Dash them human rights
It is not difficult to see why the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC) government is the majority in both the Senate and the House of Representatives. You get the sniff of this when you dig through and discover their generous endeavour. Do you know that Nigeria’s politicians especially those in public buildings in Abuja are very good and selfless people working hard for the good of all Nigerians? There are thousand and one of them but for the purpose of this discursion the focus is on the bandwagon that has started rolling and picking up speed to rescue the Nigerian masses by empowering them with the power of attorney. They are not just the good Samaritans of our time but a bunch of people who tend to be highly committed to good governance. These unique politicians are no other than the honourable members of the ninth House of Representatives.
In earnest, they are generally not all that interested in partisan politics despite the fact that they are made up of different political parties in the House. Also they have no deal with divide-and-rule politics that has made Nigeria to remain static. Of course, the idea to window dress issues and allow the masses continue in moaning for amenities is not part of their agenda. Read my lips, these people are deeply committed to the Nigeria project. Therefore, they are hungry to bring about the real change Nigerians are hoping to see. Furthermore, the House of Representatives is hugely concerned and sincerely worried about the poor living condition of the masses, infrastructural decay, education’s poor standard among others. In fact, the honourable members are now having sleepless nights over executives’ nonchalant attitude and the continued use of sharp practices to deny the masses affordable amenities. In their bid to stop the menace of poor leadership in the executive arm, the House of Representatives is considering through a motion sponsored by Ben Igbakpa to empower Nigerians to sue the government when denied their rights to basic needs. To perfect this act, the House is on the verge of amending section 6 and Chapter 2 of the Constitution to make the rights justifiable and for citizens denied any of their rights such as social, economic, cultural and political rights as contained in Section 6, Chapter II, section 13-24 so that people can seek redress in court. No doubt, a Daniel has come to judgment one may say. What a convenient way to tame a ruling government now and in the future. If the constitution amendment scales through the House formalities and become law, that would allow the people to reset the political clock in this part of the world. However, it is hard to overstate the generosity of Nigeria’s political leaders who in their comfort zone continue to advise, warn or admonish the masses to do or desist from doing one thing or another. Over the years, the masses have become the innocent victims of hastily conceived plans and being the target of deceptive political decisions. An attempt to judge the true benevolence of Nigeria’s politicians has always been difficult because there is always a loophole. The current ‘Father Christmas’ nature of the House of Reps with a bill to empower Nigerians to drag government to court over amenities could be one of those government magic formula of deceit. Indeed, nothing stokes the people’s anger more than the suspicion that politicians are hiding the truth. When politicians downplay issues or pretend to assist the people in a misguided attempt, they end up sowing confusion among the people. If one may ask, must the people sue before the government wake-up to its responsibilities?
No doubt, what Nigerians are witnessing from the political elite’s actions and inaction in government is the depth of selfishness, as well as the continued lie and pretence that they are working for the progress of the country and for the good of all Nigerians. Without mincing words, the outcome of the deceit is increasingly clear on a daily basis as controversy has been Nigeria’s politician’s constant companion. However, it will be interesting to see if this empowerment to sue government would achieve its purpose. The greatest disappointment in all this is that after making it law, the same government will use its apparatus to concoct a way out that would discredit the action and make the masses look foolish. Indeed, no system of government defines the culture of arrogance and misappropriation of funds as perfectly as democracy. Even when it is obvious, the law continues to protect corrupt members of a ruling party and those in government. Over the years, human rights activists continue to have a running battle in court as well as organising street protests as a result of poor leadership.
Across the world democracy brings government closer to the people. Hence, it is simply defined as government of the people, by the people and for the people. Regrettably, the grassroots people seem to be excluded in Nigeria’s democratic system as they are constantly neglected and basic human amenities remain a far cry to the masses. In spite of their altruistic nature and sweet talk, Nigerians know what the House of Representatives members are up to. They chose to behave like Pontius Pilate who would not recognise the truth even when laid on his dinner plate. In a different clime where government is seen to believe in and respect the constitution, poor leadership and abuse of political offices need no empowerment on the people to sue before the law takes it cause. The right sort of governance is what Nigerians demand from political leaders and Nigerians must not sue to have it. Did Nigerians go to court before the ruling political class was elected into office? The answer will continue to blow in the wind as Nigerians wait to be served the right to sue.
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