2023: Politicians have bought electorate conscience- Don - NEWS FRONTIER DAILY


Monday, December 19, 2022

2023: Politicians have bought electorate conscience- Don

By Our Correspondent

The Director-General, Nigerian Institute of International Affairs, Lagos, Professor Eghosa Osaghae, has posited that politicians in the country continue to get away with bad governance because the electorate had been bought over by them.

Osaghae, who was lead speaker at 2022 Senator Abiola Ajimobi Roundtable, held at the University of Ibadan, weekend, observed that as long as the nation did not deepen its democracy along such a trajectory, the nation will continue to retrogress into low levels of development.

Speaking on the topic: "Deepening Nigeria’s Democracy for Sustainable Development," Osaghae noted that though the nation was deepening in democracy, its appalling performance and ranking in the UNDP Human Development Index show how less developed the country has remained.

His words:  "The performance and ranking in the UNDP’s Human Development Index is no less appalling and it shows an inverse correlation with the supposed strides in the deepening of electoral democracy."

"In other words, the more democracy has grown, the less developed the country has become. We may have gone so far in our democracy but we have not gone so far in our development. There is an inverse relationship between our democratic growth and our development. Those statistics of growth conceal more than they reveal."

"Our democracy is deepening. Follow the methods and they will get better. But, the only time we get to be remembered at all is when our politicians come and we can line up behind them."

"After the elections, they don’t look our way at all because we have sold ourselves as commodities. They have bought us at a price and they say, don’t expect anything from us other than that. So, when you deepen your democracy along that trajectory, you retrogress into low levels of development."

Speaking in the same vein, Ondo State governor, Mr. Rotimi Akeredolu, who was chairman of the occasion, said the problem was that after elections and government is formed, Nigerians forget to question what governance is offering.

Represented by his deputy, Mr Lucky Aiyedatiwa, the governor said the followership must question whether governance focused on human capital development, the provision of enabling environment for businesses to thrive and the attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

"The effectiveness of a leader is determined by the kind of followers. When an election is conducted and a government is formed, what happens to governance? That is one of the problems we are having today."

"For us to have sustainable development, what are you doing to meet the needs of now without destroying the environment and still having in mind the future generation."

"We have to continuously provide an enabling environment. Without an enabling environment, there cannot be meaningful and sustainable development."

Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Mr Sunday Dare, who was the keynote speaker, said political parties were critical to deepening democratic process and sustainable development through propagation of their manifestoes and public education on programmes and policies of government.

Acknowledging that political parties had failed to live up to expectations, Dare said sustainable development will be a mirage if party structure is built on fraud and indiscipline.

He noted that the nation needs leaders that truly love the people and will serve the people with honesty of purpose and determination to make a positive impact.

"Political parties are strong pillars of democracy. Our democracy cannot flourish the way it should be without strong and viable political parties. Unfortunately, our political parties have not lived up to expectations. Parties must remain a public trust and organise properly as such. There can be no sustainable development if the party structure is built on fraud and indiscipline," the minister said.

In her remarks, President, Senator Abiola Ajimobi Foundation, Mrs Florence Ajimobi, stressed that evolving an all-inclusive and functional leadership and effective public participation in the democratic process is crucial for all Nigerians to truly enjoy the dividends of democracy.

Among others who made inputs at the roundtable included the Oluwo of Iwo, Oba Abdulrasheed Akanbi; Reverend Father Anthony Akinwale; Dr Ifeanyi Onwuzuruigbo; Dr Funmilayo Agbaje, Dr Hussaini Abdu.

The roll call of dignitaries at the event also included the Vice Chancellor, University of Ibadan, Professor Kayode Adebowale; Olugbon of Orile-Igbon, Oba Francis Alao; governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Oyo State, Senator Teslim Folarin; his Accord party counterpart, Chief Adebayo Adelabu; Mr Zacch Adelabu; former Minister of Industry; Chief Onikepo Akande; former Oyo deputy governor, Mr Moses Adeyemo.


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