What a Parody of Representation ...?

by Rev. Uche Dr. Obodoechina

It has been so defined that 'democracy is the government of the people by the people and for the people.' It is largely a government by absolute representation. People are selected and elected to represent the people and their interests in governance.

Yet the power belongs to the people. Democracy cannot function properly in the absence of responsible representation. And representation is at different levels of governance.

For instance, there are grass-root representations at the Ward and Local government council levels as well as representations in the State houses of Assemblies and at the Federal parliaments. However, the quality of representation makes the difference.

In the developed world, representation is an obligation. People have the rights to question and deal with their elected representatives. The representatives are public servants. The people hold them to public accountability.

In Nigeria the situation is different. The elected representatives are mini gods. They are beyond the questions and interests of the people. The people are their servants and not the other way round. They are beyond the law of the land.

Such a situation as this, is possible because majority of the people are ignorant and do not know their rights. The educated ones among them are afraid as some are also too corrupt. They are incapable of initiating any positive change.

Besides, there is total breakdown of the rule of law. Systemic corruption abounds in every nook and cranny of the society. And so the end justifies the means. It is a pity that our representatives do not represent anybody but themselves and their cohorts. They are uncomfortable pins at the body of democratic governance in Nigeria.

Given the situation where the democratic representation of the people are absent and the representatives are deaf, and tragically selfish, does it serve any useful purpose to stick to democracy as a system of government in Nigeria?

ls it not to be thought about that our representatives who have spent more time outside the country than at the houses of parliaments in their business escapades oversees should be ashamed for their disservice to their people?

They have seen and enjoyed functional system of governance oversees yet they have learnt and forgotten nothing. Are our representatives too ignorant to learn from the good practices of others?

Is their ignorance incurable? One is inclined to think that Nigerians are most unfortunate with most of our selected and elected representatives. Our country is down on account of their licentiousness and lack of vision. May God save us from their deadly grips!



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