Before you blame our people on the failings of our democracy….
Agreed, Democracy is a difficult and intricate system of governance.
How much do our people really know about Democracy and democratic governance? How prepared, knowledge-wise, are they to handle the intricacies of Democracy? Before you blame the average Nigerian electorate, ask yourself how much the electorate actually knows about the whole exercise.
Many politicians and elected government officials are not really bothered about how educated our electorates are, as long as they can get them to vote and get them elected. They care less about the level of knowledge that leads to the so-called election. Nigerians vote during elections without knowing why they are voting and who they are voting for. They don’t also know what to expect from the people they are voting into offices. Little wonder then, they see their statutory “dividends of democracy” as benevolence of those in power. Little wonder Governors and Presidents are applauded for everything they do. This also explains why our elected officials become demi-gods once they get into office.
Seriously, let us ask ourselves these simple questions (below) and attempt providing answers. You will be amazed how ignorant our people, Nigerian electorates, are.
- What does being a country mean?
- Who is a citizen of a country and what are the benefits?
- What are the duties and responsibilities of citizens?
- Why do we have to elect our leaders ourselves?
- Why do we practice DEMOCRACY in Nigeria?
- What difference does Democracy make?
- What are the basic expectations of the Nigerian people under a democratic rule?
- What are the duties and responsibilities of elected political officials?
- Why do we have political parties? Can’t we practice democracy without political parties?
- What do they mean by “Doctrine of Separation of Powers”?
- What are the differences in roles/responsibilities of the Executive, Legislature and the Judiciary?
- How do these three arms relate in a Democracy?
- What are the duties/Responsibilities of President, Vice-President, Governors, Deputy Governors, Senators, Members of House of Reps, Ministers, Boards, etc?
- What are the responsibilities of INEC?
- What are the duties/responsibilities of INEC?
- What are we supposed to do during elections?
- What? What? What?
So many questions and little or no answers!
Democracy thrives best on knowledge. The knowledge base of a people goes to determine, to a large extent, the success of Democracy. An ignorant population, in the hands of corrupt politicians, make nonsense of democracy.
According to Nelson Mandela, “Education is the best weapon to change the world”. But, what kind of education are we talking about here? Effective education! We are concerned here about Education that teaches the heart and the mind. We are concerned about Education that enlightens the individual and dispels ignorance. That which us better individuals, better people.
Do we desire a change in Nigeria, especially in our political lives, leadership/followership? If we sincerely do, we must embrace education, mass education of our people. We must hold ourselves accountable for the change we desire. We must educate and re-educate our minds! We must reverse all the negative teachings! We cannot also continue to leave everything in the hands of Governments. We must take the responsibility to get it right ourselves. This is the responsibility Leadership Development, Innovations & Dynamics Initiatives (LDIDI) has taken up. We want to make change through education! We are non-governmental, non-profit, non-religious, non-political organization, dedicated to expelling ignorance through education, information and enlightenment.
Join us and contribute your quota to this noble cause. With so little from each of us, we are able to do so much collectively. We can make impact! We can change Nigeria for good.