Immunity In Governance: Boon Or Doom?

by L.Chinedu Arizona-Ogwu

But it is not only for the well-being of the media to hold accountable to us being in the dark as to the N300M Health Ministry diverted fund. The opposition parties try to keep the government honest in this instance; I did not hear the NDP asking the LP whether they got a bit slice of the Health Ministries diverted budget fund. Perhaps their manner is due to fear that the PDP would, in return, ask whether the NDP was bribed by the labour unions to appease the Nigerians. Let him without sin throw the first stone, Eh? Pertinent is that such “gifts”, be they the result of a direct understanding between briber and bribee or the result of politicians’ ineptitude, are directly attributable to the bribing of politicians. In the first instance, it is malice, in the latter it is the result of inept politicians holding power only because elections were manipulated with bribe money.

Everything has a price tag and politics are not exempt. It costs plenty of money to maintain and operate the parties. It cost money to subjugate the Law- Makers by recruiting, leashing and “party-whipping” the “people’s representatives” into the service of the parties and their sponsors. It cost money to turn one party’s executives into rubber-stamps, into “nobodies”. Indeed, it costs more to run a democracy with parties, if that was possible which it is not, than it would to run it without the parties. We are made to pay the cost of running parties who subvert our system of government and who have displaced democracy with party-o-cracy. It is we the people who pay and this was the case before and after it.

Because of the parties, the cost of elections has been highly inflated, to the detriment of democracy. Flying big jet planes and driving campaign busses to carry the party bosses around the country for photo-ops, do not leave the election process unharmed. We pay for the politicians’ battles for power and we pay against our will. We pay because they have neutered our democratic right to elect people representing us, the people, and through it, to control our government, like free people do. Our democratic right to do so is suppressed by the political parties – the establishment have displaced democracy and replaced it with party-o-cracy.

Coming from the background of an undemocratic transition programme, resting on an economic system which directly or otherwise condemns the overwhelming majority of the working people to a state of perpetual poverty and as such, cannot yield true democratic rights to the masses, the likely successors to Abacha junta should be expected to be as corrupt and undemocratic as their military predecessors. Unless a powerful pan-Nigerian movement of the working people develops as soon as possible in that kind of situation to remove such a government or hold in check its anti-democratic conducts, things can become so bad that, sooner than imagined, many people will begin to yearn for a military solution again. In a nutshell, so long as these people lasts in Nigeria, there can be no basis for an enduring democratic civil rule.

Remember the April 2007 elections that opportunity ruling party got to democratize our political system. After voting 83% for the people’s mandate, the Obasanjo regime in bid to cement his past atrocities, cast aside his differences, closed rank and hand-picked the duel of Yar’Adua/Goodluck pairings to kill the public will. We lost; he won, for we had not the democratic power to subdue his bunch of rude politics. That nobody is above the law, his past is obstructing his future. The power scam, the FCT land scam, the rural telephony failure, the unlawfully sales of government properties, the aviation intervention fund et al has his finger prints. Iyabo is a testimony to all these!

Should IMUNITY sleeps Diepreye Alamieseigha would go free, no EFCC against Joshua Dariye, Orji Kalu and the rest but if IMMUNITY clause goes to comma, whistle blowers would alert us against loots that took place even as I am writing this piece, somewhere, someone in power is sucking the state or the nation dry. If IMMUNITY is truncated, the searchlight would beam bright, to spare not even the Anti-graft agency themselves who steal pursuing thieves. Let the IMMUNITY take a bit break, one month, eight months, two years or whatever, you see huge and overnight development every where. But should the IMMUNITY clause withdraws, there would be outright development at ward levels that would put in place dispensaries, postal services, banking services, clinics, industrial shells, waste disposal facilities, roads, vendor marts, rural business centre and growth points, affordable health care facilities, provide educational facilities, electrify everywhere and promoting computer literacy and informative communication technology (ICT).

And when it proves no assent to IMMUNITY clause, the least development would recognize even Water and Ecological Management to its readiness. Communities would be complimented in the management of water and ecological resources (flora and fauna) by encouraging: Woodlots and tree planting programmes ,Forestry conservation, Prevention of soil erosion, siltation, etc., Prevention of veldt aid forest fires, Provision of clean drinking ,Tourism and Cultural Facilities . The preservation of identified sites of historical and cultural importance would be acknowledged, Rural Energy Provision would be procured through Enhance Rural Electrification Programme and other power generation technologies in communal and resettlement areas e.g. Wind power, solar power and or biomass. The provision business, rural service centers, district service centers, clinics, schools, polling stations and rural homesteads with telephone, mobile networks, the internet and other social services would again get government attentions.

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