Africa

Nigeria: Mis-representation of the elected representatives

Nigeria as a nation has been witnessing mis-representation of elected politicians since 29th of May till the present set of representatives that we hope will start the foundation of a new Nigeria. The whole Nigerians are fed up with representatives that seek illegitimate personal gain through embezzlement, patronage, and extortion. Their incompetent and incapability is the result of the country’s lingering socio-political and economic problems. Are they being voted for to loot the treasury or to look after the legitimate needs of the citizenry?. It is very sad that the goal and mission of an average Nigerian politician is to be in power in order to steal and accumulate wealth. They never had good intention to move the nation to the greater height. We have not seen “some common impulse of passion” from the last set of representatives to provide all Nigerians the basic amenities of undisputed electricity, clean water, revamp our education, boost agriculture, good roads or even resolve the problems of Niger-Delta in the last decade.

They have not seen anything wrong with the unstable electricity supply, since they have the biggest standby electric generators that can even pump water in 24-hour. They don’t have time to think that Nigerian teachers are underpaid, but they can spend hours debating for more allowances.They did not see anything wrong with the numerous cases of armed robberies and kidnappings, so far they are paying for private security men and Mallam Sabongeris to watch their houses. They did not see anything bad with underpaid and under-equipped policemen illegal extorting motorists on all roads, since the men in uniform dare not stop their cars.  They only fight for their selfish interest and not the interest of those people who voted for them. They are living fat and robust in their “agbada” and “babariga” wears, but their people are very hungry, growing thinner and fragile. They prefer to build  houses here and there than to build mini-health centres to save lives. They change cars like car-dealers when our policemen were short of vehicles and materials to confront armed-robbers and kidnappers.

Meanwhile, a representative assignment should not to be mistakenly for a federal or state government appointment. It is a collective people’s appointment.  Nigerians  representatives are all there by the will and consent of the people. Without election, they are not qualified to be in power, the same as without students, there is no point for teachers to be in schools. It is a sacred appointment that involves providence and bond between the representative and the represented. They are meant to bless the live of others. Government is just an institution that house them to perform their functions. A representative in any form, either as a councillor, senator, governor or president is the servant of the people and the people are their pay-masters. They should be  responsible to the people in general. That is the essence of functioning democratic government.

In contrast to the above assertions, most of our elected, or should I say selected Nigerian representatives in the last decade have shown to be selfish, self-absorbed, self-centred, self-seeking, self-serving, greedy, cynical, inward-looking and ungenerous. Most of our past representatives have either lost their moral bearings or they do not know the real meaning of representation in a democratic society. They are basically in Abuja because of all Nigerians interest and not because of personal or family ambition.. They are there to represent the people and not their pocket. This representation is an opportunity and trust given by the people to eligible candidates to effect changes that will make life worth living. A betrayal of this trust is not only a disappointed to the voters, but to themselves and the God Almighty. This is because of the oath of office taken on the inauguration day. Or can you tell me which one of the Nigerian representatives have not gone to church or mosque for thanksgiving after they were being elected?. They believe that stealing from government, rather than rendering selfless services to the people will make them relevant in the society.

The essence of representation is to effect positive changes. Change is the essence of life. There is need for representatives to effect changes in values, policies and ideas that can promote the kind of society we want. We are in the twenty-first century and we cannot be living with the mentality of dark era of evil genius. The country has to move forward. Representatives are being elected to fulfill the responsibility in pursuit of community goals and aspirations. They are to make great sacrifices and base their greatness on the services they render for good of the citizens rather than property accumulated within shortest time. They are elected as savior and not a ruiner. To set good examples and make timely decisions to make the society a better place to live.

Most of our representatives have not shown that it is important to do what is right, even if it is inconvenient or unpopular.. They refuse to look into themselves for potential that can be of benefit to all. Late Pa Anthony Eromosele Enahoro was 29 years old in 1955 when he moved the historical motion in the federal house that eventually gave independence to Nigeria in 1960. Our politicians don’t find reasons to do what they must do as people’s representatives. The qualities they display are the same as those they posses. They refuse to bring comfort to citizens of Nigeria on these difficult time. They always have an excuse instead of a real plan for hardworking Nigerian families to climb the ladder of success and raise their children to the highest level and hope for a better future. They prefer to spend practically all their time on personal issues instead of visiting their constituencies to solve problems, featuring in local seminars, delivering speeches and reaching out to everybody. They only time you see them in their constituencies after their victory is either on  Easter break, or Eid-el-Kabir festival, or during the Christmas time. This is not a representative grass-root democracy.

The country is blessed with the majority of politicians who are not ready to build bridges where there are none.They let their big ambitions overshadow small successes which can build a strong foundation for successful life. They fail to put every effort, energy, and focus into developing strategies that involve people and priorities. They never trust their ability to take whatever life gives them. They have never been taught to be happy with enough. They want to have everything-even, if possible, the whole Nigeria in their pocket. They have never been instinctively seem to know what to believe and what to ignore. They refuse to learn long time ago that wanting what you have is better than having what you want. Where are those who stole all Nigerian billions of naira now? Do their children make any positive impact with all those stolen monies? All is vanity. You see how all their sons were being rejected in the last general elections. Thy have forgotten that money can’t buy most important things in life such as love, health, happiness, virtues and morals. People that run madly behind money are poor by their mind. Experience have shown that true happiness and peace can never be derived from stolen what belongs to another person. It is now time to change our civic life for better and reject corrupted, and incompetent politicians from the political scene.

Written by,
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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