Before the People's Parliament ...!

by Rev. Uche Dr. Obodoechina

One cardinal attraction for democracy is that it supposed to be 'the government of the people, by the people and for the people.' In Nigeria, democracy is facing serious challenges.

The meaning and application of democracy is not working properly. Of course governance is by the people but it is doubtful if it is for the people. The common man and woman on the Nigerian streets are not in doubt that the government is not for their well-fare.

Otherwise, the quality of their lives would have been something different. One does not need extra- light to see properly during the day.

There are deep chasms between the theory and practice of democracy in Nigeria; it is a government for the well-being of the few stakeholders and the pot-bellied politicians.

The bitter truth is that the government does not pay sufficient attention to the needs of the people. There is systemic corruption ravaging the nation.

And the entire framework upon which the society is based is dysfunctional and dead. There is poverty in a society lavishly endowed by God. It is not an exaggeration to say that the government in Nigeria exists probably for its own sake.

Yet it is unthinkable elsewhere in the world, to conceive a government that does not exist for the welfare of its citizens on whose mandate the statecraft was based.

We are living witness today to the crisis all over the Arab world, the Arab Spring, and in the rest of the world where the sacred mandate of the people are being withdrawn from power-drunk leaders who pay lip-service to the well-being of its citizens.

Power belongs to the people. And their well-being determines the index and criteria of assessment.

Given the situation of poverty, general insecurity of life and property and anarchy among the majority of Nigerians, it is not surprising that the government of the day will not pass the litmus test before the People's Parliament.

Beginning at the Ward level, for instance, how can a Councillor in any of our Wards convince his / her Ward Members that he / she has worked for their well-being? What is that obvious sign of their stewardship?

Is the dis-connect between the theory of social transformation of the government and the reality of sub-standard living among the people not evident? If you are in doubt, take a look at your own very village and among your own very people; what have you discovered?

Is the situation different in your own state or among your family members? We are all in comparable bad waters. The situation is almost the same; the few live in shameless opulence while the majority eke out a miserable existence. But the truth remains that the rich

who have stolen from the public coffers, will not know any rest, will not give sleep to their eyes, and enjoy the inner peace of the soul, until the hunger of the poor has been satisfied.

It does not matter the number of armed policemen and army in and around us, the reality of fear and anxiety' about security can no longer be wished away. Armoured cars and bullet proofs, anti-burglaries in our homes and other gadgets of security are ineffective safety measures against the wrath of the people.

In fact, when the people sit at its parliament of judgement, will any of our stakeholders and politicians pass the test of honour? Be your own judge!



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