastructure in the state in the past 38 years ago as a Pace-setter of all State (am not talking of Shoprite or eatry joints). As Pacesetters, we are meant to be setting the pace for others to follow. “Aji se bi Oyo laari, Oyo kii se bi enikookan” which when literarily translated means that Oyo will always set the pace and never copy others. The understanding of greatness to new generation leaders seem to be skewed around making their pocket “great” and not making their foot-prints known in the history of the state. They have refused to take care of the poor, the sick and the underprivileged. They are a set of leaders that take from the poor and give to the rich. That is why they cannot be remembered for good things.

Meanwhile, on a more serious note, by now the State is supposed to have embarked on free, compulsory and qualitative education for all school age children to the University level(children are still hawking during school time at Dugbe, Challenge, Iwo Road and Ojoo roads respectively). By now we are supposed to have the best designed, constructed and maintained roads network in our cities especially where people live (the city roads with side-walks and bus-stops) and even take a bold step to construct four-lane carriageways linking and leading to IGBETI-SAKI-KISHI-SEPETERI-OKEHO-ILORA-AWE-ILERO-OYO-ISEYIN-ERUWA-LANLATE-IGBOHO-IGBOORA-OGBOMOSHO respectively. Is it a taboo to have a railway transport along with four or five lanes highway from Ibadan to Ogbomosho?. By now, all the 33 Local Governments should have gotten their befitting and well-equipped Health Centers, Sports Complexes / Mini Stadia, and Libraries (please check around if there is any public library near your house). We have not seen any International companies or new important private companies springing up apart from “owanbe” Event Centers or Shopping Plazas syndrome that litter our landscape. We have not thought of constructing the biggest hospital in Nigeria to consolidate our first teaching hospital record in Nigeria. When are we going to have a road traffic management with zero pot-holes commitments on all state roads for other State to emulate? Great development is possible with great cabinet.

Roads are being constructed and rehabilitated in the cities without making necessary provision for pedestrian side-walks, bus-stops and drainage mechanism, but flowers are given priority-we could not even see professional touches from the planting of those flowers as if there are no horticulture graduates in the State. Our new markets and the old ones like Akesan, Oja-Igbo, Akangbe, Sango (Saki), Anko, Maya, Towobowo, Bodija and Sango (Ibadan) markets should be giving a face-lift respectively with well-managed modern entrance tolls to generate revenue for the State. The government has to invest more on agriculture and wood production. Where are our streets public tap-water gone to when there is a Ministry of Water Resources with engineers?I remember my secondary schools when coming back from school to stop for a drink at nearby government tap-water. Why is it difficult to number and name our streets when there is a Ministry of Land and Housing? Our subsequent leaders do not make provision for public toilet as basic necessity for human beings, talk-less of thinking about public parking space for vehicles, motorcycles and bicycles.

Results of NECO and WAEC have been poor in the last seven years but the state House of Assembly have not yet debated on possible teaching-learning solutions and having well-equipped libraries in all the thirty-three local governments in the state. We still see children and people begging for arms and hawking on our roads. When are we going to have a State-owned Newspaper to serve as information dissemination link between the government and citizens and even generate employment opportunities for our graduates on the streets? Are we saying our tourist centers like Bower’s Tower, Agodi Botanical garden, Iyamopo, Agbele hill in Igbeti and other undeveloped tourist sites in the State cannot generate revenue to the government if well rehabilitated and kept under good management?(the State is having more than fifty tourist cities to explore) Our Police do not have any equipment to defend themselves talk-less of defending helpless citizens if at all they still belong to federal authority or of what use is a policeman without walkie-talkie to communication in the case of an emergency?. All these dividends of democracy and good governance are possible with good leaders with definiteness of purpose and competent team with a spirit of harmony.

         Moreover, the above unfulfilled necessities among other reasons made me to stage a one-man-on-spot-peaceful-protest at Akobo General Gas Junction for the urgent dualization of Idi-Ape-Akobo Ojurin- Olorunda road on 3rd of January,2014. The protest was a success from the responses of the residents, motorists plying Akobo and the media. In addition, the State government also responded by a letter sent to me through the Oyo state Ministry of Works and they assured me that this road issue would be attended to soonest after budget presentation. The Governor even promised on BCOS television live programme to start the road dualization and rehabilitation in August but up till the time of writing this piece, nothing has been done.(just got another letter of acknowledgement to a reminder I sent to the Governor/Ministry of works). This protest explains my belief that the best ways to touch the people’s lives at the grass-root level is to make all roads available and accessible with provision of effective transportation system and infrastructure for improvement to the quality of life within the State communities regardless of size and location. A good leader must not lead by votes. Infrastructure is a fixed provision of tangible assets on which other intangibles can build on.

Meanwhile, it is no more news that all the problems are consequences of recruiting (voting) bad leaders. Late Prof. Chinua Achebe once said when referring to the major problems of the nation that “…is simply and squarely a failure of leadership…there is nothing basically wrong with the Nigeria character”. I am a Yoruba boy that knows the implication of respect so much. I am now using this forum to appeal to the kings, chiefs, elders and political elites in the state to unite and bring back the state to its known history of achievements. It is a matter of collective effort and responsibility, all sons and daughters of Oyo state (including those residing abroad) we must unite and work to raise hope in making the best of the state. Our parents sent us to school to learn. Our elders gave us scholarships so as to get good education and be well informed. Our elders should think over the present style of recruitment of staffs into sensitive political posts in the state ,the sons and daughters of known and influential people are the only ones getting appointed into these sensitive posts. This is clearly against the principle of good governance and best international standard for recruitment.

A true democratic government is the best concept for the growth of any state or nation. Democracy is the government of the people, by the people and for the people and NOT and can NEVER be a government of some people by some people and for some people. There are many and better ways to compensate political godfathers rather than to continue to toy with the lives of the citizens. An incompetent commissioner / person recruited and sacked within two or four years is a waste to the state economy and at the same time has wasted the citizen’s lives within that period when he/she had not make any policy that touch their lives. It is not only embezzlement of fund or stealing from the treasury that is called corruption but recruiting incompetent candidate to a legal sensitive post is corruption as well. The state is so blessed with both natural and human resources than to think on this kind of democratic mediocrity. Governance is a complex issue that deserves professionals and competent hands. No state can develop without having good cabinet, people of trust, integrity, experience, responsibility, empathy, patriotism and credibility. Have you seen any football team making any great impact without very good players? There is no miracle to socio-economic development except good leaders.

Finally, this is time for a New Oyo State with a clear difference and from disappointments to opportunities. This is the time to change from obscurity to reality and say goodbye to the politics of hatred and deceit. We need a team of achievers and not deceivers. We need statesmen and not dubious, do-or-die or ego oriented politicians. Enough is enough. A great state recognizes the principle that the public must be protected and served by the delivery of essential services. This is time that we need a state where our collective political support, ideas, and effective strategies will lift large numbers of Oyo state citizens out of poverty. When you are good to others, you are best to yourself.

I am now imploring the people of Oyo state to be law abiding and pay their taxes as usual. The coming general elections will give us opportunities to decide wisely to elect our new representatives. We should register so we can be able to vote. Our vote is our voice and we should vote for the best candidate en-masse even if he or she doesn’t belong to our party. The era of winning elections by achievements in the State has come to stay. Oyo State citizens deserve the best as a Pace-setting State. God bless the good people of Oyo State. God bless Nigeria

Your son,

Adewale T Akande,

An Author and Road Safety Traffic Consultant
based in Barcelona, Spain. adewale_akande@hotmail.com Tel;0034632511469 (Spain) / 002348125896631(Nigeria)

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The Lesson Learnt from One Man Peaceful Protest in Ibadan – By Adewale Akande http://newnigerianpolitics.com/2014/02/23/the-lesson-learnt-from-one-man-peaceful-protest-in-ibadan-by-adewale-akande/ http://newnigerianpolitics.com/2014/02/23/the-lesson-learnt-from-one-man-peaceful-protest-in-ibadan-by-adewale-akande/#respond Sun, 23 Feb 2014 13:33:49 +0000 http://newnigerianpolitics.com/?p=35756 OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

By Adewale T. Akande | Barcelona, Spain | Feb. 23, 2014 – Idi Ape-Akobo Ojurin-Olorunda road is known to me as a resident for the past ten years now. The road is known for the horrible traffic hold-ups due to spontaneous increase in the population of the residents with corresponding increase in the volume of motorists. The last time the road was rehabilitated; it didn’t last for two years after two or three rainfalls destroyed the drainage and increased the pot-holes in every-five meters of the road. This could be as a result of shabby and inferior materials used by the contractors who I suspect were not properly contracted with the necessary bidding and procurement principles of international best standards. Most of these road contractors are mostly party loyalists or relations of the people in government and what we end up getting are low quality roads.

This idea of one-man-protest came immediately when I got back to the country almost after three years for a World Bank project with the Federal Ministry of Works on Governance and Accountability Action Plan (GAAP) concerning federal government roads. The traffic situation in Akobo still remains the same as I left it four years ago. It is always a great battle from Akobo Ojurin axis to get to General Gas bridge in order to link anywhere you may be heading to. It takes nothing less than two hours forty-five minutes to get through the traffic jam that under normal circumstances should take any motorist only ten minutes.

This same case repeated itself on a particular Monday morning when I was going to board an early morning flight to Abuja from Ibadan airport for the project meeting but got stocked in this horrible traffic which made me settled for an afternoon flight that almost cost me double the price I should have paid for the morning flight and I eventually was late for what was the inauguration meeting for the project. Only God’s know how many innocent children and adults that get stock regularly in this traffic jam that have made them to continued to get late to their schools, working places, and appointments due to the negligence of those representatives voted that refused to take urgent action.

 Meanwhile, I decided that something have to be done before going back to Spain. I picked the Christmas and New Year holidays to take a decisive action. I wrote and submitted an application letter to stage a one-man-on-the-spot-peaceful-protest on Friday, 27th 2013 to the Oyo State Police Commissioner and copied the Divisional Police Officer (DPO) Akobo, The FRSC office at Eleyele and my lawyer. I was sent back to go and make three copies of the application letter when I got to the Police commissioner’s office as this was said to be the normal procedure. In less than ten minutes I came back with three copies of my appeal letter. The Officer-in-charge took the copies and returned a stamped copy to me a copy as evidence that the application was received. I went with a friend back to the Police Headquarters at Eleyele again on Tuesday 31st December 2013 for the approval; my lawyer also met us there. After some questions and answers section with the Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP), he directed me to the Protocol sections where I was told that they are aware of the protest and will send some Police escort to take care of my protection as earlier before 6 am. 

The protest is arranged to start by 6am and end by 12mid-day to match to the Governor’s officer and deliver my appeal letter and have a press conference with the media. It was indeed another argument section when a written approval was not issue and the Police officer -in-charge refused to give me his telephone number so as to call to remind them again, a least a day before the protest. On Thursday, 2nd of January, 2014, I went back to the Police Headquarters at Eleyele to remind them personally but the same Officer-in -charge made me to believe with another Officer that just came to his office that all arrangement had being made for the protest the following day. It is my belief that the Nigerian Police is an important institution that cares for citizen welfare and protection, thus I didn’t have any reason to doubt them, I believed the fact that they said they had made necessary arrangements for the protest.  

On the protest day Friday 3rd, I got to the venue at General Gas by few minutes past six o’clock in the morning and to my greatest surprise couldn’t see any Police escort/vehicle detached or sent from Eleyele Police headquarter as promised.  Many questions came to my mind: Is it true that the Mission of the Nigerian Police is “to deliver qualitative and efficient security and law enforcement services to the citizens of Nigeria”? What is going to be my plight if some hoodlums come in large number to hijack this protest and start looting shops and destroying government property? Do I need to hire private security personnel for protection if there is Police? Is this the reason why I was not given a written approval and so that they can deny given me any approval if an ugly scene developed? Is this the reason why the Officer-in-charge refused to give me his telephone number?

Why can’t the Officer that got my application letter with my telephone number boldly written on this paper call me to explain the situation?  Do I need to give money to Police to protect me as a citizen? Did my going to Police headquarters a day before the protest to remind the authority count? What kind of Policing are we running in Nigeria for God’s sake? Can’t our leaders do things with integrity and responsibility in this country after 54 years of Independence and 100 years of the country existence/amalgamation? This system can get somebody mad-that is the reason why people are over-stressed everywhere. I was fuming with anger while at the same time pasting the placards. I said to myself that I have all right as a citizen of this country to stage a protest.  I then called my lawyer to inform him about this shocking and embarrassing development. I refused to let this lapses disturb my voluntary protest to represent the voices of my co-residents. I knew that I am fighting a right case to save my people from the horrible traffic hold-ups and pot-holes.

  Meanwhile, I had my protest with large numbers of residents and motorists given their consent and support for the protest. I heard the saying that dualization of the road has been over-due. Some were even asking thanking me and asking when and which day are we starting the dualization of the road. Few hoodlums passed by and made some unprintable words. Few of government officers and politicians were cornered by the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) and Broadcasting Corporation of Oyo State {BCOS) for interview on the Akobo road issue. Despite a Traffic warden presence at the same junction I was staging my peaceful protest, the traffic was almost the same-slow-pace since around 6:30am that eventually start the protest till 12 noon when leaving for Governor’s office.

 Moreover, by the time I got to the Governor’s office, the number one citizen of Oyo State was about going out for Jumat service and was told to drop my appeal letter at room No 37 and that the issue will be looked into as soon as possible. The letter also appeal to Governor Abiola Ajimobi to take urgent action on Akobo road dualization, to rehabilitate the joining roads, and make provision for Side-Walks (Foot-path for pedestrians), Bus-Stop and drainage mechanism. I later addressed the media that include NTA, BCOS, FRSC, NANS, Punch Newspaper reporter and other new generation FM radio reporters. The protest was indeed successful as the State Commissioner responsible for the construction of roads was interviewed that very day and he promised that the road will be dualized this year and that the Budget has taken care of the road.

Adewale T Akande, a resident of Akobo, Ibadan and road traffic safety consultant based in Spain. adewale_akande@hotmail.com   08125896631 (Nigeria) +34600877296 (Spain)

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The Quality of a Good Politician in a Democratic Society – By Adewale T. Akande http://newnigerianpolitics.com/2014/01/12/the-quality-of-a-good-politician-in-a-democratic-society-by-adewale-t-akande/ http://newnigerianpolitics.com/2014/01/12/the-quality-of-a-good-politician-in-a-democratic-society-by-adewale-t-akande/#respond Sun, 12 Jan 2014 17:49:58 +0000 http://newnigerianpolitics.com/?p=35049 akande176[1]

By Adewale T Akande | Barcelona, Spain | Jan. 12, 2014 – My little Oxford dictionary defines politician as “person engaged or interested in politics” and politics as “science and art of government; political affairs or life or principles etc.” Politics consists of “social relations involving authority and power”. A politician is defined as one who is actively involved in politics or one who holds or seeks a political office. A politician is an individual who is involved in influencing public policy and decision making in government. Politicians play a central role in our lives. They are the concentrated voices of the people that make all efforts to improve their constituencies and peoples’ welfare. Good and dependable politicians are delight to serve the people and consider themselves as servants and people their paymasters. They represent the hopes, aspirations and the interests of every citizen in the state. The government instituted among men is the elected representatives who are also known as the politicians. These politicians are required to implement social reforms and policy measures that contribute to the general welfare of the populace.

A politician’s qualities are his characters that are natural, while some of the qualities are as a result of external influences. Promising politicians qualities are often backed by skills, experiences, intelligence, integrity, with instincts -all combined together to achieve their goals. First and foremost, the best quality of a politician is honesty, God fearing and loving. A faithful and effective politician is trustworthy and reliable. He must capture the essence of truth, display sincerity, candour and practices what he preaches. He makes decisions and accepts responsibility for his actions and his words. The same is true in his dealing with his people. He makes promises and keeps those promises. Somebody that people may be relied upon. Loving people with all his heart, might, mind, soul and striving to help them as a true mark of responsible politician.

Moreover, a fake politician, will after taking the oath of office with the Holy book and lousy thanksgiving services, use their power as an end in itself, rather than for public good, making them indifferent to the progress of their citizens. A good politician becomes the image of his creator. A good and responsible politician will give high regard for morality, law abiding with no tendencies to corrupt even a single cent or kobo. The greatest strength of good politicians is deriving joy in serving people and not to steal tax payers money. They know that a fulfilling and meaningful life is created through service to others. To be an effective politician, your followers must have trust in you. And the very best way for a politician to build trust is to display good sense of characters and qualities composed of values, beliefs, traits and skills.

Another important quality of a good politician is integrity and technical skills to handle those challenging assignments, fiscal matters, policies, plans, projects, ideas and initiative solutions to problems. Integrity is consistency of actions, methods, measures, values, principles, expectations and outcomes. It is doing what is right, both legally and morally at all time even when no one is looking. Since politicians play very significant roles in the administrative processes, especially having hands in thousands of important laws and policies to their communities and country, they should be well-educated, modest, with experience in social welfare, volunteering or should have done some good work for the society. A politician should have a thorough knowledge and up-to-date information about the constituency where he is going to contest an election.

Sir Winston Churchill, a famous British politician who served as Prime Minister twice (1940-45) and (1951-55) once said that “ a politician must have “the ability to foretell what is going to happen tomorrow, next week, next month, and next year. And to have the ability afterwards to explain why it didn’t happen”. Hence, a political career is meant for the people of high integrity and additional skills to achieve results and finding better ways of making life better for the people they represent. Politics are not meant for dropped-outs, area fathers, thugs, assassins, criminals, illiterates’ god-fathers, inept, dubious and corrupt politicians. These person, apart from being greedy doesn’t know the importance of education and can never invest properly on it. Good governance, transparency and accountability will be eluding states and nations where these above mentioned set of people found themselves in the corridor of power.

An incompetent and irresponsible politician will make people to hang around his house like bees to honey to feed them with “amala”, “tuwo” or “eba”just for days. He prefers to give out expensive gifts, donations and bribes from tax-payers money to win elections. An achiever will not need to do such things to win elections or people to their side in all ramifications. That is why you will hear people saying “Politics is a bad game of deceit and hatred”, “Politics is a do or die affair”, “Politics is a dirty business”, “Politicians are very sick people” and so on. It is those politicians of limited merits and capabilities that are bad and not politics. They cannot do more than their moral and intellectual capacity. A true democratic government is the best concept for the growth of any nation. A good politician enriches lives and feeds souls of many people and not making them to become beggars, touts, kidnappers, armed-robbers and fraudsters.

A good politician should be of a well disciplined personality with selfless service to make live better for his people. This should be reflected in the community where he lives in all ramifications. Discipline is necessary for an orderly society and political life, without it, the social life would become miserable. A selfless service is putting the welfare of the people you’re representing before your own. Winston Churchill described it as “the first of all human qualities because it is the quality which guarantees all others”. A good politician firmly believes in taking care and maintaining the community of his people. He believes that community service is about giving back. According to Theodore Roosevelt, “the most successful politician is he who says what the people are thinking most often in the loudest voice”. A person or politician who is with criminal background, or any links with criminals or whose allegations on corruption have not been cleared by the law court should be disqualified to participate in elections.

Responsibility and party loyalty is another quality of responsible politician in a democratic state. A transparent politician is nearer to his people and meeting them to understand their problems. Only fake politicians are seen by voters when an election is near or change parties as footballers change clubs. As every parent has its responsibility to teach their children the principles of moral, culture, truth, sincerity to be self- responsible, so politicians need to integrate its citizens with importance of political responsibility and democratic values. A politician leads by example and knows his minimum responsibilities as an elected representative. A politician comes to politics to work for his constituents and not to work against them. He is the beck and call of the people and ready to listen to everybody. All these build a strong foundation for a dynamic society which will create solutions for any challenges, and finally develop strategies and political systems that will help implement those solutions automatically. He is quick to give hand to his fellow man. A reliable politician should be very loyal and committed to his party which shares his vision and goals. The value of loyalty simply depends on trust. A citizen should belong to a party with most brilliant, skilful, patriotic and dynamic people with common goals and aspirations. Team work best when they have common goals, mutual respect and understanding of each party member’s strength. Politics is to unite and reach consensus and not to divide or create enmity among people. Power is only a product of collective action.

Finally, to become a great politician or statesman, you have to use your talents, skills, experiences, honesty, integrity, challenges and constraints with the positive effect that we can have in touching other human lives. Politician must leave his constituency better than before elected. Greatness is within reach of a politician who consistently do things they out to be doing. He learns from mistakes and criticisms. It is a bad politician that will see that all the good is in his side and that all the bad lies with his opponent or just because someone does not agree with him, does not mean that all their ideas and solutions are bad. Good politicians show respect to the views and experience of others. Nobody has a monopoly of wisdom. He who aspires to be a great politician should have the ability to find and analyse problems in their constituency and find the best solutions for all these problems. There is no problem in this world without solutions. A good politician knows that simply giving consistent effort in the little task of services, social reforms, kindness or sacrifice in day-to-day life leads to true greatness of a nation. If all politicians make it a point of responsibility to develop and make life better for people in their units, wards, constituencies, states and regions-we will definitely have a great country.
__________________________________________
Written by,
Adewale T Akande
Road traffic safety consultant based in Spain and currently on a World Bank Project with the Federal Ministry of Works, Abuja . adewale_akande@hotmail.com   08125896631 (Nigeria) +34600877296 (Spain)

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An Open Letter to Okada Riders (Motorcyclists) – By Adewale T. Akande http://newnigerianpolitics.com/2013/12/15/an-open-letter-to-okada-riders-motorcyclists-by-adewale-t-akande/ http://newnigerianpolitics.com/2013/12/15/an-open-letter-to-okada-riders-motorcyclists-by-adewale-t-akande/#respond Sun, 15 Dec 2013 16:04:04 +0000 http://newnigerianpolitics.com/?p=34540 akande176[1]

By Adewale T. Akande | Barcelona, Spain | Dec. 15, 2013 – Good day and compliment of the season to you all my dear brothers riding motorcycles to make a living. We just have to be positive in our thinking, hardworking and try our best to be law abiding and responsible citizen of the society. Let me remind you the motivating words of Robert Schuller that “tough time never last but tough people do“ .

       Meanwhile, the primary aim of my letter with all respect is to give you some important guides and suggestions that will help to reduce the rates of serious injury and death resulting from all motorcyclists and moped riders who use this fragile two-wheel engine not only for domestic purposes but now as a means of transportation in major urban cities and roads of Africa. My mission is to foster and promote awareness and safe operation of motorcycles among the driving and riding public.

   Motorcycle is a fragile two-wheel engine and small in size which affects its stability. Also, because of this, we have incidence of crashes due to difficulty to see motorcyclist by most driver especially when the rider is not putting on an obligatory bright colour cloth or reflective jacket. Lately, motorcyclists’ errors contributed to many fatal accidents in urban centres and cities of Nigeria. Most of the crashes came as a result of human errors either by the rider or the another driver. Motorcyclists are likely to be injured in serious or fatal crashes than car drivers because they are not well protected.. These following five guides are very important for your safety, that of your passengers (pillions) and other road users.

    The very first important thing to keep you save on the road is to wear an approved crash helmet. The most vulnerable part of a motorcycle rider is head. Head injuries are main cause of death to motorcyclists. Your chances for survival will be increased if you wear a standard crash helmet. Never ride a motorcycle without an helmet nor carry a passenger without using helmet. It is now a serious traffic offence. Helmet also helps to prevent danger to the ears from indiscriminate horns, sirens and traffic noises.

   Secondly, you have to SEE and BE SEEN by all road users while riding a bike. To be seen, you must use your dipped headlights during the day; (it is very obligatory in Europe) wear a bright cloth or reflective jacket or a white or bright coloured helmet. You can also put on protective and reflective clothing like clothes with pads, hand gloves, knee caps, boots, shoes and not bathroom slippers. Be visible and make sure you are seen in the mirrors of the vehicle in front. Make eye contact and never assume other see you. Know your blind spots when changing lanes and watch other drivers blind spots especially large trucks with trailers. Give them enough room to turn or manoeuvre.

     Thirdly, a safe rider should apart from having good knowledge of his motorcycle, must also have total control of it while riding. Your eyes should be on the road and your hands on the throttle. You should aware, obey and familiar yourself with road signs, traffic signals and road markings. Safe riding demands attention and concentration at all times. Over-speeding does not give you full control of your bike. Telephone and cigarette can distract your attention and it is better to pack in a safe place to make a call or answer an important telephone call.

     Fourthly, most of those fatal accident victims in Africa have some alcohol or drug involvement according to the recent study. Next to this are crashes involve riders (self-taught) who have not been trained to properly operate the motorcycle. Practical training is very important to save more lives. Drunk or drug riding causes many unnecessary and preventable tragedies on our roads. Alcohol affects your vision and speed judgement. It makes simple task more difficult and reduces your ability to do more than one thing at a time. Some drugs meant for pain relievers can increase drowsiness and tranquillisers like cough syrup, cold tablets and sleeping tablets can reduce your riding ability. It is advisable not take medication less than an hour before riding.

      Finally, I know  by now you must have been very much in a hurry to mount your bike as clients are now trouping out to the bus-stop, but spare me just a few minutes for this last important guide to help your riding on flood or wet road, heavy rainfall, cross winds and in the night ..In all above stated adverse weather conditions, a safer rider must always increase his safety margin or leave a security distance between his bike and the vehicle in front of him which can help in case of sudden braking without coalition. The first thing to do after riding through a flood or deep water is to test your brake repeatedly to make it dry. Remember that the braking distance can multiply on wet road. Avoid riding on heavy-rainfall and cross-winds which can blow-off cyclists and motorcyclists from the road. Low visibility in night riding increase the chances of getting accident, hence you should always reduce your speed and place yourself very well on the right hand side of the road. Never move the neck of an accident victim who shows signs of possible neck injury or remove the helmet of bike victim if you do not know techniques involved as not to complicate or worsen the victim’s situation.

     Wishing you all my Okada brothers and sisters a save jolly ride as we are all becoming responsible, confident and safe rider in making our roads to be saved for all road users.

        Thanks and remain blessed.

         Yours sincerely,

Adewale T Akande, an Author and Road Safety Traffic Consultant
based in Barcelona, Spain-is presently in Nigeria on World Bank project assignment on implementation of Governance Accountability Action Plan in the Road Sector.

 

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Boko Haram: The Dilemma of Human Ignorance, Religion Fideism and Failure of Leadership – By Adewale Akande http://newnigerianpolitics.com/2012/01/18/boko-haram-the-dilemma-of-human-ignorance-religion-fideism-and-failure-of-leadership-by-adewale-akande/ http://newnigerianpolitics.com/2012/01/18/boko-haram-the-dilemma-of-human-ignorance-religion-fideism-and-failure-of-leadership-by-adewale-akande/#respond Wed, 18 Jan 2012 22:05:15 +0000 http://newnigerianpolitics.com/?p=16898 By Adewale Akande, Barcelona, Spain, Jan. 18. 2012 – Without mincing words, I am using this opportunity to console the souls of innocent citizens that lost their lives, commiserates with the families of those who lost their loved ones and wish those injured speedy recovery from the “absurd” (according to the White House)  and “senseless” bomb blasts by the islamist group called Boko Haram. It was the first bloody Christmas ever experienced by Nigerians since 1960. Albert Einstein, the German-born physicist who developed the theory of general relativity, have this to say on the life of individual. He says; “The life of the individual only has meaning insofar as it ails in making the life of every living thing nobler and more beautiful, life is scared, that is to say, it is the supreme value to which all other values are subordinate”. The idea of human society is generous, encouraging you to see yourself as living among other people, and to identify yourself as one of those people, with common purpose and problems.

Great evil is achieved by abnormal few. Therorists embrace actions that will contribute to human suffering, never give chance or opportunity to develop an egalitarian society, individual freedom, particularly freedom of thought and expression. They harm another people due to lack of intelligence choices, behavious and actions. They always pick what seems most comfortable and not what is realistic. Their behaviour undermines the civilities of ordinary life. They always result to violence which is anti-thesis of democracy. Violence is a creed of uncivilized  and weak people with mental and spiritual bankruptcy. Violence is brutish. It is anti-social, anti-national and also anti-international. Undoubtedly, violence is a sin against humanity.

Faith and violence are opposite. Faith according to my little oxford dictionary is “ trust, belief especialy in religion” but this sect or cult belief  is “not resting on logical proof or material evidence”. This group are set of fideists with the believe that reason cannot achieve certain kinds of truth, which must instead be accepted only by faith. They are set of people which Mencius, the Chinese Confucian-philosopher says “…act without clear understanding, to form the habit without investigation, to follow a path all one’s life without knowing where it really leads-such is the behaviour of the multitude”.

 Meanwhile, being very ignorant and naive of their religion ethics, they undersatood that real change can only come about through coercion or violence and not through education, dialogue and a change of heart. They don’t even know that the purpose of education is to replace an empty mind with an open one from the words of Horace Mann. This set of people does not realise that all life is interelated in one way or the other. At a century when the people are working hard to change the world for a better place to live, they are turning themselves to masters of destruction. Boko Haram cult have killed more than five hundred people and injured many with their bloody bomb blasts in 2011. More than five hundred creation of God have been killed for religious reasons or excuses! People that kill other fellow human beings for any reason are murderers and should be dealt with and disciplined by the iron fist of the law.

Boko Haram have been operating and killing innocent people since 2009 and the weak central government have not found a solution to protect their citizens. The country police and security system have failed woefully. Despite huge investments in terms of votes and wages for Nigerian seven hundred and seventy-nine “think-tank” representatives, and duplicated cabinet / executive officials, who are draining the economy with their wages and allowances, have not come out with good ideas and strategies to save the lives and properties of its citizens. Armed robbery strikes today, kidnappings tomorrow, and bomb blast near the secret police headquarters next tomorrow. Everybody lives in fear in a sovereign entity. Are we not living in a state of nature where human life becomes “solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short” according to Thomas Hobbes (1588-1679). I hope it would not take the government again much time before realising to make positive changes in the Nigeria Police and the whole security operatives as done with the EFCC. I hope calling FIB to investigate for us will not extend to seeking just returned USA army to save Nigerians from the enemies within.

Religion is a concept of a life, love and friendship.The goal of any religious evolution is the oneness of man and man, and of man and God. Organisations with a religious background are actors and partners in relief, reconstruction and development programmes and projects  Boko Haram members, to me, are not real or devot muslims. One of the ideals of muslim life is the attainment of peace on all fronts. But, this people are heartless hired therorists sponsored by disgrunted leaders to derail the foundation of democratic process in Nigeria. They are being paid for political interest. They lied to the world with fake requests of “turning Nigeria into Muslim state” and the “western education is sinful” stuff. Where would they be without western education? They have been brainwashed with the notion of Jihad (which means struggle). It is just a mission impossible for a secular nation like Nigeria to yield to those absurd requests. Haram members are doing the wrong things for the wrong reasons and at the wrong time.

Human society is to unite, organize for common goal. It is a community of human beings with different religions and cultures, showing warmth, sympathy, respect and love to each other. It is not a place where people are desperate to split blood of innocent people because of religion or political differences. A human society is to be run for the benefits of all people in all nooks and corners of a nation without fear, threat or prejudice. Human beings are the best creation on the earth as we have made progress in many areas of, science, technology, sports, arts, cultures, and so on. If the people are not save, nothing can be achieved. The country’s vision to be among the league of the first twenty industrialised economies of the world by the year 2020 will be just a dream with insecurity of lives. It is only when we do the right thing, with determination combined with opportunity and intelligence, then can make things happen-in an exceptional way.

The government of every nation is established to make use of men of integrity, honesty and patriotism to integrate all social, political, economical and environmental systems in a plan for all citizen.Good leaders produce dynamic society. The government should know that when an institution beomes inactive, less and less democratic, the obligation to abide by its decisions diminishes. Nigerians will not tolerate a society with one set of safety standards for those with money and a set of inferior standards for those without.The government of a country has a responsibility to ensure the well-being and security of its citizens as well as being good steward of country’s resources in all ramifications. Democracy simply means “getting things done” and not crazy for power.

Written by,

Adewale T Akande, a road and traffic safety consultant,

Barcelona, Spain. adewale_akande@hotmail.com Tel:0034-600877296

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An Open Letter to All Nigerians Living Abroad – By Adewale T. Akande http://newnigerianpolitics.com/2012/01/08/an-open-letter-to-all-nigerians-living-abroad-by-adewale-t-akande/ http://newnigerianpolitics.com/2012/01/08/an-open-letter-to-all-nigerians-living-abroad-by-adewale-t-akande/#respond Mon, 09 Jan 2012 05:53:32 +0000 http://newnigerianpolitics.com/?p=16442 By Adewale T. Akande, Barcelona, Spain, Jan. 6, 2012 – My dear countrymen and women, I am using this urgent and important open letter to congratulate all Nigerians from all ethnic and religious individuals, groups, associations, and communities living outside the shore of Nigeria for a Happy New Year, 2012. I pray that this new year will bring peace, love, unity, freedom, safety and sustainable development to the citizens of our fatherland that are no doubt in a critical and undeserved situation that calls for immediate action.

Fellow Nigerians, history is the memory of mankind and philosophy of history is the analytical ability of man to distinguish correct from incorrect. Philosophy of history helps to know the reasons for the rise and fall of nations. There is nothing I will like to tell you now about the present situation of our fatherland that you don’t have first hand information on.  Is it about the leadership recycling (tired brains) and failure, pervasive corruption, violence and insecurity of lives and property, treasury looting, elusive kidnappings, death-trap highways, hospitals without drugs, inept civil service and triumph of mediocrity, lip service rule of law being violated with much impunity, fading national sports, high level unemployment and poverty, sophisticated armed robbery, notorious 419 letters, prisons congestion, epileptic infrastructure, religion fideism and terrorism, devlish political crisis, recent fuel hike from 65 naira to 141 naira per litre (130 % increase), all which are making development impossible. It is time for positive change, unity, and progress in Nigeria. Progress, according to George Bernard Shaw “…is impossible without change, and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything”

 

Meanwhile, I quite understand how these problems and the image of our country has been affecting us either directly or indirectly in our entire daily life endeavour. The country has not made any practical progress due to selfish, corrupt and incompetent representatives in the corridors of power. Everybody is very disturbed, sad, irritated, demoralised and angry about the worsening situation. Infact, it got to a stage that anytime I ring my co-Nigerian friends here in overseas, after the first normal greeting exchanges, they always ask me; “Wale, I hope you ‘re not calling again to discuss about the Nigeria issues?”. Sometimes, I don’t even blame them. Being human, I was almost fed-up if not for the  motivating responses got from one of my favourite published articles title :”Time to vote for a New Nigeria” in which I got more than hundred telephone calls and forty-six text messages from unknown Nigerians (though, few considering the nation’s population), Also, the few positive changes in the last year general election organised by Prof. Jega brings a ray of hope for Nigerians before the notorious islamist Boko Haram’s bloody strikes that have sent many citizens to their early grave.

 

My dear brothers and sisters, without wasting your precious time, firstly, am not writing as a member of any Nigerian or foreign political party or organisation, nor demanding for any fund, money or materials for any movement. The main reason for writing this letter is to seek for the full support of all Nigerians living abroad to unite, coordinate, educate, mobilize. invest and participate physically, emotionaly and spiritually in the ongoing political processes in Nigeria as from the beginning of this new year. We are among the best and brightest in virtually in all profession or everything that we are involved in. Nigeria is falling and we have to join hands to lift her up to retain her lost glories. The giant of Africa is sinking. Working together, we can do more. We are the solution to our country’s problems and nobody, and no country can do it for us. If we refuse to do something now, our children and future generation will definately regard our generation as a total failure. I know Nigerans associations have been making effort for a very long time, but now is the time for more serious and practical involvement before our country collapse. Posterity will never forgive us if we fail to act now and save the present critical situation. It is time to amend our “military drafted” constitution to allow for dual-citizenship participation in politics and end the senseless disenfranchisement of Nigerian intellectuals and adults of voting age abroad. Time for new political system of success.

 

My fellow countrymen, your active intervention will be in political participation and  sharing of your ideas and thougths on good governance, good practices  through  writing articles, poems, educational and professional books, organising, conferences, seminars / talks to all students from nursery / primary schools to the students’ unioinism associations in all disciplines of all public and private Nigerian colleges, polytechnics and Universities. Today is a gift, that’s why it is called –the present. Life is also a gift. Whatever you give out will return to you tenfold or more. This is time to use our gift not only to develop other coutries but to develop our own country no matter what it takes. Human beings are to meet the need of other, to assist other through a difficulty, to provide guidance and support, to aid physically, emotionally or spiritually.This is time to share your gift which is more valuable than money.

 

Dear sons and daughters of Nigeria, we must not remain silent or folding our hands in defeat. The time to be involved is now before it will be too late. It is now time for all Nigerian professionals both at home and abroad to come together and bring the country back to the right part. Time is like a river, you cannot touch the same water twice, because the flow that has passed will never pass again. This is the time to build a world class human resource base in Nigeria, develop and implement a lifelong learning education policy as more and better education is a prequiste for rapid economic development, provide professional orientation to prospective entrants in the labour works, provide world class quality products and services for the global market.

 

Fellow Nigerians, there is nothing wrong with our land. It is rich, vast and fertile. Human beings have the ability to create ways to live better and even change the environment to suit their needs and wants. Amalgamation of the country is not our real problem. Though to some, it is the genesis. The real problem from my own analysis, is the failure of leadership, and I see it as “the burden we are living with” till today. This is a problem that has a solution which has to be solved together as soon as possible. Both Nigerians at home and outside need one another to make a new Nigeria.  Pa Chinua Achebe is correct when he says “…the resources are so huge, and we are wasting it”. To be honest, we are very far from where we should be. With this asset, 80 percent of Nigerians do not deserve to be living at this abysmally very high poverty level.

 

Finally, my brothers and sisters, let come together from every nook and corner of the world where we are and join hands together. It is time to share your joy with those who are less fortunate than us and share your joy with those who need encouragement, share your laughter with those who have not heard any in such a long time, share your tears with those who have forgotten how to to cry, share your faith and hope to those who have none and at the end we come up with a New Nigeria of our dream. We shall win and laugh last to be proud Nigerians.

Thanks and may God bless you all. God bless Nigeria.

 

Written by,

Adewale T Akande, road traffic safety consultant,

Barcelona, Spain.  adewale_akande@hotmail.com Tel: 0034-600877296

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An Open Letter to All Newly Elected Nigerian Reps – By Adewale T. Akande http://newnigerianpolitics.com/2011/08/28/an-open-letter-to-all-newly-elected-nigerian-representatives-by-adewale-t-akande/ http://newnigerianpolitics.com/2011/08/28/an-open-letter-to-all-newly-elected-nigerian-representatives-by-adewale-t-akande/#respond Sun, 28 Aug 2011 18:54:20 +0000 http://newnigerianpolitics.com/?p=12174 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.

Yours sincerely,

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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Time to make ACN a truly national party http://newnigerianpolitics.com/2011/06/14/time-to-make-acn-a-truly-national-party/ http://newnigerianpolitics.com/2011/06/14/time-to-make-acn-a-truly-national-party/#respond Tue, 14 Jun 2011 20:39:29 +0000 http://newnigerianpolitics.com/?p=9559 As most Nigerians accurately predicted, the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) made a clean sweep of all the positions contested in the just concluded 2011 general elections in the South West, thereby taking the zone back to where it has always belonged.  The South West is traditionally the bastion of the progressive hue of politics, a tradition left behind by Chief Obafemi Awolowo.

With the overwhelming preference for the ACN as expressed by the people of the zone, the South West has left on the marble, an emphatic statement about its self-conviction on the choice of political philosophy most suitable for the realization of the interest of the people of the zone. Such a manifest self-determination, abundantly testifies to the consciousness of the zone to the critical ingredients of growth and survival for any nation. Lack of sound and in-depth philosophical base, many have argued, has been the bane of Nigeria’s socio-political development.

It is not out of place to argue in this instance that the greatest dividend that Nigeria needs at the moment must be considered beyond physical infrastructures. Verily, Nigeria is in dire need of deep philosophical base, rooted in patriotic consciousness; sort of which is the only powerful tool to challenge and deflate divisive fault-lines that have continued to mock and retard every development effort. Our dear nation needs a consciousness that guarantees a rigorous intellectual locus, such that while reflecting through the leaders, radiates greatness, energize the entire populace for optimum service. I am referring to a philosophy which in the words of Chinua Achebe which will relegate the “ well-worn notion of unity of Nigeria or faith in Nigeria often touted by our corrupt leaders” and elevate that which is “based on the awareness of the responsibility of leaders to the led.”

In the short history of the ACN, the party has so far proven that it has all it takes to galvanize and take Nigeria to where it rightly belongs.  The story of Lagos state in this dispensation is quite revealing and so is the upbeat strides in Edo State both controlled by the party. These tates, most especially Lagos has completely proved wrong, the assertions of Charles De Gaulle that politicians never believe what they say and are therefore surprised when others believe them. With the entire South-West now under the kitty of the ACN, the revolution is sure taking its full course.

With the inchoate, deprecate and tottering  development paradigm with which the PDP government at the centre and in most of the states have left the polity bleeding, time and opportunity now beckon on the Action Congress of Nigeria to export its tested and effective alternative to the rest of the nation. Though the party has made significant inroad in some parts of the country, especially in the South East and North Central, the ACN is still viewed in most quarters as a Yoruba party. It therefore needs to shed this toga so as to take its rightful place as the best political platform for the realization of the Nigerian dream.

To achieve this is easy as well as difficult. It will be difficult in the sense that pruning provincial tendencies and feelings in the party so as to give way for broader accommodation of larger interests will engage more than mere slogans. It will be easy however because the leadership of ACN has over the years shown uncanny skill in party building. The bottom line will involve the re-engineering of its formal and informal chain of command without necessarily tempering with its laudable philosophy. But it must be done in such a way to stave off the invasion and corruptive influence of  the rotten elements who have lost space in the PDP.

However, the most critical and that which most Nigerians watch out is the way and manner the ACN as the largest opposition political party associates with the larger Nigerian polity and the necessary acts of balancing it will engage in allotting which ever gains that accrue to it. That will prove its pan Nigerian agenda.

In Anambra State for instance, Dr. Chris Ngige has single handedly built the ACN as the most formidable and popular political party in the state. He has convincingly made the party as the free choice for all those who love the interest of the state. I make bold to assert that besides Dr. Ngige and the bruised Presidential candidate of the Congress for Progressive Change, General  Buhari, there are very few politicians in the country today who don’t need to rent a crowd to have massive turnout at political rallies.

Those who witnessed the April election in Anambra and saw the massive array of resources and the state apparatus of intimidation which the APGA led state government unleashed on Ngige, will come to an inevitable conclusion that it is only the man whom his God and the people fight for could have defeated Governor Peter Obi in his native Anambra Central Senatorial zone. The truth is that Dr. Akunyili was merely an APGA candidate and the face on the ballot but the battle was a rematch of February 6th 2010 governorship election and Ngige convincingly won.

The leadership of the Action Congress therefore needs to reward the faithful people of Anambra state who were roundly flogged and taunted by Governor Peter Obi for accepting according to him, “a Yoruba party.” It is time to force Obi to swallow his words in shame with a lesson that the ACN is not only a strategic growing party with a unimpeachable, tested agenda for national development but one that can also advance the peculiar interest of Ndi-Igbo.

In this vein, it is the opinion of many who defied and crushed the intimidation of the APGA led Anambra state government that conceding the position of the minority leader of the Senate to Dr. Ngige will be a proper first step in paying back the dogged fidelity of our people to the ACN, being the only Senator elected on the platform of that party in the entire old eastern region, now comprising four states in the South-South and the rest in the South -East.

• Obidiwe sent this piece from  Awka, Anambra State.

-Sun

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Open Letter from Awo, Balewa & Zik to Jonathan – By Adewale T. Akande http://newnigerianpolitics.com/2011/05/29/an-open-letter-from-awo-balewa-and-zik-to-president-jonathan-by-adewale-t-akande/ http://newnigerianpolitics.com/2011/05/29/an-open-letter-from-awo-balewa-and-zik-to-president-jonathan-by-adewale-t-akande/#respond Mon, 30 May 2011 01:03:26 +0000 http://newnigerianpolitics.com/?p=8969 By Adewale T. Akande, Barcelona, Spain – May 29, 2011 – On behalf of all Nigerians in heaven, we are using this forum to congratulate you for winning the recently concluded general elections that will usher you as an elected President of Federal Republic of Nigeria on the 29th of May. We are also congratulating those newly eleceted representatives and leaders to be part of the crew in making a new Nigeria a reality. This infact a new beginning of a new Nigeria of our dreams we have been waiting for. A Nigeria where the people approve to the government operating the nation. A Nigeria where all elected representatives are liable in many ways to the yearnings of the people who voted and elected them to implement those pledges and promises made before elections with much transparency, accountability and good intention. We are at the same time congratulating Nigerians and other stakeholders involved in making this year generation elections a successful exercise. They have all exhibited their good citizenship and civil responsibility with their impressive turnout to make the whole exercise free, fair and credible apart from stage managed riot from the usual naive individuals that caused loss of lives. Nigerians have spoken with their votes.

      Your excellency, there is no doubt that you are having a great opportunity to make your mark in sands of time in leading a country which is complex with several diversity of two hundred and fifty ethnic groups, with four hundred distinct languages. The country with over one hundred and sixty population that makes her the most populous and largest democracy in Africa. With update information we lay our hands on in heaven, non out of the forty-seven countries that make up Europe and non of the all fifty-four African countries and a couple of disputed territories (Western Sahara and Somaliland), and South Sudan-the Africa’s newest “baby” officially born on July 9, 2011 can withstand what God have blessed this country in terms of abundant natural and human resources. With all these in place, Nigerians does not deserve to live in poverty, darkness, fear, stress, complexity, confusion and frustration, unemployment and underpaid. Even Denmark, which is regarded as the happiest country in the world according to the U.S. government-funded World Values Survey cannot boast one-quarter of Nigeria’s human and natural resources. It is now your responsiblity as the new leader of this crippling giant to make something happens to get her back to its feet.

      Dear President Jonathan, in order to make something happens in this Africa’s hardest job of burden of responsibilities or scopes of duties, you need to be smart, tough, organise, vision of what you want to accomplish in four years (just 1,460 days). You should have integrity driven with more talents and specialists to effect changes that the million of Nigerians are looking for. As a lucky boy that rose from assistant school prefect to senior prefect in your secondary school days, also elevated deputy Governor of Bayelsa state to the Governor, and from Vice-President to the President of Nigeria, so you are lucky as your name implies (Goodluck)  with abundant human and natural resources at your disposal to break the jinx of the past “accidental leaders”. It is now left with your ability without fear or favour to influence, motivate and provide the tools and environment to others so that they can best contribute towards the successful attainment of your goals and pledges made before the elections. You should remember the words of Prof. Chinua Achebe that the major problems of the nation “…is simply and squarely a failure of leadership…there is nothing basically wrong with the Nigeria character”

       Another person that gives vivid description of the country’s past leaders is the new INEC Chairman, Prof Attahiru Jega, who actually perfomed brilliantly well in the conduct of the recently concluded general elections. He said in a lecture in Abuja that; “If the truth be told, past Nigerian leaders with few exceptions were self-serving rulers, not leaders. Some were even despots… They have generaly lacked vision, focus and selflessness and even enlighted self-interest. Many in leadership positions are unimaginably corrupt, they are greedy, they are vindictive, they are reckless and in many fundamental respects,senseless. Virtualy, whoever has access to power attempts to abuse it.” This year general elections have given bith to a new Nigeria with responsible leaders with integrity, patriotism and accountability. Leadership is about getting things done, getting results and improve performances.

     Your excellency, we do not say that you can change Nigeria in a day, but priority must be given to those needs of Nigerian citizens in order to have a successful term. Abraham Maslow’s needs pyramid explains the levels of human needs pshchological and physical that helps in long way for their survival and in pursuit of happiness. Nigerians need simple things, that is, the basic amenities to give the best quality of life. The very first issue we are appealing you and your Cabinet to find solution to before celebrating the next 51st independence anniversay is the problem of electricity. This problems have complicate the lives of Nigerians. Electricity has a greater share on the present  problems of Nigeria. Everything on earth is interconnected with everything. If the country’s electricity is undistrupted for months, then the citizens today’s complex lifestyle will give way for necessary soci-political development and economic growth.

       Mr. President, another important issue we are much particular about is the educational sector which the past regimes have not been given necessary priority. Education is the only sector that makes a successful transition from childhood to adulthood where they will become “an impresively confident, knowledgeable, charming, resourceful, problem solver”. Education according to Chris Ormell. The editor of “Prospero” journal is “…pleasant maturation suprises..the young people who emerge should occasion such pleasant suprises, because they will actually enjoy displaying the disciplined envisioning and empathetic mental powers which today’s world so urgently needs, both in relation to things and people”. Education should be made compulsory for all school age children from primary to university level as from the 1st of October, 2011. New law should be made to prohibit all the school age children from street hawking, loitering or begging for alms during the school hours of specific time. The only solution to poverty is functional and qualitative education. The more educated people are the less they are prone to illness and squalor.

    Your excellence, we have been witnessing widespread abuses, corruption and insecurity of lives and property of Nigerians.  The mission of Nigeria police force is “to deliver qualitative and efficient security and law enforcement services to the citizens of Nigeria” and not extort the poor citizens of hard earn money. The inefficiency of Police regarding maintaining law and order became obvious with the widespread extortion of money from motorist, riotings, kidnappings, killings, institutionalised bribery, election malpractices, frequent armed robbery, torture, harassment and loss of personal liberties and properties. All these problems can be changed if you take the bull by the horn by setting up a committee now to investigate, recommend, and implement within three months on better ways to recruit, train, motivate, renumerate and kit the police force to international standard. Then abolish all illegal road blocks or check points throughout Nigeria and that no policeman or traffic agent must extort or collect money from motorist in any way or any form as from next independence anniversary speech. Hencefort, all fines and any legal transaction of money involving them with the public must be paid to the government accredited or designated banks with appropriate receipts. The use of mobile telephones to record voice and photographs policeman will be at great advantage. Any policeman or group of policemen collecting or found with large sum of money while on duty after all said and done will be summarily dismissed.

     Dear Mr President, another area we jointly agreed for you to look into is the transportation sector. Available, accessible and effective transportation system is an improvement to the quality of life in any community regardless of size and location. Rail transportation is a colonial legacy in Nigeria which your regime have to revive and manage well. With the country’s population, the returns from effective and well managed railway transportation system can provide a free qualitative and functional education to every Nigerian children up to university level to save oil or even gas returns for other investment. Besides, your regime should embark on a National Road Safety Action Plan to be implemented over the next ten years. The aim of this safety plan should be concentrated on four “E” s: engineering, education, enforcement and emergency medical services to reduce roads accident in all our roads. Any expenditure on road safety improvement should be seen as an investment. The country’s growing population needs other new tansportation alternatives. The best ways to touch the people lives at the grass-root level in moving from one area to another is rehabilition, construction and managing of all roads. If all the seven hundred and seventy-four ( 774 ) local governments chairmen newly elected in Nigeria should embark  and maintaining a genuine roads facelift in their areas, then country will be saved to all motorists.

       Finally, President Goodluck Ebele Azikwe Jonathan, the history of great men are often backed by skills, experiences, intelligence, integrity, with the instincts- all combined together to achieve their goals. This last general election has finally put an end to “amala”, “tuwo” and “ogbono” politics in Nigeria. It is now the era of competent, reliable and patriotic politicians. Fighting of corruption have to start with you by declaring your assets, your new ministers and all elected representatives throughout the country. The only way to fight corruption is through transparency and accountability. A smaller, and more focused Cabinet has the possibility of minimizing cost, social complexity and human imperfection. There is also a need for a Sovereign National Conference to address the great issues facing Nigeria as a nation. You have to embark on wide scale  projects on agriculture, turism, oil and gas to boost employment opportunities and find a lasting solutions to Niger-Delta imbroglio. Let all Nigerians know that with love and unity among the Kanuris, the Igbos, the Gwaris, the Yorubas, the Fulanis, the Ijaws, the Hausas, the Urhobos, the Ijaws, the Nupes, the Edos, the Tivs and the Ibibos, we can build a new Nigeria of peace, unity, progress, harmony and development with which no country of the world can withstand.

God bless you and all the people of Federal Republic of Nigeria. 

Your sincerely,

Adewale T Akande ( M.ed.Educ.Mgt ),( M.sc.Political Sc.) University of Ibadan.

Author, Educationist and Road Traffic Safety Consultant.

Barcelona, Spain.  Tel: 0034-600877296

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