“Even if I do not construct a culvert as President, what I know is that I will hand over power to the people before I leave” PMB 2016.
Power belongs to the people which are exercised through periodic elections as provided by the 1999 FRN Constitution as amended. The process of exercising this power by the Nigerian people is provided for in the Electoral Act which defines political space, participation and electoral process.
The civic authority of the people to superintend over the choice of those who manage their affairs has been stolen by money bag politicians, who invented all forms of electoral malfeasance to gain and retain power.
These unpatriotic acts of the political elites dispossessed the people of the power to change bad leadership. Therefore, good governance has kidnapped by political bandits who negotiate ransom with their security and welfare.
Ballot stuffings and snatching, falsification of results, votes buying and all forms of electoral fraud monetized the process which excluded the majority in favour of negligible minority who usurped political authority with impunity.
Of course, voters apathy was created in place of majority rule as sacrosanct tenet of democracy. Any attempt for electoral reforms is naturally killed by urban guerrillas who are direct benefits of usurpation of political authority.
This ignoble electoral system disenfranchised the people thereby relegating them to mere spectators in their own political space. As result of these corruption assumed the official value of governance and electoral administration.
This state of political despair created the Buhari’s cult followers because of his identification with peoples related issues. The President did not only identify but also associated with the predicaments of the common people.
He exemplified by living amongst them since retirement from military service. His passion for the common good reinforced his charisma which beguiled the political sentiments of the masses. This is the origin of the SAI BABA political hurricane of 2003 -2015.
To stand against this political tide in 2015 was a risk even made people couldn’t dear. The common people for the first time under this dispensation invested both materials and hope to entrust their future in President Mohammadu Buhari under the CHANGE MANTRA which latter metamorphosed into NEXT LEVEL.
The Buhari I know has integrity and I am an unrepentant advocate of integrity, but I have learnt the hard way that integrity alone in leadership of a complex multicultural community is not enough to effect change. It requires the compliment of strong political will with the right choice of veranda cabinet to deliver.
The President promised the Nigerian people that even if he achieved nothing, he will restore democratic rights of choice of leadership to the people because of his unpleasant experiments from 2003 – 2015 in the hands of opposition Governors while seeking nominations, he vowed to rescue democracy. This covenant is what pacified the people against all challenges confronting the nation because of the hope of ownership of the democratic enterprise.
This opportunity came unsolicited when the National Assembly in trying to protect their political interests aligned with the people sentiments by amending the electoral act to provide for Electronic transmission of results and Direct Primaries. The bill was sent to the President and he declined assent in favour of money bags politicians.
I am only disappointed because the President has lost the opportunity to make history by trading off his legacy to political elements who rivals his charisma. If a great warrior dies in the company of cowards who will perform his requiem, warriors or cowards?
Electoral reform is the key to strengthening democratic institutions and by extension good governance. Now that the president has jettisoned the ideas of restoring power to the people, the only option to the Nigerian people is to administer the same political vaccine of 2015 to cure this ignoble political system already on Oxygen.
My loyalty to President Muhammadu Buhari is based on shared common values for the people. His declined assent to the Electoral Bill is against our principles and contract with the Nigerian people.
I stand with the people.
Hon Solomon Dalung
Lead speaker National Unity and integration NCfront shadow government.