Beyond the 2015 Elections

I suppose it is time to look beyond the 2015 election and focus on the prob­lem the next govern­ment whether a PDP or APC would face. This is because election can be very deceptive as the promises of politicians can leave people with the false hope and expectation, which normally ends in disap­pointment.


Some of the most serious problems the next government will have to confront is the need to stimulate job creation, balance the skewed economy, which at the mo­ment, makes the North and West economic hot spots, but system­atically under develops the East and South South by stifling and denying them the infrastructure needed for their economic take off and improve security particularly in the NorthEast where Boko Haram is on rampage and Middle Belt, where Fulani herdsmen are conducting ethnic cleansing of the indigenous population.


Nigeria has built Lagos and Abuja with oil money and failed to develop similar cities in the East and South where the oil comes from. The resentment the East and South South feel will grow louder, if nothing is done to placate them. The goose that lays the golden egg is restive.


The next government has to pursue true free market reforms that ensure fair wealth distribu­tion, if it is minded to be fair, by giving the sea ports in Calabar, and Port Harcourt more indepen­dence and freedom to compete and investing in Calabar, Port Har­court and Enugu airports to bring them to international standard. In addition, there is need to build more roads like Enugu Calabar Express way and rehabilitate the Enugu Port Harcourt Express way.

This would be the first honest step towards liberalising and rebalancing the economy and ad­dressing the migration of eastern­ers to Lagos and Abuja. Without diversification of development, Nigeria will remain unstable and ethnic nationalism will wax stronger.


Sadly, none of the political par­ties have raised these issues and not a single regional group in East and South South have pointed out that this needs to done.


It is undeniable, that the North has tended to focus only on what it wants, irrespective of how it may affect the rest of Nigeria. A ready example is the way and manner it has been pursuing its Islamic agenda, which has culminated in the implementation of Islamic laws in the North and the attempt to extend its influence all over the country.


This intransigence and in­sensitivity has contributed to the hardening of the position of those who believe that Nigeria is unviable in its present form and are advocating autonomy for the regions as the first step to remove the albatross of the North from the neck of the rest of Nigeria.


The very unbalanced nature of Nigeria can no longer be ignored. The politics of peaceful restruc­turing should now begin. The East, which has borne the blood price of one Nigeria, can bear no more. Failure will give oxygen to separatists.

The National Assembly must wake up to its responsibility. The Senate and House of Representa­tives have failed in passing legisla­tions to make unlawful various corrupt practices in ways that are meaningful to development. The priority of the next National Assembly should include passing legislations to stop the transfer­ring of federal and state fund into the coffers of political parties and party chiefs and strengthening ex­ecutive accountability and probity.


Future governments must be stopped from doing with their state fund what Rotimi Amaechi, Theodore Orji, Rochas Okorocha, Babatunde Fasola and others have done.


Another area that needs urgent attention is the role of traditional rulers and how to hold politicians to account. It is a fundamental truth that those in power earn their respect through performing well. If they are corrupt, proud or high minded, they are despised and then opposed, for no human mind can tolerate the callous dis­regard of etiquette and probity in the exercise of power over them.


Traditional rulers are a relic of a time, when men lived by super­stition and claimed that they took their orders from God.

Nigerians cannot continue to allow traditional and religious beliefs, which are hall marks of primitive societies, to dominate their thinking at a time, when the rest of the world are embracing government of reason. Religious and traditional leaders are not custodians of morality and do not have monopoly virtues or good­ness as these are also part and parcel of reason and enlighten­ment.

About the author

Ihesiulo Grace

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