By Taiye Olaniyi
Democracy the world over anchors on the constitution, rule of law, and the legitimacy of the legislative and executive arms of a nation. When things go discordant to the rule of laws, the legitimacy of those in government, and governing people in their styles of governance may be subject to scrutiny and resultant agitations by those being governed.
Both the executive arm that makes propositions, especially in budgets and those that scrutinize the constitutional frameworks as to the legality and legitimacy of demands for approval and appropriations are still accountable to the people, the entire citizenry. The moment national budget proposals, approvals, and implementations go contrary to people’s yearnings and aspirations, venting anger may come in legitimate and/ or unruly manners.
The advent of the Covid-19 pandemic and the peculiarities attendant to it in various countries of the world greatly elucidate the need to adjust in various areas of life in different countries of the world. On socio-economic grounds, on political, health, and humanitarian dispositions of government and the governed, the concept of “give and take” may and would be the subject of debate.
In Nigeria, the integrities of those in positions of rulership and leadership are at stake in their giving while the cooperation or the none of those being governed becomes also an issue. To assuage and thus bring succor to the lives of the governed, the government was expected to give while the governed were expected to take what could be given as economic but humanitarian palliatives.
What palliatives were given by whom, to whom, where, when, and how and the aftermath of government and public perceptions led to protests and agitation as we to date experienced in the alleged hoardings by government and their functionaries, the #EndSARS protests, the looting and vast destruction to lives and properties?
Peaceful processes and protests turned violent cannot and shouldn’t be tolerated in a sane society. But with evidence of hoardings, looting, arson, maiming, and killings can one rightly say Nigerians are living, protesting, and protecting as expected of life in a sane society? Think about it.
Speaking out loud and clear, it must be mentioned that the conditions here in Nigerian society must be damn and of course, are damn bad before they resort to attendant violence, destruction, and shootings by whoever ordered, was ordered, and later followed the order to eliminate lives of those alleged sent to lives beyond.
Whereas humans have the right to protest but peacefully, neither the protesters nor the antagonists of protests have the right to any kind of destruction, and if it involves agonies to lives directly or indirectly, everyone involved will one day be accountable to God the only giver of life here now or the hereafter.
This is the reason the National Assembly needs serious introspection and great work to do at bringing back sanity to governance through people and public-oriented legislation. Before this budget is passed let there be emergency bills and legislations to back the reduction of about 70% cut to the bogus expenses accruing to members of the National and States Assembles and allied political office holders.
Let there be public debates on how to make public and people-oriented governance in Nigeria squaring on all aspects of socio-economic indices if truly we want to build a future for our growing jobless youths.
A comparative analysis of who takes what in politics using the template of economic realities could be thrown as a challenge for scrutiny by those in the academia, labor financial experts, NGOs, Nigerians in diasporas, legal experts, and youth organizations.
December and the end of the year are fast approaching, would Nigerians and Nigeria continue to wallow in lack, lack of integrities and respect both within and/ or without?
Think about it.
Finally, are our politicians ready to make democracy a worthwhile political voyage to the anchor of grace against that of disgrace as the current presidential system of government seems withering Nigeria and Nigerians to the abyss of economic despondency?
Think about it
Time is no longer on our side taking note of the rate at which the “Small Axes” daily fell and getting to fell the “Big Trees” in an unruly manner. Insecurities are everywhere for no one knows what next and who next may be victims of unwieldy and heart-harrowing experiences.
To this 9th Assembly of our Federal Republic of Nigeria, I say,
“Time will Tell, Time Will Tell, Time will always Tell. God Bless Nigeria”.
Taiye Olaniyi a retired Postman is based in Lagos.