The democratic process and 2023 election
Nigerians must be commended for these years of democratic experimentation, which has proved to be far better than the best military rule. Nigeria has joined the league of democratic nations of the world and has defended democratic government in the West African Region and indeed in Africa. Nigerian politicians must not scuttle the democratic process. Much of our party politics is determined by personal needs and quest for power and therefore control of resources. The Federal system as operated presently is still a by-product and residue of the military dictatorship. We still lack the courage to be truly democratic and free in our choices. The older politicians and so better resourced still control the corridors of power.
This is the reason why “god-fatherism” thrives. This is why internal democracy is lacking in the political parties. After these years of democratic practice, let our political parties allow internal democracy in the political parties, especially in the choice of candidates. Let “god-fatherism” die and just as in our sports where merit and skill is still considered, let same be applied to choice of candidates. Money politics is the bane of democratic politics in Nigeria.
Just as God showed Apostle Peter, saying, “What God has cleansed you must not call unclean,” (Acts 10:15). I make bold to declare that God institutes authority and leadership. And politics is a means by which leadership and the distribution of resources for the good of the citizen is determined. If the Scripture enjoins Christians to pray for and submit to those in authority, it means that God has also sanctified politics as God’s means of ordering the human society. So long as we are human and live in human society, we must be involved in the political and democratic processes of the community and nation.
As we prepare for the general elections of 2023, every Christian has the God-given responsibility of participating in this democratic political process. Be involved in the local politics in any political party of your choice.
Be diligent and determined to be involved if you feel called to serve in the political arena. Be bold and courageous but know that it may not come easy. God is looking for Christians with the fear of God who will be involved in politics and change the tide of events in Nigeria. Some politicians will be more desperate and will deploy some untoward means to achieve their political ambition, but let us determine that we are committed to seeing that there is justice, fairness and equity in power and distribution of our resources. We call on our youth to determine not to be used as thugs for violence. Be the one to stand to be voted for. Our freedom, liberty and justice are far more important than money and material rewards.
The independence of the Judiciary will enrich and strengthen our fledgling democracy. The judiciary is the third arm of governance. An independent and corruption-free judiciary will serve the interest of every citizen. A judiciary that is existing at the patronage of the Executive cannot function effectively and can be crippled as in the case of Rivers State under Governor Rotimi Amaechi. Let the judiciary be financially independent but the purge of corruption in the judiciary just as it is necessary in other arms of government must continue.
(Culled from 2021 Abuja Diocesan Bishop’s Charge by The Ven. Dr. Princewill O. Ireoba)
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