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NIGERIA: Let the Presidency Internalise Equity

Onyenwe Princely is of the view that for democracy to take root in the country, the presidential institution must internalise equity as a critical ingredient

The issue of sanitizing our democratic space is expected to be the most supreme in the minds of nationalistic Nigerians. I will be obliged to see the emerging president of our great country, Nigeria by February 14th, 2015, synchronise this modus operandi as a guiding principle of governance. Hence it is too great and crucial to be obscured by the eloquence of other tribes or the argumentative rationalisation of our people.

I opine that sanitizer must not only be applicable or be used to curb the upsurge of Ebola virus, rather our legislature must understand the need to remove the part of polices in governance that may seem unpleasant, abnormal and unacceptable to Nigerian populace. It is clearly evident that our leaders shall be held responsible if Nigeria fails to deliver as a country.

It is in my princely view that I could see the sanctity of democracy as the sanity of polity and therefore if it is proven beyond doubts that in politics, there are no permanent friends or enemies but permanent interests, why can't Nigerians abandon this unnecessary internal political resentment and rancor to enable us as a people foster greater heights.

Besides, insecurity could have tempered the political growth of Nigeria’s independence and therefore security should be everybody's business, so also development, peace, progress, conducive environment, socio-economic amenities, food on the tables of the needy and acceptable welfare are indeed every body's business.

It is assumed that our leaders must respect the citizens in as much as the citizens respect them. The idea of quality of the federating units was rekindled after the 1959 constitution. Federalism was introduced and adopted to ensure that the federating units have a high level of autonomy, while the central authority will be less powerful. Hence, in the federal system, there is evidence of power sharing between the national and the regional or the state governments.

For a federal system to exist, each unit must have a degree of sovereignty over persons and property within its territory. Such entity must have exclusive authority over all matters in the unit. It must at least have a "will" of its own and the necessary apparatus to conduct its own affairs just as the February election has posed challenges to INEC and Nigerians.

Federalism had loosely been described as experimentation in socio-political economic organization of a state, based on compromise among contending centripetal and centrifugal forces which reflect the similarities and dissimilarities inherent within a given geopolitical entity. There is no doubt that misuse of such phrases like "federal government" or “federal system" when it merely represents a monolithic structure that had contributed to the unpleasant application of true governance in Nigeria. There is superior federal government and a subordinate state Government.

There must be a true and mental sanity of polity in the concept of federalism in Nigeria, for its dividends to be equitable. To achieve this, federalism must respect the values, fears, objectives, and economic susceptibilities of the various groups, otherwise it will be meaningless to submit or entrust one’s destiny in the hands of the federal government which is not capable of protecting her interest.
Hence Thomas Hobbes was right when in recognition of the right to self preservation he opined that a person has no duty to a sovereign who cannot provide him with the foregoing, when he restated that the great and chief end of man, in uniting into the common wealth and putting himself under a government is the preservation of property.

If I may ask, are we getting the requisite level of protection, the sanity we need from operating federal system? Has there been equality in the state creation? Has there been any work done on the second Niger Bridge? How many ministerial and ambassadorial positions have we? Can't our seaports and airports be upgraded to a national status? What has been the position of Nigerian youths? What has been the benefit of SURE-P, U-win and fuel subsidy to the Nigerian populace?

Recently, coalition of Nigerian youths through a Radio Broadcast was demanding 50 per cent affirmative status, i.e. 25 per cent appointive and 25 per cent elective position in Nigerian government to express their views in matters concerning them. The bill will soon be passed to deliberate on. You see, the facts are clear that some tribes and groups are marginalised in Nigerian polity and sharing status.

The problem of sharing in Nigeria and the difficulty of everybody or any part getting what is due them is a sure source of fear and frustration that could result in automatic division, tribal disintegration and national suicide. But a house divided against itself can never stand. Our invested efforts, selfless services and philanthropy should affect us positively. Our wealth must touch the well being of others.
The concept of sanity in our polity shall begin to attract the symbiotic relationship needed, garnished with justice, equity and good governance. However, equity has assumed a statue which presents it as a rectification of the rigidity of legal justice. The reason is that while law provides a general statement, there are cases which the general statements cannot cover.

My prayer is that this election will be held free and fair as expected on the scheduled dates and time, published by INEC to enable the Nigerian electorate determine their leaders. We must utilise our vote wisely and in as much as possible, internalise sanity from the point of equity and justice, exemplary leadership and sustained governance.

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