Governance: Nigeria has suffered more from inertia & confusion than from rule of intelligence – Tinubu
Former governor of Lagos state and influential member of the Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN, party, on Wednesday said Nigeria has “suffered more from inertia and confusion than from rule of intelligent but malevolent design.”
Speaking in Washington DC at Woodrow Wilson International Center For Scholars, he said:
“Nigeria is the focus of our conversation today and I will attempt to briefly capture the challenges that confront us as a nation. I have devoted most of my adult life to promoting democracy in Nigeria. The battle has been neither short nor easy. I have lived in exile, unsure if I would ever see my homeland again. My life has been under threat to the point where I did not know if I would see the next sunrise. I say these things not to boast. There are thousands who made similar or greater sacrifice. I say these things so you may understand that my address to you is based on the long-term perspective of a person who has occupied the trenches from the onset of the struggle for democracy versus dictatorship in Nigeria. I am not of that class of politicians who have benefitted from the struggle without participating in it. Because they never invested themselves in this clash between liberty and blind might, these politicians do not fully appreciate, nor do they seek to advance the cause of democracy. Because my life has been defined by the achievements and setbacks recorded in this struggle, I understand with every sinew and fiber of my being how far we have come and how far we have yet to go,” he said.
“Nigeria currently is tossed by four distinct but related storms. First, we exist in political limbo. Although uniformed generals no longer formally control the levers of government, the ways and manner of military rule still dominate the political landscape. We hold elections in Nigeria. But that isolated fact does not a democracy make.”
“Nigeria exists in that strange dimension where we have a civilian government equally possessed of the attributes of authoritarian rule as if democratic governance. Everyday Nigeria awakens, it awakens to this hybrid existence and a vexing question: To which side shall the balance tip? Although most of us consider this an unfortunate predicament, numerous actors profit from the current state of affairs. Leading figures in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) have repeatedly proclaimed the objective of ruling Nigeria for an uninterrupted sixty- year period. Such dynastic aspirations are at variance with true democracy.”
“Then there are those of us who believe the veneer of democracy is insufficient in this day and age. We believe Nigeria cannot remain a confused hybrid without succumbing to national regression. The nation must move either toward real democracy or real disaster. People are fond of saying that Nigeria is at the crossroads. Our situation is more complex than what the phrase usually implies. We are like a person with multiple personalities standing at the crossroads. Consequently, we remain locked in a struggle simultaneously pulling Nigeria in different directions. Democratic and authoritarian forces engage in a tug-of-war in which the soul of Nigeria’s governance is the prize at stake.”