John Shiklam in Kaduna
Former Niger State governor, Muazu Babangida Aliyu, has decried the corrupt electoral process in Nigeria, noting that it has made it impossible for honest people to seek elective offices.
Aliyu stated this at the weekend in Kaduna while speaking as a guest at the annual lecture and General Meeting of the Kaduna State Chapter of the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations (NIPR).
He said, “One of the issues that may erode the confidence in our system is in our election and electoral system, to the extent that some prominent Nigerians are questioning whether democracy is workable in Nigeria.
“The process is so corrupted that it has become impossible for honest and not well-to-do-person to contest election in Nigeria.”
Aliyu, a chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), served as governor of Niger state for eight years, from 2007 to 2015.
According to him, delegates for primary elections see the nomination process as an avenue to make money from those aspiring for elections.
“The fee for the purchase of forms, the delegates see the nomination process as their opportunity to make money and shamelessly collect from all the aspirants, knowing that they can only cast their votes for one person.
“At the end of it all, the highest bidder get nominated. Probably, because of the manner our elections are conducted, the loss of moral values in our body politic, the level of corruption or is it poverty, where sachet of noodle and two yards of cloth can make a person mortgage his four years of life.
“Little wonder, therefore, most of the election results end up in courts, hence giving the courts the power to elect our leaders,” he said, lamenting the weak institutions that ought to have inspired confidence and promote loyalty to the nation.
Aliyu said, “Our institutions that should engender confidence and loyalty to the nation have become porous, corrupt and display total lack of integrity.
“Sale and purchase of appointment both at the civil service and political levels. Most of these offices are supposed to be neutral, non-partisan and be totally loyal to the country and the government of the day.
“How can that happen when an officer, who purchased his offices now knows the beauty of corruption. In addition, these are the offices that talk, treat and handle issues of ethical sustainable development.
“We may be doomed if we don’t arrest and correct the situation. How many of us know the councilor representing your ward, the members of state Assembly, your members of the House of Representatives, your senator, not mention your governor or Minister?
“We have a runaway democracy because we the critical stakeholders don’t seem to care so long we are in our comfort zone. We must pay attention so that those we elect must be reminded of their responsibilities.”
Prominent Ondo Indigenes Write CJ, Allege Unconscionable Paralysis of GovernanceSome prominent indigenes of Ondo State, home and abroad, have written to the Chief Judge of the state, Justice Ayedun Olusegun Odusola, expressing grave concerns about the lack of governance in the state under his watch.
The concerned indigenes are ‘Gbenga Sesan, ‘Yemi Adamolekun, Ademola Adesida, Feyi Fawehinmi, Japhet J Omojuwa, Kayode Ogundamisi, Omokunbi Adeoti, Omolara Gbonigi, and Omoyele Sowore.
In a statement dated November 27, 2023, the indigenes contended that, Governor Rotimi Akeredolu of the state, had been ill for most of his second term since he was sworn into office on February 24, 2021.
According to them, “This year, he embarked on a well-documented medical leave, handing over executive powers to his Deputy Governor on June 7. He returned on September 7 and promptly wrote to the State House of Assembly informing them of his return.
“However, due to his ill-health and the poor state of public health facilities in Akure, he has been forced to stay in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, to access the care he needs.
“Any human being can be sick at any point in time and it is certainly not Mr Akeredolu’s wish for his body to have failed him in this manner. In the words of Thomas Fuller, ‘Health is not valued till sickness comes.’
“Therefore, the issue is not that Mr Akeredolu is ill, but that governance has been completely paralysed, gravely impacting the quality of life of approximately 5.3 million residents in the process.
“Furthermore, the leadership he assembled to govern the state has shown a clear inability to step in and provide the much-needed leadership of the state in his absence.”
Listing some of the impacts the governor’s long absence has had on the state, the indigenes noted that it was about time the CJ intervened as an independent arm of government with such responsibility at such a time.
“In light of this, we call on your Lordship to act in your capacity as the leader of the third arm of government, with independent powers to enforce the law of the land to compel the Ondo State EXCO to act in line with Section 189 of the Constitution and request that the Speaker of the State House of Assembly constitute a medical panel to ascertain Mr Akeredolu’s capacity to govern.
“We have given Mr Akeredolu two months since his return in September 2023, to do the same thing he asked former President Yar’Adua to do in 2010. Since he has failed to act accordingly, we ask your Lordship to act immediately to forestall further crisis in the state,” the statement stated.