OPINION BY ALBERT IGIEBOR: Comrade Adams Oshiomhole Deepens Democratic Culture

Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, former Edo State Governor


If we get democracy right, we will catch up with our resources-promised world class quality of life that is distantly ahead of the disgusting actual quality of life.

The ensuing quality of life gap, a waste of potential that can perhaps compete as one of the widest worldwide, is reproachful, stigmatizing, inexcusable and incapacitating.

However, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole-led All Progressives Congress (APC) is engineering people-centered and reward-rich initiatives that are hitherto thought, in Nigerian political terrain, as unrealizable.

The people-friendly initiatives are potent to radically close the traumatizing quality of life gap.

If the party system, the passage through which, for instance, a presidential candidate goes through into Aso Rock is people-centered and conscientious; political leadership will be powered with conscience-alive disposition and will thereby be sensitive, people-mindful, sacrificial, selfless and mindful of their action affects.

We should liberate ourselves, through political party’s democratization of their operating system as it is being championed by APC, from the plague of refuse-to-develop disposition. It will subsequently make us to be irritated by mediocrity, tail experiences and crumb mentality.

According to the report of United State of America Department of Agriculture, Brazil is both the highest producer and consumer of rice in Western hemisphere and she exports broken rice to, guess where, West Africa.

It is undignifying that we are self-handicap in exporting technological products and pitiably, agricultural produce also. When are we going to stop staring but rather, hunt for and capture markets that will responsively create jobs?

Uncorrupted democracy is the answer to our handicap. If it is not all-participatory democracy, it is not democracy. Shall we babe-sit democracy eternally?

The freedom of choice in an electoral process, all-participatory democracy and conscientiousness are the core pillars of democracy that decorates it with its native colour, appeal and taste.

Our unenviable and strangely celebrated problem-romancing syndrome in our political terrain results from the disconnect of the people from exercising their liberty of choice in elections.

When a candidate emerges in either primary or secondary election not through the people but through the back door, he has been licensed, to vandalize peoples’ prospects and cannibalize their legitimate entitlements.

When Comrade Adams Oshiomhole-led National Working Committee (NWC) of APC approved all-inclusive direct primary election for the party, the grass root rolled out drums to celebrate the restoration of their inalienable right as ultimate custodian of political power.

This progress-amplifying all-participatory democracy that is being spear-headed by APC and which eluded us in several decades, is a tutorial that is being envied by other parties and perhaps working frantically to catch up with APC’s trail-blazing initiatives.

Elitists’ preference of indirect primary that localizes voting power in few selected and unrepresentative individuals weakens political education and promotes voting apathy. Is it not self-mockery that we promote politics of grass root exclusion only to turn around to lament voting apathy?

Comrade Oshiomhole’s expansive experience for over two decades in managing corporate visions and meritoriously leading people fueled his appreciation and practice of people-centeredness and all-participatory democracy. An apostle of one man, one vote, even prior to his becoming a governor, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole gave Edo State exemplary leadership and all-participatory governance, hard-to-match.

His one man, one vote crusade has a dimension of all-participatory democracy and freedom of choice in an electoral process. His extra-large relevant experience cushioned culture shock on his assumption of office as the National Chairman of APC barely few months before the primary elections, a situation that should have taken an inexperience person perhaps a year to acclimatize.

The degree of embrace of direct primary elections that was also applied in APC presidential primary is impressive. It will arouse electorates’ interest and improve political participation. In 2015, Benue State, for instance, registered 1.9m voters but only 600,000 voters turned up to vote at the general election. This voting apathy is common in many states.

In matured democracies, indirect primary election is not a risk but it is a huge risk in emerging democracies where get-rich-quick aspirations, vanity-inflamed drives and self-interest pursuits that subordinate public interests in workplaces are fashionable.
Leaders will deliver their inalienable obligation to maximize the upgrade of the quality of life only when the electorates enjoy their inalienable freedom of choice in elections. We have resources-installed potential that is ordained to shoot our quality of life to world class standard but painfully, we do not have enough conscientious leaders to engineer the shooting.

It is the content of attitudes that remotes, in the political landscape, either uninterrupted and non-discriminatory or interrupted and discriminatory flow of the milk and honey in the land. In the hierarchy of diminishing appetites for covetousness; some leaders oddly love covetousness while others are indifferent and others have distaste and still others are allergic to covetousness and ultimately, precious leaders hate covetousness.

Most of our leaders populate the odd class of love of covetousness. When love is misplaced on covetousness, leaders will have no love but hate to administer upon the led.

Apparently, His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari GCFR is in the enviable class of hate of covetousness and consequently has no hate but love to administer upon the led.

This is why Nigerians are zealous and committed to the re-election of His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari GCFR, for a second tenure to perfect his installation of integrity-governance mechanism in Nigeria’s leadership sub-culture.

The fruits of integrity-controlled leadership culture are appetizing. In the past, we strangely refused to develop, not even to crawl out of the woods but now, we are flying out on integrity wings like an eagle in, for instance, solid mineral, agriculture, roads, rails etc. Have we not gambled enough with our destiny?

In the past 53 years, according to National Bureau of Statistics, Nigeria earned N118trn from crude oil alone. If revenue from other sources were enough to cover recurrent expenditure in the period, it implies that we ought to have physical infrastructure to the tune of N118trn at historical cost.

Alternatively, at current market value of several multiples of N118trn, we ought to have been pleasuring in about 80,000 mega watts of electricity, enough modern train coaches, virtually accident-free roads, good housing, easy admission to tertiary institutions, ubiquitous train services that should have, for instance, plying Sokoto to Port Harcourt in about five hours at 320 kilometres per hours etc.

However, a mental survey of our political landscape shows it to be grievously empty of infrastructures. Why? A critical contributory reason is our leadership recruitment process that is unproductive, development-hostile, people-unfriendly, vanity-inflamed and purpose-deprived. Our tradition of sole consideration of academic credentials is like putting the cart before the horse.

Our stagnation is rooted to this misplacement of priorities.
There are two steps in leadership recruitment process that stimulate development. The first and fundamental leg that command higher weight is character consideration or eligibility and the subordinate second leg is technical know-how including academic credentials.

When any of the two legs is despised, it will put destiny on a one-legged race that enrobes with tail experiences or failure chain. Is it not self-deceit to insist on one-legged scrutiny of candidates for leadership, a process that has in several decades, consistently being giving us appalling and woeful results?

Our problem-romancing syndrome that frustrates the generation of solutions by leadership is traceable to our one-legged recruitment process that fails to acknowledge and appreciate attitudes resources as critical solution-producing catalysts. It foists on us, unenviable status of infrastructural deficits managing nation with 17 million housing deficits, perhaps 70,000 mega watts electricity deficits, ridiculous deficits in train services etc. Infrastructure deficits management makes a nation to lose sight and focus of future security.

Able men scale of leadership selection affirms the superiority and inevitability of character consideration in recruiting leaders with enriched capacity to deliver solutions. The character variables include financial integrity, moral integrity, honesty, contentment, fear of God, people-centeredness and hate of covetousness.

President Muhammadu Buhari is empirically acknowledged for his outstanding high scores in these seven character attributes. It is only a conscientious leader that transmits destiny-alive action-effects. Additionally, he has peculiar attribute of exhausting himself, exacting on self without restrain while in office to maximize solution delivery.

Leaders that are not conscientious will fail, while in office, to either exhaust themselves nor maximize opportunities and tend, after leaving office, to fill the gap of non-performance by remote-controlling, as a shadow leader, their immediate as well as distant successors. Able men scale is a reliable technique to isolate potential leaders that have capacity, as solution-producing agents, to enforce change.

The quality of a leader’s attitudes resources and the sub-culture of a political party, the passage to elective and appointive offices collaboratively shape the development of a nation. Comrade Adams Oshiomhole’s leadership style of APC is endearing the party to the people.

His mainstreaming of grass root in politics will promote, in governance, purpose-orientedness, transparency, result-centeredness and accountability. Electorates should evaluate political parties sub-culture to decipher whether they are people or money denominated and to flee, for future security, from every indicative or appearance of corruption.

Able men scale of leadership recruitment, well-patronized worldwide, dictates that if, with hate of covetousness, loots are regarded as accursed things, public funds will be available to support the execution of itemized government projects even if, peradventure, some of them were not articulated by world class expertise.

In the contrary, the despise of able men scale will lead to the recruitment of vanity-inflamed leaders that are powered by the love of money which is the root of failure boom, a full eclipse of failure in every department of life. With vanity-inflamed pursuits, the articulation of projects with world class expertise but deprived conscience, will result in looting public funds and thereby frustrate projects implementation because of lack of backup cash.

A failed character will steer anything into failure. We are, as a nation, known for quality articulation of government policies and programmes but have ugly history of poor implementation as a result of character handicap.

Interestingly, integrity-controlled leadership culture of President Muhammadu Buhari GCFR is enforcing leadership transmission of action effects that are seasoned with salt, future-security assured and value-adding, an empowerment to, in due season, brandish a world class quality of life. Vote integrity today!

Albert Igiebor, a commentator on public affairs, writes in from Kaduna. Email: alsuccessculture@gmail.com

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