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The paper looks at the cases of corruption and insecurity in Nigeria and identifies the regime under which the problems are more prevalent, using descriptive method of data gathering. Too many people who are in public offices through appointment or flawed elections in civilian regime see politics as a meal ticket. This encourages corruption probably because the politicians and the electorate are primitive and terribly unenlightened. The quest for material acquisition has reduced politics to warfare, leading to insecurity of lives and property. The story is different under military regime whereby the degree of corruption is lower; absence of electoral violence. Among others, it is recommended that politicians found guilty of corruption or electoral violence be given a life jail term or capital punishment as it is done in Asia.
Keywords: Corruption, electoral violence, insecurity, democracy.
Corruption and insecurity have been adversely affecting socioeconomic development in Nigeria since independence. In the first republic, corruption was so pronounced, and coupled with the political violence in the Western region, the military had to intervene in 1966. The story of Nigeria after independence is that of corruption. The predatory elites are to blame. They go into politics because of the urge for primitive accumulation of wealth. This has reduced politics to a zero-sum game. When politics becomes a do or die affair, as encouraged by former president Olusegun Obasanjo (NTA News, Abuja, 2007), the end result is violence/insecurity. According to
Fagbadebo (2007), the Nigerian State is a victim of high level corruption, bad governance, political instability and a cyclical legitimacy crisis. Consequently, national development is retarded, and the political environment uncertain’’.
Political opponents are seen as enemies. Thus, mere ideological difference has become enmity in Nigeria. Thugs are recruited to unleash violence on political opponents because of corruption-driven ambition. Even members of the same political party are involved in violence before primary elections in order to eliminate or intimidate perceived formidable aspirants. The insecurity of lives and property witnessed in the then Western region in 1965 and in Ondo and Oyo States in 1983 where supporters of UPN and NPN were roasting themselves alive is a pathetic example.
One of the pre-election preparations in Nigeria is the arming of unemployed youths as political thugs by sinister and dubious politicians who see politics as a do or die affair. The major problems facing Nigeria today are corruption and insecurity of lives and property. Under which regime have we had more cases of these national malaises? Is it military or civilian?
The theory of The Two Publics by Professor Peter Ekeh (1975) is suitable for the study. It explains the fundamental socio-political dynamics in Nigeria. Ekeh divides the social and normative universe of Nigeria into two realms: the primordial or communal and the civic. The primordial public is the community to which the individual has a sense of membership and of being morally linked. He sees his duties as moral obligations to benefit and sustain a communal public of which he is a member. His attitude towards the civic public is purely materialistic and exploitative. The individual has no moral urge on him to give back to the civic public in return for his benefits. He exploits the civic realm for the benefits of himself and his primordial group.
This theory helps to explain the endemic corruption in Nigeria polity. Politicians struggle for state power not because they have philosophical insight for leadership but because they want to have access to state resources. In this struggle, they do anything: assassination, human sacrifice, arson and other unprintable vices. Why should violence be brought into politics if politicians desire power for selfless service?
Politicians steal from government and are celebrated in their communities with undeserved chieftaincy titles as illustrious sons and daughters especially after the donation of an electric transformer or a water borehole. These are people that should be ostracized in civilized societies. It is a national shame for a common criminal to be celebrated by his party after completing a jail term for corrupt practices. The impoverished, common people in Nigeria even mystify or encourage the political predators to steal more by idolizing their ill-gotten wealth. Very often you hear people say things like “you need to see his beautiful mansion”, “his jeep is costumed made” etc.
When the motive behind the struggle for state power is to steal, the competition becomes violent which leads to insecurity. There have been many cases of unresolved politically motivated murders in Nigeria between 1999 till date.
Many studies have highlighted the dangers inherent in corruption and electoral violence in any society. Such studies include those by Ake (1981); Billy (1981); Clarke (1983) Etc. They all contend that corruption and political violence fuel insecurity and political instability which negate or impede socioeconomic development of any nation. According to Ake, for instance, politics in Nigeria is an all- consuming business. Not only does it consume the energies of all too many Nigerians because it is the gateway to wealth, it is also all-consuming because of the ways in which it affects the operations of the major institutions of the nation.
Using descriptive method, data were gathered from text books and indirect observation: watching television, listening to the news on the radio and reading newspapers. The comparison of cases of corruption and insecurity reported in military and civilian regimes to determine which regime is more prone to the vices was made. The findings support the assumption that cases of corruption and insecurity in Nigeria are more prevalent in civilian regime than in military era.
Corruption and insecurity in civilian regime
Nigeria had civilian government between 1960 and 1966, known as the first republic; between 1979 and 1983, known as the second republic. The third republic was aborted following the annulment of the June 12 1993 presidential election. From May 29, 1999 till date, Nigeria has been ruled by civilian regime. It is imperative to note here that the absence of soldiers in political offices in Nigeria does not make her a democracy. Nigeria has not started the democratic journey.
We have not attained democratic status because of corruption, and we are corrupt because we are very primitive people, with due respect to the very decent Nigerians. We can only talk of democracy when responsible men and women with philosophical insight for leadership are in power for selfless service, then we will have leaders instead of rulers. According to Ake (1996), “Nigeria democratizes with no separation of powers; all powers have been vested in an imperial presidency. There is hardly any rule of law, no justice and no transparency. The coercive agents of the state and public office holders are above the law, civil society is below it, and ordinary people are out of sight. We pretend that we are playing politics when, like mafia families, we are actually waging a violent struggle for a lucrative turf”. This is antithetical to democracy. Democracy is supposed to be a process and an outcome of a healthy power struggle for the establishment or consolidation of an egalitarian society. Nigeria operates a disguised unitary system instead of the constitutionally prescribed federalism probably because of corruption, hence the fierce contestation for the presidency and the national assembly (Odisu, 2002).
Corruption or the quest for primitive accumulation of wealth has pitiably reduced politics to warfare in Nigeria. The list of politically motivated murders is endless. Chief Bola Ige, then Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Chief Harry Marshal, an ANPP chieftain, Chief Dikibo, deputy national chairman, PDP south-south, the Igweshusband and wife, who were members of the NBA in Anambra State were brutally murdered by unknown assassins, just to mention a few. All these assassinations took place before the 2003 general elections for political reasons. Is insecurity or violence an ingredient of governance? Is this the norm in civilized climes such as the United States, United Kingdom or France?
The Independence Day bombing that killed some Nigerians in Abuja had a political undertone. It was allegedly meant to checkmate the presidential ambition of a particular politician. Again, the bombs intercepted at the sea port in Lagos may have been imported for political reasons by dubious politicians (AIT, 2011). The electoral violence in Northern Nigeria in which properties were destroyed and several lives consumed especially corps members engaged as ad-hoc staff of Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and many other violent incidents in other parts of the country during the elections suggest that we are not a serious people. The Boko Haram violence is allegedly being sponsored by some powerful northern politicians who are anti- President Goodluck Jonathan. The politicians were destabilizing the polity for the President to resign in order for power to go to the North. The sponsors later lost the power to stop the violence hence the total breakdown of law and order in the north east of Nigeria. Thus, there is no morality in Nigerian Politics. The US based NGO that predicted that Nigeria would be a failed State come 2015 was right, in as much as the institutions were no longer responding to the needs and aspirations of the citizens. If not for the alarm raised by a former foreign affairs minister, Professor Bolaji Akinyemi, that prompted the timely intervention of eminent leaders such as former UN secretary general, Dr. Koffi Annan and former Commonwealth secretary general, Chief Emeka Anyaoku, as well as appeals from US and UK leaders, the prediction would have brutally come to pass.
The churches that are supposed to preach peace are not helping matters. Some of the church leaders whose sermons are mainly centered on prosperity are now contractors to the ruling party. They encourage electoral violence and corruption by identifying with whoever wins election. They woo politicians who have rigged elections to do thanksgiving service in their churches because of the huge amount of money that will be realized.
Equally worrisome is the role of the judiciary. Some of the judges allowed electoral cases to drag on for a very long time before the final verdict. In Osun, Ekiti and Delta States, verdicts for the petitions of 2007 governorship election came after more than three years. Again, the elongation of tenure for some governors by the Appeal Court just because they were sworn in twice at the aftermath of a rerun election was a travesty of justice. What about the period they were in office before the rerun? The salaries and allowances they received, the contracts awarded, the bills signed into laws were not considered by the court. If the governors had signed the death warrants to carry out the execution of convicted criminals, could the victims be resurrected? Some of the verdicts had left much to be desired. For instance, Justice Abubaka Talba of Abuja High Court sentenced Yakubu Yusufu to prison for two years with an option of a fine of N750,000 for stealing N23 billion from police pension fund (Vanguard 2013).But the man who stole a governor’s GSM phone would spend eight years in prison without an option of a fine. The judiciary has set a dangerous precedent. A public office holder can now freely steal billions of naira and pay a token as a fine and start enjoying his or her loot! All these are a negation to democracy and good governance.
The show of shame on the part of the nation’s electoral body is also a source of violence. The bye election into the Delta Central senatorial election and the governorship election in Anambra State in 2013 were a grisly farce. If INEC could not conduct a free and fair election in just one senatorial district and one state on different dates, then we should be apprehensive of the outcome of a general election. In the just concluded general elections, what took place in Rivers State had no semblance of election. It was a charade. Many people were murdered, houses burnt, etc. Even during political campaigns, people lost their lives because of attacks from opponents. The current political crisis in Rivers State in which the security agents have allegedly become partisan is ominous.
Election period has turned to war period in Nigeria, forcing Nigerians to travel out, while it is a joyous occasion like Christmas celebration for people in the civilized societies. Nigerians, especially some of the educated and responsible ones, travel out of the country for safety, leaving the serious business of voting for the touts and uneducated farmers and market women in choosing those to steer the ship of state. Also worrisome is the belief by some incumbent governors that second term is their birth right. They do unprintable things to secure a second term including violence. What do Nigerian politicians do in office after the violence? They accumulate wealth for themselves, their families, their supporters and primordial groups. It is clear that corruption with the accompanying violence is the evil negating politics and development in Nigeria. This explains the centrality in the polity of the intensive and violent struggle to control and exploit the offices of the state. A man who supports the party into office will be rewarded with contracts for official projects, enabling him to pass on largesse to those further down the line who look up to him for generosity. The system helps those in power to perpetuate their rule because they are at the fountainhead of wealth (Joseph, 1987).
As the corrupt Nigeria public office holders are allegedly buying houses in Dubai, US and Europe, which they rarely stay; and while starching away enormous amount of public fund into foreign private accounts, the impoverished and down-trodden masses at home are battling with inadequate supply of petroleum products, as the state-owned refineries are deliberately prevented from producing at installed capacity to satisfy the satanic yearnings of the predatory Nigeria kingmakers or political godfathers who import petroleum products as if the country never had refineries; epileptic supply of electricity, dilapidated road networks which make travels on land by the masses who cannot afford flights, nightmarish; poor health care delivery system-as our hospitals described as mere consulting clinics in 1983 by Sanni Abacha , have turned to abattoirs, as confirmed by President Jonathan in his closing remark at the nation’s 51st Independence Lecture, when he said that “people always die in Nigeria hospitals and the doctors are not being questioned unlike in US” (Goodluck, 2011).
According to Robinson (2004), “Nigeria exported 20 billion US dollars worth of oil in 2003 but its people still scrape by on an average wage of just a dollar per day— oil money has been wasted in kickbacks and bribes. The country’s economy has struggled with years of mismanagement”. Scholars have described Nigeria as a “finished state” Joseph et al. (1996), and as “a truculent African tragedy” Ayittey (2006). Nigeria is a country where state policies are deliberately formulated to fail because of greed. For instance, the privatization policy had failed due to corruption as revealed by the belated national assembly probe. Government companies were undervalued and sold at a give-away price to cronies fronting for government officials. The privatization of Delta Steel Company, Aladja in Delta State is a horrible and sorrowful example of corruption- motivated exercise. The amount realized from its sale cannot buy the land which the steel plant occupies.
Again, the government has embarked upon projects that would not add value to the lives of the common people. The launching of satellites into the space and the dredging of River Niger are economically unreasonable and are therefore sources of waste. It is no longer fashionable to attribute the underdevelopment of Nigeria to imperialism since the corrupt activities of the politicians were and are still worse than what the colonial masters did. What is the outcome of the 16 billion dollars invested in the power sector between 1999 and 2007? The dividend is darkness! Other dividend is the outrageous bills from the power companies for electricity not supplied. Fixed or service charges are paid whether electricity was supplied or not. So, Nigerians pay bills for staying in darkness! How much did US send to Europe to rebuild it after the Second World War under the Marshall Plan? It is motion without movement in Nigeria since 1999.
The ruling party, People Democratic Party (PDP) has altered the meaning of democracy to suit its dubious purposes, especially between 1999 and 2007 when Nigerians were subdued by the then political trinity : the president as the father, the federal government as the son and PDP as the evil spirit. The situation was so vividly captured by the literary giant, Prof. Wole Soyinka in 2003, when he remarked that “as the election approaches, you will be watching the lawlessness which has characterized the so-called ruling party, the den of killers. There is nowhere we have not witnessed an antecedent of lawlessness. That is the character of the party’’ (Olurode, 2007). The PDP is not a political party but an association of Nigerian predators or hunters (Utomi, 2013). It is held together by undue access to public funds and state resources (Oyovbaire, 2007).It is a marriage of strange bed fellows.
At the time former US president, Bill Clinton, was leaving office after eight years as a state governor and another eight years as president, he was yet to complete the payment of his house he bought through a mortgage scheme. But here in Nigeria, eight years in office as council chairman or state legislator or governor or as a federal legislator could produce several mansions, exotic jeeps and cars, several local and foreign bank accounts loaded with public fund, a bevy of glamorous wives, etc. This, again, explains how primitive our rulers are and why politics has been reduced to warfare in Nigeria. According to Ake (1996),‘’ the crux of the problem of Nigeria today is the over-politicization of social life. We are intoxicated with politics; the premium on political power is so high that we are prone to take the most extreme measures to win and to maintain political power’. As things stand now, the Nigerian state appears to intervene everywhere and to own virtually everything including access to status and wealth. Inevitably a desperate struggle to win control of state power ensues since this control means for all practical purposes being all powerful and owning everything. Politics becomes warfare, a matter of life and death.
In Nigeria today, the gains of office supersede the pains. No public officer thinks about how to create an enabling environment for people to meet their aspirations or how to utilize the nation’s resources for the benefit of all. Thus, the utilitarian theory of the greatest happiness for the greatest number of people as idealized by J.S Mill is missing. Hence the idle federal legislators in Nigeria get N45 million every quarter in the guise of constituency projects which are never executed, in addition to a monthly salary of about ten million Naira (Wuayanwu, 2010). According to Sagay (2012), “the Nigerian lawmakers are the highest paid on the globe. A senator earns N240 million ($1.7 million) in salaries and allowances while a member of the House of Representatives earns N204 million ($1.45 million) per annum’’ Is this not legislative looting? A senator in US earns $174,000 while a UK legislator earns $64,000 per annum. Sagay condemned the Nigerian situation as a “breach of public trust’’.
The former CBN governor, Lamido Sanusi, corroborated Sagay’s views when he said that 25% of the nation’s budget was gulped by the national assembly. What about other forms of corruption in the national assembly? Were the principal officers of the House of Representatives not docked by Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for misappropriation of fund running into billions by allegedly buying unnecessary items at overpriced costs including some bullet proof jeeps as if Nigeria was at war?
Therefore, Anyang Nyango’s contention that democracy brings about a judicious use of resources is right if only Nigerian politicians can imbibe democratic culture. Has Nigeria used her resources judiciously between 1999 and now? The pension and fuel subsidy probes have shown how reckless, corrupt and primitive the Nigerian politicians are.
Other sources of corruption and wastage in Nigeria in civilian dispensation are the cost of election and the size of the government. The Federal Government released N87 billion to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for the registration of voters in preparation for the 2011 general elections. The Federal Executive Council is bloated. Too many ministers and retinue of aides: special assistants, senior special assistants, etc. A minister and a minister for state for one ministry. The US has less than twenty secretaries in her cabinet while Nigeria has up to forty ministers doing only what God knows. The PDP-led government has allegedly spent about N2 trillion for election campaign in 2015 general elections (Punch newspaper, April 19, 2015). How much is the nation’s annual budget? What has been stolen from Nigeria was more than what was used for development.
In the federal legislature, there are 109 senators and 360 representatives most of whom have not moved a motion for eight years. Some are there as cooks and stewards. They only display their wrestling and boxing skills to Nigerians as they often fight while on plenary sessions which makes the national assembly appear as the legislative crowd of comedians or clowns. They only make laws that strengthen their grip to power, not laws that enhance the quality of life in Nigeria. The amendment of the 1999 constitution is illustrative. It is shamefully sad to note that Nigerian legislators now represent the Executive instead of the people who have ‘’elected” them because of greed. Maverick Senator Arthur Nzeribe describes the Legislature as a “handbag or a department of the executive”. No more checks and balances. Thus, Nigeria matches the description of a banana republic.
The story is the same at the state level. The state lawmakers are in the pockets of the corrupt governors because of greed. Once they are ‘settled’ the governors can do anything except turning a man to a woman. Any deputy governor who opposes his boss is usually thrown out of office with the conspiratorial assistance of the greedy and largely ineffectual legislators through the instrumentality of impeachment, a legislative tool, frequently and inappropriately used in Nigeria. This has happened in Bauchi, Bayelsa and Abia States and it is about happening in Ondo State because the deputy governor decamped to the opposition party few days before the 2015 general elections. A cash sum of N50 million each was allegedly given to the Bayelsa lawmakers to sack the then deputy governor (AIT 2011). Because of corruption too, the Ogun State House of Assembly, in 2010, was factionalized: the nine-member pro-governor faction and the fourteen-member ant-governor faction to which the speaker, Hon. Tunji Egbetoku belonged. The speaker and his deputy were impeached and suspended by the pro- governor faction in a ludicrous manner, while a vote of no confidence was passed on the governor, Gbenga Daniel, by the other faction on the 14th September 2010 in Okere- Iremu Grammar School classroom (Channels, 2010).
The crime rate today is due to the mafia politics in Nigeria. The unemployed hungry and angry youths are recruited and armed by the renegade politicians to terrorize opponents as noted earlier. After the elections (war), with guns on their hands, they resort to armed robbery and kidnapping. In his contribution to the nation’s 51st Independence Lecture, Governor Rotimi (2011) noted that armed robbery has become a social protest because of the wide gap between the rich (public office holders) and the masses in Nigeria.
Nigeria politics can be described as a sand beach where people pack sand. Your strength determines how many trips you could make. This presages monumental crisis as the nation is gravitating towards the Hobbesian state of nature. Insecurity is endemic because of the “normlessness and extremist pattern of political competition, the political class operates in a state of siege. Developmental issues are relegated to the background since the struggle for power and resources diverts the energies of our rulers away from economics” (Ihonvbere, 1996). Prof. Wole Soyinka, during a book launch, described the last ten years in Nigeria as a “bloody decade” because of the violence brought into politics (AIT, 2007). In buttressing the assumption that corruption is more prevalent in civilian regime we need to look at the revenue generated from oil in the last 12 years and the period of military rule. With the price of crude oil during this period, one does not need to visit the Revenue Office before affirming that Nigeria has made more money now than the military era. Despite this, there is infrastructural decay, unemployment, hunger etc. Many industries have closed shops and their premises taken over by churches. According to Oyavbaire ( 2007) “The much advertised turn- around of the country’s rail system is yet to be seen. The roads, in spite of the billions of money expended on them by the government, have remained a caricature. The ordinary person is not impressed by announced budgets and advertorials of government claims on this matter. Citizens are better fulfilled when what is claimed by government is life experience”. Nigeria is the only country where recurrent expenditure gulps more money than capital projects. It is also the only country that produces crude oil but imports petroleum products massively at the detriment of the masses. There is no middle class in Nigeria: either you are rich or you are poor. Things like stable power, good roads, good and affordable hospitals, potable water, stable supply of affordable petroleum products, low-cost housing etc that have been taken for granted even in countries that do not produce oil, such as Israel, are our problems! These are indices of gross mismanagement of resources. Libya, while in a civil war enjoyed a more stable supply of power than Nigeria. What a shame!
The cases of corruption are so many that Nigeria has regularly been one of the lowest ranked nations for political transparency by Transparency International in its Corruption Perception Index. It was also as a result of this that former US secretary of state, Condoleezza Rice, remarked that Nigeria was too rich to be poor and too poor to be rich. What is even more worrisome today is the impunity with which corruption is perpetrated, not corruption itself.
Corruption and insecurity in military regime
Nigeria was ruled by the military between 1966 and 1979 and between 1983 and 1999. The military had to intervene because of the large scale corruption and insecurity of life and property. Although the military was corrupt, the degree was lower than that of civilian regime because military government was at that time not as bloated as civilian government. The legislative arm of government that is deeply involved in corruption and which gulps a large chunk of national and local budgets was not in military regime. This point needs to be reechoed since the legislature has shirked and abdicated its statutory responsibility of oversight for the accumulation of wealth at the central and state levels. This is one of the reasons why the legal icon, Afe Babalola, suggested that instead of 36 state assemblies, Nigeria should have 6 regional assemblies for the six geo-political zones and the national assembly members be on part time basis to reduce the corruption and waste of scarce resources.
The cases of corruption among governors between 1999 and 2007 especially in the oil-rich states had made the so- called Abacha loot a child’s play. The loot of one governor surpassed that of Abacha. For eight years a civilian regime could not fix very important roads in the country. Pini Jason captured the situation vividly when he remarked that “We are eight years away from Sani Abacha but still nowhere out of the national traumasIt is not Abacha that is putting the nation on edge again. It is a civilian government! We are again showing signs of fatigue, speculating over petrol price increase, groping in darkness after billions of dollars have been poured into the state-owned Power Holding Company of NigeriaWe are again being woken up with alerts….of plots to destabilize the nation and the international community is again concerned about the nation’s survival…..Believe me, it was not this bad in 1998.”
Nigeria was better in terms of security in military regime than what we have been experiencing in civilian regime. The electoral violence, sharia crisis, boko haram and the Jos crisis that have consumed several lives and destroyed property worth billions of naira in our civilian dispensation left much to be desired. Burning of houses, roasting human beings alive over the struggle for the governorship seats in Ondo and Oyo states between the supporters of Chief Michael Ajasin of Unity Party of Nigeria (UPN) and those of Akin Omoboriowo of National
Party of Nigeria (NPN); and between the supporters of Bola Ige of UPN and Olunloyo of NPN in 1983 led to anarchy, hence the region was referred to as the wild wild west. Such an anarchic situation has not been recorded in a military regime. The violence unleashed on some Nigerians by the Abacha regime cannot be compared with the many alleged cases of politically motivated assassinations witnessed in our civilian dispensation.
Several capital projects in Nigeria were initiated and executed by the military. The construction of the bridges in Lagos, as a former capital city, is one of the many examples. Some roads built by Samuel Ogbemudia as a military governor in the old Bendel State in 1973 are still intact, while those built between 1999 and now in a civilian dispensation despite the oil money are impassable during the rainy season. What can a contractor do if half of the cost of a road project is taken from him?
Jerry Rawlings laid the foundation of democracy in Ghana as a military officer. Today, Ghana is the bride of the civilized world. Many firms have relocated from Nigeria to Ghana probably because of insecurity and infrastructural decay under the watch of civilians. The Libyans are better off with the military regime of Col. M. Gadaffi, who has been providing food on their tables than Nigerians. The fact that Libyans removed Gadafi does not mean that their resources have been mismanaged. He was ousted and killed because of his alleged plan to groom one of his sons as the next leader. There was social security and infrastructural development in Libya under Gadafi, that was why many disillusioned and frustrated Nigerians were going there for a better life. It is hard to see Libyans doing menial jobs in US and Europe, but surprisingly, many Nigerians are struggling to acquire visas to travel abroad for degrading menial jobs.
Military rule is an aberration. It is no longer welcome in Nigeria. In fact, it should not be contemplated. To solve the problems bedeviling our nation, we need revolutionary leaders in the executive and the national assembly. The current president can become a revolutionary leader if he decides to step on the toes of some powerful people (the greedy elites and kingmakers) in order to initiate pro- masses policies. The leadership of the national assembly can do same by quickly passing bills that will favour ordinary Nigerians.
Only a selfless and revolutionary leadership can manage our resources judiciously, deliver social services and abolish poverty in present day Nigeria. By so doing, a solid foundation for democracy is laid. Japan, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, South Korean, China, etc., were developed by selfless, revolutionary leaders such as Mao Zedong, Lee Quan Yun and they laid a solid foundation for democracy which has opened the window for greatness. This is why they are called Asian Tigers.
An attempt has been made to identify the regime in which corruption and insecurity are more prevalent. It can safely be asserted that Nigerians are very primitive people who can do anything to win political power for the sake of material wealth. This has turned politics to war at the expense of secular common welfare which is the cardinal responsibility of a state. The magnitude of mayhem unleashed on political opponents and innocent Nigerians by animals who parade themselves as politicians shows that Nigeria is not a serious country.
Nigerians cannot continue to die or be pauperized by corrupt and blood-thirsty politicians in the name of civil rule. The cases of corruption and insecurity witnessed in Nigeria under the civilian regime outweigh those recorded in military rule. This is due to the fact that very few public officers run a military government, a condition which reduces corruption and prevents waste of resources. The problem of insecurity is also avoided in a military regime because of the absence of electoral violence. However, military regimes are no longer fashionable and as such should not be considered. We implore the present civilian leadership to become revolutionary so that corruption and violence could be eliminated from the polity for the seed of democracy to germinate, thereby paving way for economic growth and development. Except this is done, the ordinary Nigerians will continue to regret being Nigerian citizens.
- The penalty for corrupt practices and electoral violence be reviewed from what it is now to either life imprisonment or death sentence to serve as deterrent to politicians.
- A single term of five years be adopted for every elective executive office. A deputy chairman, deputy governor and vice president should not be allowed to succeed his or her boss immediately except after five years. The blood relations of the elected executives and those they appointed into office be made ineligible to contest for same positions. This is to ensure a level playing field for all aspirants all the time.
- Certain public offices such as governorship, national assembly and state assembly be restricted to those who have attained certain heights in the public and private sectors. This is to prevent vagabonds from bulldozing their way into such offices with their ill-gotten wealth. It will also ensure that only those who have passion for selfless service and who can transform the society go into politics.
- The emolument and remunerations in public offices be pruned down to reduce the attraction and unhealthy political competition.
- The bloated size of government be reduced to manageable level to prevent corruption and waste. 15 ministers and 5 special advisers can work with the president. At the state level, 10 commissioners and 3 special advisers can work with the governor. The legislators are too many, unicameral legislature of only the senate to be made up of 36 members (6 from each geopolitical zone) on part time basis and six regional assemblies of 60 members each on part time basis be adopted. This will surely reduce the unnecessary waste of scarce resources.
- The immunity clause that gives leverage to some public office holders to carry out mindless looting of the treasury be deleted from the Nigerian Constitution.
- Plea bargaining should also be jettisoned from the justice system as it encourages corrupt practices.
- Security vote is not opened to audit and as such it can be embezzled with impunity. It should therefore, be removed from federal and state budgets or be made auditable.
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