By Dr Abayomi Ferreira

Nigerians certainly need to state how they should be governed. The system we operate is based on political parties. We are no longer under an imposed system where certain individuals seized the apparatus of state in a coup d’état to rule the country for their own personal gains and appropriation.

What sensible persons expect is a policy and a programme from the ruling political party in all aspects of ruling the country.

This paper was prompted by the news report of a meeting called by the president on Monday 9 July 2012 “to tackle corruption.” A group of persons, though all of them are holding civil authority of one type or another in the country, met under the aegis of the president to discuss what to do in tackling corruption. The report says Share WORRIED by the seeming lack of results in the ongoing effort by his administration to tackle corruption in the country, President Goodluck Jonathan, on Monday, summoned an extra-ordinary meeting of the heads of the three branches of government to explore ways of evolving a more effective strategy to deal with the menace.

I will state here straight and clearly that the meeting was misplaced and uncalled for. The basic issue is, What is the policy and programme to combat corruption by the Peoples’ Democratic Party? Apparently, the party does not have any.

The political party is the platform to evolve a policy and programme for any action the government is to take. The basis for election into government is to carry out the policy and programme of the party, the policy and programme it popularized at the time fo the electioneering campaign to be elected into government.

There is too much public talk going on in Nigeria, and indeed all over the world on the issue of corruption in Nigeria. There is no action because the ruling party and indeed all the parties do not have any policy and laid out programme to tackle corruption. They do not have because
Either they are all corrupt and therefore do not wish to tackle corruption
Or they do not have because they do not know what political parties are for.

Indeed, this country Nigeria is not being governed. And that is the truth. We must tell ourselves the truth; if not, we are all doomed.

The ruling parties do not have any policy in any area of governance. It is not entirely the fault of the politicians and those in government. The people did not vote for policies and programmes. They voted for an Ijaw man, a non-Northerner, a man from the village of Jonathan! And they celebrated that! Obasanjo celebrated it! Mrs. Jonathan celebrated it! This very basic issue is worth debating and we must learn to bring into government those people and political parties that have policies and programmes for the development and the good of the people of this country. I recall when the results of the last presidential election was published and to my shock and great surprise, Goodluck Jonathan had 2.5 million votes from the South-West zone of the country, I immediately called by telephone a niece who is an active member of the Action Congress of Nigeria to find out why the candidate of the ACN scored that very low in the zone and the candidate of the PDP scored that high. She told me straight away that the people did not want a northerner as president! I was shocked that the people of a political party in my country, Nigeria in the year 2011 would not vote for their own presidential candidate Nuhu Ribadu because he was a northerner! I recall that Nuhu Ribadu did well only in the State of Osun in the South-West zone. That certainly was due to the political sincerity of Rauf Aregbesola and the other leaders of the ACN in that state.

We have to discuss this issue and be very honest about it. I recall that Tinubu, the uncrowned leader of the ACN indeed met with Jonathan some two days before the date of election! Why are they in rival political parties if they could not fight an election openly and let the winner be a true winner? The issue is that elections are fought in Nigeria for personal gains and not for the purpose of getting a purposeful government. People do not care who gets there so long he is from a particular ethnic nation, or is a member of a particular religion. No one discusses politics on the basis of policies and programmes but on mundane basis of self, place of origin and religion. These three are purely personal matters that do not impact on the quality of government.

Governments are formed in virtually all parts of the world on the basis of policies and programmes.  Yes, place of origin may be considered by some, but the vast majority of people choose their governments on the basis of policies and programmes.

We need to state here that the foundation of today’s politics in Nigeria was laid in 1950 with the formation of the Action Group and the Northern Peoples’ Congress. These two were parochial parties that did very well for their peoples, the Yoruba and the Northerners in whose interests the parties were created in the first place. The principle of where a politician comes from is never valid and will never be valid for the development of Nigeria as a country. We should put all that behind us if this country is to develop.

The senate leader, Senator Ndoma-Egba who briefed correspondents continued

According to him, “the president’s initiative is unprecedented, getting the three arms of government to sit in one meeting and the subject matter of discussion was the issue of corruption and how the three arms could work together to stem the worrying incident of corruption in our polity.

“We discussed at length, got insight from each arm of government and we will meet again to review the issues that arose from today’s meeting and on the way forward.”

The Senate Leader added that “the president is obviously worried about the incidence of corruption and from discussions we had, all the arms of government are indeed worried about the incidence of corruption in our society.”

Yes, truly what Jonathan did is unprecedented! The point is that it is pointless. Yes, they discussed at length! The entire world is discussing the pervasiveness of corruption in Nigeria ad nauseam! We are worried and the entire world, not only Nigerians is unhappy about it.
I tell you that this group that met yesterday cannot find a solution to the issue of corruption in Nigeria. These discussions are a part of the myriads of discussions going on around the entire globe on the pervasiveness of corruption in Nigeria. They should disband and let each person face the work for which he is being paid. They do not address the issue. The government and the governed are corrupt! And we have to stop it. This corruption must stop!

The political parties should go and work out clear policies and programmes on how to eradicate corruption in Nigeria. I must state that the Democratic Alternative has a clear policy and programme on the eradication of corruption in Nigeria. The party however did not have the clout or the power to promote itself in the country. It is probably irrelevant now to propagate the policy and programme of the DA. To do that is merely to expand the volume of talks going on in the country, and indeed in the world without the ability or the power to do something to counter the evil of corruption.

I will propose that the ruling political parties at the federal, state and local levels should sit down, formulate sound and germane policies and programmes on how to stop corruption in this battered country, Nigeria. That is the beginning of finding an answer to the problem. Of course, the voters should vote for the party with the superior policy and programme next time around. That is the beginning of putting a stop to these ungodly acts that continue to ruin our country.

Dr Abayomi Ferreira
abayomiferreira@yahoo.co.uk