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Useful lessons for us from abroad

RECENTLY there have been de­velopments from outside our na­tional borders which if taken criti­cally would show us reasons why we have been unable to climb into the much desired path of good governance and worthwhile development, which is inevita­ble fallout of good organization. If we look at the developments I would mention later and manage to defy our natural indifference to serious issues, one thing we are sure to discover, and which would aid the proper develop­ment of our nation would be the truth, that bad as the phenomenon is, corruption is not our problem.

We would discover that it is only a symptom of a much bigger issue that can be called lack of or­ganization resulting in mis-gov­ernance. If we had proper organi­zation, good governance would have been a natural sequence and if this were to be the case, bad and small-minded men would not cross some of the hurdles society has erected to stop such characters from being the drivers of the system. Vision is the issue and where vision thrives, good value would be embraced, mak­ing it very difficult for the few de­mented souls to rise and occupy hallowed chambers of power and authority. I don’t intent to bother my readers today with deep anal­ysis. I rather prefer to relay some issues that would be explanatory on their own.

From what I know scholars and leaders in our nation never stop pointing to America as the bas­tion of democracy and good gov­ernance. I agree with those postu­lations. In fact watching what the Americans do on their political terrain and after reading so many books on the making of the Amer­ican nation, I can’t agree less that America has made good practice of democracy, some rough areas still prevailing notwithstanding. What baffles me is the inability of the same forces that praise the American system insisting that we adapt and strictly follow those clearly identifiable processes that made the American democracy and nation great.

I would not want to go back to the 18th Century to show how the founders of America relied on the knowledge of few bril­liant men to think out few ideals for that nation that are still rel­evant today as it was more than 400 years ago, nor do I want to waste my time rehashing an old and wildly known truth that for over 300 years of American na­tionhood government and public sector drove activities in the com­manding heights of the nation’s economy.

When President Barack Oba­ma, the first Black man to be­come American President won his first election in 2008, I was in this nation. In fact I was a cabinet member in the Abia State govern­ment. I can confirm that virtually every politician hailed the devel­opment; they branded it unique and the showpiece of what de­mocracy could do, it was a com­mon belief that only democracy can throw up the poor man to the highest level of power with mini­mal interference. That was good, but for me it raised other ques­tions.

For instance, if Obama were to be a foreigner living in Nige­ria for that long, would he have attained that height? Well that would be asking too much. If Obama were a Nigerian, with just intellectual asset, given our system today would he be able to contest as a counselor in a remote local government, how much more thinking about becoming governor and the presidency? I leave my readers to answer that question.

Now anybody watching events in America would see how they choose their leaders especially the president. It is not an affair of a few people who think they are owners of the nation sitting in one obscure corner and sorting out one reluctant person among us and throwing him forward and caging him through mind-bog­gling assistance, which includes perversion of due processes. In the American case like we have seen, you take the decision and you throw yourself into the ring. The beauty of it is that you must do it very early and the organiza­tion there imposes a demand that you go round, state by state, to say what you want to do, where you expect the nation to be under your watch and what you intend to do in specific and clear terms and on that platform seek votes from delegates on a state by state basis.

It is this rigour that separates the men from the boys. Those fol­lowing the American presidential election primaries would see that a good number of Americans are having doubts over the ability of Donald Trump even though he is the front runner for the Repub­lic Party and this has come by because there is an opportunity to constantly interface with the citizens of the nation. All the as­pirants are running on issues and programmes.

Compare that with what hap­pens here and tell me what you see. Is it good? Can it throw up quality men to take charge on complex affairs? For the greater part of the last 10 months for in­stance the controversy has been on over what the All Progressives Congress (APC) promised or did not promise and if that is the case, the question would be, what kind of a system is that, that makes the people to forget things that should be of utmost importance to them? The answer would be that it is ei­ther the system is so muddled up that the citizens can hardly make sense out of much nonsense or that the aspirants speak in muffled tones.

If that is the case again, we return to the very important is­sue of the leadership recruitment process. Let me say this: a sys­tem cannot be recruiting incapa­ble personnel and expect to see a value driven society and when society is not propelled on posi­tive values and ideals, abnormal­ities such as subversion of due processes, corruption and poor governance would continue to be the order of the day, it would not matter how much shock therapy we administer in the form of de­terrent measures.

Nations that grow don’t seek good men because good men can change, they create a system that produce principled men, princi­pled men don’t fall for anything, they know the focus and do not allow circumstances to deter or change their focus. That is one lesson the American system teaches us.

Finally, we all saw how the French and Belgian police ap­prehended an Arab run away fugitive many months after he had committed a heinous crime in France and thought he had es­caped from the long arms of the law to safety in Belgium. The ar­rest came many months after the people had thought the govern­ment and the police had forgot­ten the matter. The identification of the bastard and his arrest had elements of precision and there is no doubt that the people must have been part of the force to rid their environment of undesirable elements. Compare that with what we do in our nation Nige­ria. Every system disturber has a brother, abi?

 

 

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