Democracy is the power of the people, by the people and for the people. – Abraham Lincoln
The definition of this concept cited above isn’t in full practice in our country today. It isn’t ideal and truely deep-rooted because the rich, powerful and highly revered clamp down on it. It is indeed dismal that we are not operating on a democratic system but a cabalistic, kakistocratic and plutocratic system of government.
Steven E. Fish, a Professor of Political Science at the University of California in the United States of America in his Study of the Power of National Legislatures in 2006, said that if we have stronger legislatures, we would have a stronger democracy, but such isn’t applicable to a country like Nigeria where our parliamentarians/lawmakers have been invigorated at the expense of the masses who have been made powerless.
Our Honourable Representatives and Senators have proven this to us indubitably through their creation and swift approval of politician-centred and not people-centric policies. I must commend these rubber stamp lawmakers in our legislature for formulating policies that do conform to the interests of the masses and which make the country retrogress. What a bunch of self-serving leaders.
It’s indeed abysmal and terrible that our lawmakers are the architects of our country’s misfortunes. I cannot count how many policies that were meant to represent the interests of the masses and have been rejected by our lawmakers. Good ideas that would have moved the country forward were rejected simply because they were not favourable in their sight.
I could remember how a concerned lawmaker pushed for a Bill at the National Assembly requiring children of public office holders to be prohibited from schooling abroad. That bill was one sure step to rescuing the country’s educational system as our leaders would have never handled it with much levity as they do currently, but it was rejected by a majority of the House with alacrity. Although, one would know that from the inception of such bill, it would not never be given assent to by this set of lawmakers. They unanimously rejected the bill because they were guilty of showing a lackadaisical attitude towards creating policies that would have help to salvage the country’s educational system from its pitiable state. Primary, secondary and tertiary institutions are all threatening and embarking on strike actions.
I could remember how a concerned lawmaker pushed for a bill that would empower the people to sue the government or its officials for failing to provide basic welfare for the populace. This bill was meant to make social welfare mandatory, but it was rejected on the grounds that it was a left-wing tool that could tear down a nation. The government only wanted to relieve themselves of their duties to the society. Today, security, healthcare, education and stable electric power supply, which are basic necessities of life in any society is nothing to write home about today.
I could remember a time most of our lawmakers were obsessed with owning SUVs to perform their deemed ‘oversight functions’, despite each having his own personal car, and they never wanted to get this through their pockets despite their humongous salaries. It cost billions of naira to satisfy this want of the lawmakers at the expense of the poor masses, whose quality of living could not be improved as millions were enmeshed into abject poverty.
There were no concerns about cutting the cost of governance despite the stiff economic challenges in the country and this showed that they were purely in power to satisfy their personal interests. Our legislators are simply marauders plundering on their conquest of the people.
What Nigeria needs right now are people who are not corrupt, people who can critically think and bring ideas that can help the country to thrive on the path of greatness, not politicians who will only pursue after their self-ennoblement.
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