Those familiar with the ‘A’ level Questions in the British Constitution examinations in the 60s would most likely agree with this observation, ‘Any attempt to bring about reforms in the House of Lords entrenches the Conservatives the more’. Comment?
It appears synonymous with our experience in Nigeria. And as in the French Revolutions, the bourgeoisie had such influence and grip over the socio-economic and political situation in France and indeed in Britain until the forced reforms in the two countries which came about only when the proletariats were drawn into conflicts politically with them. The influence of Montesquieu in France, John Locke and Thomas Payne in Britain will ever be echoed for any meaningful reforms in societies.
And so it is all happening in Africa, so to speak; it started with the nationalists under the colonial era and soon after the Self Rule in 1960, for Nigeria, for example. Events (both economic and political) in the country showed clearly that the acquisition of the Independence seemed untimely and was probably prematurely handed over to us from the causes of the civil war (both remote and immediate) in 1967. By the end of hostilities it appeared as if we were to learn from the Military interregnum with the resultant 1979 Constitution. This sooner proved intractable in application (the 1999 did not help either) for our circumstances due to the total lack of national orientation of the people and the operators of it in particular - one of the dangers of ‘revolution of rising expectations’ in group formations. Consequently by 1983 December, another Military junta was heralded and the most reactionary decisions by it, the banning of old politicians for 10 years (1986 – 1996/1990 or year 2000 whichever that proved to be better for the country) and the imprisonment of some of them was accepted by the people although a ride on pillories also, for the convicted ones, could have been welcomed and more effective deterrent against corruption for our stage of development as was once the case for the U.K. and France. More worring was the failure by the Administration in 1993 - 1999 to accept and nuture the nascent political engineering evolved at the period - we are grappling with the consequences of that failure, folks!
We embarked on the transition trail with the anticipated reform provisions in the Reviewed Constitution of 1988. The Constitution Assembly members had the bourgeoisie in majority and were not banned for the 1989/93 political formations. As a result, the first group paired themselves up for the proposed (hitherto)two party arrangement in the political Associations - SDP and NRC. One would have thought that the proletariats could have formed the dominant majority in the assemblage, who may not have any vested interests in the imports of the New Document other than press for the reforms necessary for Nigeria like the quality and character of Presidential candidates, with the Niger Delta problems in their minds as was the case for U.K. and France in 17th and 18th Centuries and particularly in year 2000 by Labour Party under Tony Blair, PM.
We set out in 1990 and in 1999 for the polls for civilian elected members for a multi party option, who from the obvious and the apparent default constituted the bourgeoisie (the type that we have in the country) in the majority; bringing us back to the first postulation, but for Nigeria - “The attempts to reform Nigeria’s political participation and formations end up in re-introducing into the scenes, the bourgeoisie and mediocrity without meaningful screening and effective deterrents”, what do you think?
The Military succeeded in eliminating the erstwhile politicians bedevilled by parochialism in their thinking for a while (from 1986 to 1990) but was hoodwinked to lift the ban for the 1992 –93 episode with consequent failures. It seemed we are inadvertently trying to entrench mediocrity and intransigence again through tribal, religious and the tragic ex-military officers yet to be transmuted into civilians, intrusion in the new political arrangements with financial hegemony in order to appear democratic - beware of over zealous Nigerian politicians! BBC on 7/07/02 told us that Pakistan’s Military decided to ban some of their past politicians and Israel has ruled not to let ex-military personnel vie for political position as Prime Ministers from 2006 - mark you, Prime Minister Olmert resigned 16th Sept. 2008 due to corruption allegations; can this happen to us in Nigeria! They should give jobs to people first with the accumulated wealth they have that we might know their deportment about us before vying for high political posts in Nigeria!
The new and the old breeds must come to the New Dispensation with their clean hands, training, maturity or through political apprenticeships – shedding the Military traits in the participants also, if the socio-economic and political reforms anticipated for the country can really be sustained, fellow countrymen; see pages 671 – 683. In the light of the new development (long over-due really) about the recklessness of our public office holders we need to reconsider the provisions in Nigeria regarding Section 308 and possibly 137, 138, 142 & 143 of our Constitution!
For us to succeed in Africa and indeed Nigeria, with over 140 million people,
in Particular in our socio-economic and political growth, we must take a
closer look at the methods of succession and orientation of prospective
leaders and the politicians; the essence of State creation - the
significance of the policy in Britain’s Local Governments and in the U.S.
in particular. Until you are able to muscle and or fashion the policies and
programmes to take cognisance of aims and objectives of the units in, Europe
and the U.S., I fear that our efforts will only be tottering, folks!
More significant is for you to consider reconciliation between A.U. and CARICOM - the advantage of such unity - so that you can draw or source technical knowhow from amongst the already trained and marginally oriented personnel in their midst rather than rely always on your Colonial past! Rather than pay us reparations, they got us to pay them debts - a travesty of justice, I think!
The cover page is arranged so as to put the messages that I have
(the significance of the sculpture) across to
the readers as reflections for all the people in authority and or in the
corridors of power in Nigeria between 1984 and 2002. You find that the
messages are still relevant for present day Nigeria!
(Courtesy of Nigeria Tourism Dev. Corporation.)
Contact number is Tel./Fax. 020 8983-0518.
It seems to observers that the ex-Military Heads (the New Money-Bags) yet to be oriented to political parameters under civilian regime, are calling it a bluff in Nigeria as if there is none other from the East to direct the affairs of the people in comparison, so that we may discover amongst the “Equals”, who knows the problems in Nigeria better and how to go about them - rotate your Presidency! Even in modern America you don’t go straight to vie for the precidency after service. You need to transmute first into civilian gaite to be able to handle the post effectively, folks!
They could not manage Nigeria under force-majeure for 15 good years - more than the two terms specified in the Constitution. They now hope to do it under civilian rule but refused to appear before Oputa Truth Commission as part of the democratic principles Babangida harped on in Mina “ThisDay News 13/09/002”. Can this be possible if not to continue (a ploy) to hide the skeletons in the misappropriation wardrobes in Nigeria? Endeavour to read Okigbo Panel’s Findings and Recommendations of 1996 under Abacha’s Regime before any party nominations and elections in Nigeria, folks!
Nigeria’s economic and political fortunes went down hill from 1988 even though solutions to the problems were amply and properly supplied to the rulers at the time, not forgetting the 1993 saga - think about the accolade they could have earned in African history if they had gone ahead with the election results that year. Read the notes about Military Consultative Council on pages 312, 491, 653, 714 which is part of the model talked about in page 164, folks!
For information before hand, you will observe slight shift about the paging ( within 1 – 2 pages ) in some sections of this book due to extra inserts and the format of pictures in the texts.
For the information of all those concerned and over zealous Nigerians, this work is for public consumption and not to be regarded as personal. As such, it is to be regarded as part of the essentials of DEMOCRATIC processes for us in Nigeria! For the citizens to be able to say what they think can help us in the otherwise bemused situation in the country without being victimised, ladies and gentlemen!