Government of National Competence, Zoning and the Making of Democratic Ideology in Nigeria’s Democracy: A Projective Case of the 10th National Assembly.
By Professor Ojo Emmanuel Ademola
In a nationally diverse demographic in an evolving democracy, internal party politics must lean on accentuating competency as a central ideology to earmark democratic balancing as a delivery of the dividend of democracy to the general populace.
In party politics, democracy should sit and stand simultaneously, pronouncing progressiveness. There are differences between being a consummate Democrat and an accidental politician. What makes democracy efficient is more of the ideological background bedrock and rocking on it and not the set interest in joining politics in the selfish act of making democracy a calculus complexity.
From 29 May 2023, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu (BAT), the first term in office as the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and Commander-in-Chief of Army Forces shall commence gracefully. Tinubu’s presidency has one strategic objective, to succeed significantly and unprecedentedly. The overall national aspiration remains that BAT Government has to hit the ground running so that 100 days in government will be a hallmark of refreshment asserting that indeed there are major underlining differences between having a prepared and consummate democrat as the president and not just a mere accidental politician in place and position. BAT will indeed do well for all Nigerians.
In the making of this political dispensation, there are some underpinning contours of Zoning and the Making of democratic ideology in our evolving Democracy. In the past, some governments did not perform to the expectation, and cumulatively the Nation find itself where the citizens desperately look to God for a sort of deliverer. In a few days from now, a new dawn of leadership shall be inaugurated. Indeed, it is going to be an all-inclusive leadership as the answer to our prayers all this while.
It is such a season Nigeria’s politicians depart from the politics of the winners take it all, and embrace the integration, all-inclusive-balancing approach to deepen our democracy. Our governance analogy must consistently refer to an indeed super-sequitur because Governance should be all-inclusive in the National Interest for the Country to develop into a great Nation. The Election has been won, Governance has started, and we are all Nigerians. The incoming President Bola Ahmed Tinubu has all it takes to lay to rest Nigeria’s tripod nationhood challenges exemplary for all Nigerians to enjoy the sweet fruits of being Nigerians.
The advocacy here is efficacious in all-inclusive leadership championing the use of democratic means to foster robust democracy, which includes an inclusive integration of the democratic progressive governance in every part of the Country. Also, the need for this Country to become a great Nation in our time can not be overemphasised. Internal party advanced politics is all about governance cohesiveness, and that should be attested to without any reservation, of course, taken in its entirety.
For instance, we need to consistently remember the fruition labour of our National heroes, particularly during the merger process of the progressive parties coming together in 2014 to form the All Progressive Congress (APC). It was a coming together mainly of progressive democratic minds and the coming that keeps deepening our democracy up-till-date undoubtedly. Objectively, what matter now is the all-inclusiveness governance platform for all Nigerians to see the reality of prosperous governance. Yes, for the incoming government of BAT to make the general populace prosperous irrespective of political party leaning! To my mind, this is what constitutional democracy should aim to deliver.
In such a making of ideological assertion, it appears experience remains central in governance leadership and other leadership for that matter even in the time of the kings, very fewer experienced kings end up doing evils before God Almighty, but fewer less experienced kings committed evils gravely.
At this point, let me quickly make a contribution to explicitly draw from what is trending at this point to piece up a view on zoning, the government of national competence and ideologically progressive approach in an evolving democracy like ours.
Permit me to be emphatic that I am not a spokesperson for any politician, I worked harder than any other intellectuals of my calibre to see Tinubu’s presidency fulfilment robustly just in the interest of Nation-Building and National Interest.
The argument against the choice of South East’s Senator-Elect Orji Kalu for the Senate Presidency should not be lightly centred on parochial limited views. We must rather advocate for the right thing to do at this time of our evolving democracy. Having written a few pieces on how the prognosis favours OUK convincingly. Also, he will pull out all stops for the success and significance of the 10th National Assembly, and the ultimate success and significance of Tinubu’s Presidency, if OUK becomes the Senate President. I need to say that something in favour of reliability should come to the South East. Nonetheless, the choice of a candidate should have nothing to do with the issues of Campaigning but rather advocating for interested balance in the tripod standing of our Governance strands and stands. In other words, at this stage, we are debating Governance, yes, all-inclusive progressive governance, which has nothing or little to do with campaigning. APC won convincingly, and the President-Elect Bola Ahmed Tinubu will be inaugurated in a few days from now. May 29, 2023, is sacrosanct by God’s Grace.
We are all aware that for example, Senator Orji Kalu (OUK) was hardly active to the standard he might have preferred during the Campaign period because of his ailing wife who eventually died in the process. Also, he presented hard evidence that he voted for Asiwaju and APC despite all the disputed efficacy that he did not work nor vote for APC and Asiwaju. There is sufficient evidence to confirm that OUK voted and worked for Asiwaju Tinubu’s presidency and that I know.
The argument for Senator Orji Kalu to be the next Senate President mostly centres on the prognosis and parametric of what progressive governance framework should be based on Nation-Building and national interest as our democracy is evolving. The President-Elect and Senator Orji Kalu (OUK) have been friends and allies for decades. Nonetheless, OUK came out to robustly defend the choice of the Muslim-Muslim Ticket, which nearly crashed his political career amongst his people. I could recollect several video clips that we’re highly tractioned from OUK’s hugely patronising Tinubu’s BATfied notion. OUK also confronted Chief Obasanjo on the matter of endorsement the latter gave to Peter Obi, and much more from OUK even at the difficult time of supporting his ailed wife. What a difficult time to demonstrate loyalty! After Asiwaju defeated comprehensively all other contestants and was declared the President-Elect, OUK remains one of the foremost politicians to assertively affirm that Asiwaju Tinubu won the election square and fair, and I remember recently on his most recent birthday in Abuja, he used the occasion to tell all Nigerians that Asiwaju Tinubu is full of sound health and will soon return to Nigeria for the pre-inauguration and inauguration as the President of Federal Republic of Nigeria on 29 May 2023. Also, OUK completely dissociated himself from the calls of can assess who is shedding crocodile tears asking for Senate presidency while opposing the swear-in of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu as president on May 29. OUK presented himself as the best to work successfully with Tinubu’s presidency, some are even opposing his candidature because they are arguing that OUK’s Senate Presidency will be a mere rubber stamp to Tinubu’s presidency.
Emphatically, OUK essentially voided South East elders for shouting about equity and fairness, and at the same time called that Tinubu’s presidency should not be inaugurated on May 29. I’m of the sure thought that great political minds will not ask more from OUK at this point but for him to concentrate on what he knows to do in Nation building and National Interest.
Permit me to re-emphasise that the call for Senator Orji Kalu to be the next Senate president centres on what governance inclusive leadership should be. OUK is the most ranked Senator from the South East, and progressive governance will request for an elevation to Senate President as simply as the framework will dictate.
There is no evidence that OUK was involved in any way about whatever some people are calling padded votes for the Labour Party or any sentimental politician. OUK has been building political bridges for decades now, and he’s highly detribalised in his politics.
Let me close with some reflection on my earlier affirmation of the differences between Governance formulae and Campaign formula as clearly and definitely, elections are already won, and Asiwaju Tinubu is the President-Elect, and to be sworn in by God’s Grace on 29 May 2023. Nigerians should not in any way put a trap on their way to unprecedented success and significance in making Nigeria a great Nation as I have indicated so far.
In essence, democracy cannot be deepened in the National Interest if the perceived winners within party politics win and then take all, the progressive governance framework will be depleted in a way. We must ensure that Nigeria be one, with all available democratic means, and leaders can secure the interest of 1% when the 99% continue to prevail in strengthening democratic values. That’s the true meaning of democracy and progressive governance passage. We should take an example from matured democracies. In developed democracies like UK and US, when it comes to internal party politics, it is usually a matter of securing your 99 sheep, which were already ensured anyway, and pulling out all stops to bring the 1 sheep home. It’s never winners take it all with internal party democracy. The election has been won. The National Assembly leadership should be decided or zoned to fulfil National Interest Agenda and that of the progressive governance framework, remember we are talking about Nation Building here. If we are indeed careful, we must use democratic means available to us to build our Nation to greatness. Trapped decisions could open up further governance pitfalls that may be difficult to solve. For instance, it is not in the National Interest to decide that the zone that brings the greater votes should take all the leadership roles in the National Assembly, like between South-East and South-South, the equation should be technically balanced in the National Interest of the Nation Building and deepening our democracy. That’s how workable and profitable democracy should be defined, not trapping the President-Elect in any method.
In the UK, there are tens of interest groups within the Conservatives Party for example, whenever elections are won, cabinets and parliamentary roles are equitably allotted amongst the Conservatives. It is never based on several votes your district brought, you know they run a parliamentary system. Overall, either in the parliamentary system (UK) or the Federalism system (US), internal party politics is played to benefit nation-building in the National Interest. Please check it out and advise your group appropriately.
Concerning an anonymous author, Obama’s democratic group, interest is defined in terms of equitable balance. For example, in today’s leadership, in the UK, the current Prime Minister was earlier defeated by the Lady and, in the US, the Lady who is now the Vice President was in the minority of the Democrat-leaning she belongs, but the current US President picked her for an equitable sense. Those aside, our democracy is still evolving as well as a progressive governance framework changing hands from one progressive framework (Buhari’s Administration) to another progressive governance Agenda (Tinubu’s Administration). The governance framework should deepen our democracy holistically. That’s why the Government of National Competence remains inclusively accepted. Nigeria, as a Country, must develop into a great Nation. It will happen when we can differentiate between Campaign formulae in democracy and governance formulas in developing democracies like ours.
In conclusion, the incoming presidency of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu will undoubtedly make great use of his government of national competence to deepen Nigeria’s Democracy counting on Nigerians’ love for him, as he also loves Nigeria’s project, and he confirms severally that the Unity of Nigeria is not negotiable. BAT has great faith, as a believer in Nigeria and I am sure he will do everything possible to advance the well-being of all of us as citizens. He will hold this country with trust, and make it a great Nation for all to live in. We should all cherish the incoming Tinubu presidency from now and in the future.
Prof. Ojo Emmanuel Ademola