Archive for June, 2009

IT IS NOT LACK OF LAWS

June 18, 2009

IT IS NOT LACK OF LAWS

Have you imagined life without laws? I guess everything would have been chaotic without laws. It is said that life unexamined is not worth living. Laws to a reasonable extent make it easy for life to be examined. If there were no guiding rules which control organizations, their activities, and the society generally, disorder would be prevalent. Laws therefore form the basic part of what is holding us together globally as a people.

 

 I used to think that chaotic situations emanated from lack of laws but I realized it was not for lack of laws but lack of implementation of the already existing ones. I looked around our nation and got to know this, because if we are able as a people to implement and abide by all the already existing laws there would be relatively no need for the law enforcement agents. Many are still clamouring for more laws but I do not think our problems are more laws but ability to abide and implement the ones already on ground.

 

Whenever I hear about or look at laws, my mind is always on the symbol of justice. I used to call for reforms of our laws looking critically at the symbol of justice. The symbol of justice depicts balance, equity, truth and fairness. But it does not depict same in Nigeria. In Nigeria, the law makers and the law enforcement agents are above the law; the people are meant to obey the laws and they remain binding on the people. Our laws seem to favour those who are well to do or money bags. The people who are behind bars for minor offences far out number those who have committed grievious offences against the polity. One of my friends said that the fact remains that the politics of Nigeria consists of men and women who ought to be behind bars but are walking free not because of lack of laws but for lack of implementation and total adherence to the rule of law.

 

What do we tell a ‘serving’ governor who ‘made’ the law that his subjects should all register their cars but have unregistered cars in his convoy? Is it as a result of lack of laws? What do we say of political aides who turn trained policemen into house helps? What of politicians who use and abuse siren inspite of laws that bans the use and abuse? The officers of F.R.S.C and the Police do arrest, seize, or prosecute all motorcycle riders who fail to wear crash helmets. But take a look around town and you would see policemen, air-force men, army men and all manner of law enforcement agents riding motorcycles personally or while discharging their duties without crash helmets. They are either playing to be above the law or proving that the laws are afraid of them. Many law makers and law enforcement agents drive against traffic and even force law abiding citizens to make way for them to pass because they are more important than the people.

 

Now I know why Fela Anikulapo Kuti described them as V.I.P (Vagabonds In Power). Vagabonds do exhibit total disregard for the rule of law. So our major problem is having men at the top who believe that the laws of the land are not binding on them. I realized from John Maxwell that the genuine leaders do not raise followers but raise leaders, and their lives are like bill boards or sign posts. We do not lack laws, we only lack leaders. Looking critically at the laws of leadership and the principle of the lid, we should not be in doubt why the people in Nigeria think and behave the way they do. Occupying a post in the polity should only make you a servant to the people and not the boss. Wearing a uniform should not make you above the law, after all Fela Anikulapo Kuti said that “uniform na cloth na tailor dey sew am”. After reading a book on children psychology, I realized why it is difficult to force people into things. Kids do more often what they see you do than what you say. Government and their agencies should stop talking too much or holding blackboard and chalk seminars and get down to real business. Do what you want or expect the citizens to do. Play by the rules. Obey the laws, and the people would align without much effort. Nigeria would be great again!

ARINZE ALINNOR .A.

 P. O. BOX 17985, IKEJA – LAGOS.

08033001782, 07029447342

arinze198@gmail.com

http://www.arinze198.wordpress.com

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10 years of Demon-crazy roads?

June 9, 2009

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10 YEARS OF DEMON-CRAZY ROADS?

 

 

Many had said that during the period we had military dictators in power that the voice of the people never counted. Now that we have experienced a decade of uninterrupted ‘democracy’ the votes of the people have never counted. Is it still a nascent democracy? A child of about ten years is no longer a toddler. But looking back, the last ten years had been full of intrigues and infantile activities by full grown adults who are only growing old and had not grown up. Anyone in the polity that wants to pop champagne and celebrate activities in the last ten years just want to celebrate mediocrity and should have the head examined by a psychiatrist.

 

 

Democracy is about credible elections and the power of the electorate. I would prefer calling June 12th 1993 our democracy day because of the power of the electorate in the election that took place. May 29th 1999 was just a day the men in Khaki pulled their uniforms and took on agbada, and handed over to their own who had pulled his Khaki before them. Fela Anikulapo Kuti had described democracy as crazy demonstration or demonstration of ‘craze’. Many learned minds have also described democracy in many ways than one. But I wish to add my own satiric definition of democracy. My own says “Democracy is a system of government when the polity is full of crazy demons and demons are crazy in people’.

 

 

I therefore submit that we have had ten years of manifestation of crazy demons in Nigeria. Fela Anikulapo Kuti said whenever he wanted to sing about misappropriation, lack of water, lack of power supply, mismanagement of resources, stealing by government, he realized they had become old news. I want to sing about demon-crazy roads and I do not know whether it has also become old news. But I will sing all the same. Since the last ten years, demons had suddenly gone crazy and they are on rampage on our roads. The demons were permitted by the vagabonds in power as Fela would describe them who want to handover everything that government ought to do and do nothing but still remain a government.

 

 

I was reading what Dr. Reuben Abati commented on the state of the Lagos-Ibadan road on the ‘democracy’ day but felt he did not quite ask to know the state of other ‘Federal’ roads begging for attention on the same day. I had my own share of the experience on our demon-crazy roads the same day. My own experience was not on the same road but on the Ore axis of the Lagos-Ore-Benin road. While I was trying to call a friend to complain about the state of the road and the terrible traffic we were stuck in, the same person called me. He said he was on his way to Enugu on the express and their tyre went off owing to a big gulley on the road. He said they dodged many of such but were unfortunate to enter one that was like a ditch. I was short of words. Many were complaining about our government and their being too far from the people and their plight. Many concluded that roads had remained like that because of insensitivity of the government officials who do not even ply the roads but enter flight. Though we took a few shots at different spots, my friend deleted most of the shots when he got annoyed at some point. We were at one spot for three and half hours. I was wondering whether it was not the same road our former Minister of Works visited. I would refer to her as the ‘weeping minister’.

 

 

Why did she cry then? Would it have been crocodile tears? Did she saw the crazy demons on rampage? May be she was weeping for serving in a government that shows insensitivity to the genuine needs of the people. The deplorable state of that particular road, the man hours lost, the lives lost, the many vehicles destroyed, should have elicited same form of concern from the government. One man said while we were stuck there in traffic that they are trying to formalize the concessioning of some Federal roads and that was what was delaying the repair or reconstruction of the road since the visit of the weeping minister. I told him to say that to the birds not humans. I asked the man, what else had they been doing since all their efforts are geared towards taking their hands off everything that they ought to do as a government? I hear many say the government had not been good in managing her investments and that informs their trying to involve the private sector in everything. Good talk! Who do we blame for inaction, mismanagement, and inability to take full responsibility on the part of government?

 

 

I was glad that most of the people up there attended the international conference on the ten years of democracy in Nigeria and they heard Collin Powell speak. He told them that democracy is driven by performance. What is the performance of the democracy over here in the last ten years? Pseudo fight against corruption, lack of transparency, lack of respect for the rule of law, massive rigging in elections, do or die politics, misappropriation of public funds, probes without results, genuine insensitivity to the plight of the people, black board and chalk seminars, policies for the elite, lack of political will to projects, impoverishing of the people in the name of poverty alleviation are all dividends of democracy. There is nothing to celebrate except demon-crazy roads. Strikes and scarcity of petroleum products in an oil producing nation are part of performance and dividends of democracy. God bless them for wasting ten years on personal and party agenda.  

 

 

 

 

ARINZE ALINNOR A.

P. O. BOX 17985, IKEJA – LAGOS.

08033001782, 07029447342

arinze198@gmail.com

www.arinze198.wordpress.com