₦airaland Forum

Welcome, Guest: Join Nairaland / LOGIN! / Trending / Recent / New
Stats: 2,134,963 members, 4,633,349 topics. Date: Tuesday, 11 December 2018 at 10:24 AM

Six Lessons We Have Learnt By Reuben Abati - Politics - Nairaland

Nairaland Forum / Nairaland / General / Politics / Six Lessons We Have Learnt By Reuben Abati (22031 Views)

President Buhari And His Marabouts By Reuben Abati / From London To Abuja In 50 Days: Buhari’s Return -Reuben Abati / Audu’s Inconclusive Death, Mugabe’s Wheelchair By Reuben Abati. (2) (3) (4)

(1) (2) (Reply) (Go Down)

Six Lessons We Have Learnt By Reuben Abati by Nobody: 12:05pm On Oct 23, 2015
The democratic experience in Nigeria has definitely been a continuing learning curve, and the more lessons we learn at various active centres: people, platforms and processes, the richer our democracy, the stronger the society evolves to deliver a brighter future for the sovereign. The greatest residue of our democracy in the last 16 years (1999–2015), I think, is the manner in which our community has been enriched by lessons that have practically changed our lives. The democratic deficit is less than the gain; for us, democracy is essentially liberative and should endure. It is partly the reason why no matter the observed shortcomings of the five-month old Buhari administration, the Nigerian people remain optimistic about their belief in the viability of the democratic option. They know that they have been empowered in such a manner that succeeding governments will always be held accountable to the electorate. Thus, democracy has reframed the national dialogue and the people’s expectations.

In 1999, with the return to civilian rule, the Nigerian people secured victory against a military establishment, which had exercised political authority, formally and informally, for about 33 years. They fought for six years to insist on democracy and the people’s right to choose. Sixteen years later, after many seasons of trial, we have reached a point in our romance with democracy, whereby no other form of government appeals to us. It is clear to every discerning person that only democratic rule is now acceptable to Nigerians. For it has shown us, how powerful we can possibly be. No other event has proven this to be true, more concretely than the last general elections. It should not be lost on Nigerians, the significance of the removal from office of an incumbent President.

In 2015, the power of the vote turned the Nigerian voter into the ultimate political authority, resulting in a greater sense of public ownership of the democratic enterprise. He or she knows that elected representatives can be held accountable through the ballot box. Democracy, building on the increased access to information and social interactions, has thus given Nigerians of voting age a voice and power that they never imagined possible. Military figures still show up and occupy high positions, but they do so only through the democratic process and it is only a matter of time before the myth of the military strong man being fit for public office will be completely exploded and laid to rest. In reality, the military’s political authority is diminished as old soldiers seek legitimation through the people. It is a great achievement for Nigeria.

Secondly, in 2005, an attempt was made to bypass the Nigerian Constitution and extend to a third term, the tenure of the then incumbent President. This alleged plan against the people was to have been hatched with the imprimatur of the national legislature, but again the people rose against the planned subterfuge. Pierre Nkurunziza may have succeeded in executing the same anti-people ploy in Burundi, and Paul Kagame may be toying with it in Rwanda, but it is not the kind of folly that anyone will ever try again in Nigeria and hope to succeed. The people have learnt that those in positions of power at the highest level may not be trusted to respect the laws of the land or the oath of office they took. Having stopped one former President from transforming into a monarch, the phrase – third term remains in our political lexicon, a reminder of what is constitutionally unacceptable. And for Nigerians, “stayism”, sit-tightism” or the Biya disease is definitely risqué. When people are elected to high office, they will not be allowed to change the rules of the game to suit their own purposes.

Third lesson: Nigerians have become very conscious of the implications of the health of their leaders for the stability of the polity. They were taught that lesson during the three-year rule of late President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua. At the time, the key subject was the mortality of the President. From that point onwards, any sign that a potential President could be nursing a terminal disease became a major campaign issue. President Yar’Adua’s death threw up other sub-lessons about the supremacy of the Constitution and the right of other Nigerians to aspire to the highest office in the land, but the people would have preferred to have him healthily alive and not to have a Presidency dominated by morbidity and remembered, and excused, largely on that score. It is therefore not surprising that in the last elections, physical fitness and mortality became key issues of campaign.

Fourth lesson: that any Nigerian child regardless of the manner of extraction can aspire to the highest office in the land. With his emergence as Nigerian President in 2010, Goodluck Jonathan laid to rest the myth that to occupy that office, the candidate must be a person of privilege. His parents were ordinary folk. He was himself like the guy next door; his life a replica of the life of any struggling Nigerian of his age who had attended university, gone through national service, hustled for employment and was like the rest of us.

Hitherto, Nigerian leaders had elite connections or bearings and they wielded authority as if it was their birthright to do so. This claim to leadership birthright is now a subject of inquiry. It explains why in the last general elections, it became clear to all and sundry that there are now certain minimum standards being set nationwide in terms of personal attributes, experience and exposure with regard to public office. That is precisely the way our democracy has turned out: it has built confidence at all levels, and every Nigerian imagines himself to be a potential President. This is good, for as many people as imagine themselves to be national problem-solvers, the better for our community.

However, President Jonathan was the first to prove the point that any citizen whoever he or she may be, can aspire to the highest office in the land and receive popular support.

Fifth lesson: when President Goodluck Jonathan conceded victory to President Buhari after the 2015 elections, he raised the moral bar of our democratic process. Nigerians have taken to heart the fact that the people have the power to change a sitting government at all levels and that the power of incumbency even at the centre is at the mercy of the electorate. These days, it is not unusual to find an average Nigerian of voting age holding an elected person accountable and swearing that any form of misconduct will be questioned. Good news!
What prevails in Nigeria today therefore is not merely voter confidence; it is best described as voter arrogance or voter dictatorship. In Ekiti, they voted out a well educated, cerebral Governor and replaced him with someone with a popular touch, and they have stubbornly defended their choice. In Abuja, they replaced a young Ph.D holder with a retired old man, called back to serve and “restore.” With the way the Nigerian voter has seized power in the public sphere, only his or her wishes can prevail. And so in the future, with the Jonathan example and experience, no incumbent can hold on to power once the people have spoken. The Nigerian voter is further empowered by digital revolution. He votes on election day with his card, but he votes everyday with his phone, with his access to internet platforms, and he speaks loud and clear, honestly or mischievously depending on his or her constitution. The Nigerian people can no longer be ignored. Positive development? Certainly. But all of what we describe has been made possible by the strengthening of the electoral institutions and processes. It is hoped that successive administrations will see the need to protect and preserve the integrity of electoral bodies, and thereby deepen emergent confidence in their capacity to deliver free, fair and credible elections.

Sixth lesson, and this is probably the most important. Nigerians have learnt after 16 years of democratic rule not to place implicit trust in politicians without asking for accountability. They know that professional politicians are capable of lies, they deceive, they over-promise in order to secure their mandate, and also, that there are no true saints in power-ville. They are also learning that election campaign is different from governance, that governance is complex, politics is treacherous, and that politicians will say anything to win the votes and get into power.
A corollary lesson: to resolve the cleavages that trouble Nigeria and render institutions ineffectual, government must be effective and our democracy must become more liberal and less of a mechanism for class formation and ethnic competition.

Five months of reverse ratiocination by the Buhari administration should make that clear even to the most naive. The people should also know that politicians have no differences on matters of self-interest; and they choose to exploit our many fault lines to achieve their objectives. They can be in this party today and move to the other party tomorrow – which we may see again in 2019. Nigerian politics is therefore not about ideology or principles; it is about power and who gets into the arena. But the people have also learnt one more thing: that change is possible, no matter the shape. And the power to effect change lies in their hands, for we have in 16 years managed to create a citizenry that is both deliberative and participative, whose notion of the state is that it must be affirmative, competent and constructive. This is a major victory for Nigeria and for democracy.

http://www.vanguardngr.com/2015/10/six-lessons-we-have-learnt-by-reuben-abati/

Cc lalasticlala

19 Likes 4 Shares

Re: Six Lessons We Have Learnt By Reuben Abati by Unsad(m): 12:06pm On Oct 23, 2015
This is missisippi in words. Can't read jaccck

4 Likes

Re: Six Lessons We Have Learnt By Reuben Abati by Aufbauh(m): 12:16pm On Oct 23, 2015
"By three ways we may learn wisdom:first by reflection which is noblest, second, by imitation which is the easiest, and third, by experienced which is the bitterest"- Confucius
PDP have learned by experienced that they should never underestimate the power of the people.

26 Likes 3 Shares

Re: Six Lessons We Have Learnt By Reuben Abati by johnsonkehinde: 12:50pm On Oct 23, 2015
Okay
Re: Six Lessons We Have Learnt By Reuben Abati by damton(m): 12:50pm On Oct 23, 2015
A lot of Nigerians are excited by the mere mention of the concept DEMOCRACY, as though democracy in itself is tantamount to progress and development.

Whereas, there are some school of thought that opines that democracy is not equal to development. Inotherwords, country needs to adopt the system that best works for it and which also home grown.

As a matter of fact , the freedom and popular participation Democracy offers the people can be eroded by a long spell of misrule and Mal- administration.
Nonetheless, it remains the most popular form of government worldwide and not an end in itself but a means to an end.

9 Likes 1 Share

Re: Six Lessons We Have Learnt By Reuben Abati by damiloladuke: 12:50pm On Oct 23, 2015
Put it to use then

1 Like 1 Share

Re: Six Lessons We Have Learnt By Reuben Abati by Liviintainment: 12:50pm On Oct 23, 2015
ok

Re: Six Lessons We Have Learnt By Reuben Abati by Segadem(m): 12:50pm On Oct 23, 2015
I thought the man was to talk about six things PDP has learnt.
Re: Six Lessons We Have Learnt By Reuben Abati by Segadem(m): 12:51pm On Oct 23, 2015
Aufbauh:
"By three ways we may learn wisdom:first by reflection which is noblest, second, by imitation which is the easiest, and third, by experienced which is the bitterest"- Confucius
PDP have learned by experienced that they should never underestimate the power of the people.
Gbam

2 Likes 1 Share

Re: Six Lessons We Have Learnt By Reuben Abati by seangy4konji: 12:51pm On Oct 23, 2015
Rubbish.

2 Likes

Re: Six Lessons We Have Learnt By Reuben Abati by deebsman1(m): 12:52pm On Oct 23, 2015
Gbam, well written and solid points.....Abati memoirs

2 Likes

Re: Six Lessons We Have Learnt By Reuben Abati by uridiwan: 12:52pm On Oct 23, 2015
No way again
Re: Six Lessons We Have Learnt By Reuben Abati by warrior01: 12:52pm On Oct 23, 2015
Ok
Re: Six Lessons We Have Learnt By Reuben Abati by Shaadey: 12:52pm On Oct 23, 2015
In summary↓↓↓↓↓

First Lesson:It is clear to every discerning person that only democratic rule is
now acceptable to Nigerians.

Second Lesson:The people have learnt that those in positions of power at the highest level may not be trusted to respect the laws of the land or the oath of
office they took.

Third lesson: Nigerians have become very
conscious of the implications of the health of
their leaders for the stability of the polity.

Fourth lesson: that any Nigerian child
regardless of the manner of extraction can
aspire to the highest office in the land

Fifth Summary:Nigerians have taken to
heart the fact that the people have the power to
change a sitting government at all levels and
that the power of incumbency even at the centre
is at the mercy of the electorate.

Sixth lesson:This is probably the most
important. Nigerians have learnt after 16 years
of democratic rule not to place implicit trust in
politicians without asking for accountability.

31 Likes

Re: Six Lessons We Have Learnt By Reuben Abati by Shaadey: 12:53pm On Oct 23, 2015
.
Re: Six Lessons We Have Learnt By Reuben Abati by Richie0974: 12:53pm On Oct 23, 2015
Ok
Re: Six Lessons We Have Learnt By Reuben Abati by hucienda: 12:53pm On Oct 23, 2015
Intelligent write-up there.

2 Likes 1 Share

Re: Six Lessons We Have Learnt By Reuben Abati by HDee(m): 12:56pm On Oct 23, 2015
grin
Re: Six Lessons We Have Learnt By Reuben Abati by Abugab(m): 12:57pm On Oct 23, 2015
So true.
Abati writes as one who knew and felt the current dynamics of Nigerian politics.
I can't agree less with him on this write up though I am no longer his fan.

2 Likes

Re: Six Lessons We Have Learnt By Reuben Abati by iambabaG: 1:00pm On Oct 23, 2015
Long nd foolish talk.. We want 2 see d dividends of ur time in office!! Glad u know d pple can kick u out d same way we did PDP

1 Like

Re: Six Lessons We Have Learnt By Reuben Abati by j4sure(m): 1:00pm On Oct 23, 2015
Noted
Re: Six Lessons We Have Learnt By Reuben Abati by Nobody: 1:04pm On Oct 23, 2015
brb

modified
I can't be bothered, next!!
Re: Six Lessons We Have Learnt By Reuben Abati by ukeme200(m): 1:06pm On Oct 23, 2015
Good
Re: Six Lessons We Have Learnt By Reuben Abati by rattlesnake(m): 1:07pm On Oct 23, 2015
Ode
Re: Six Lessons We Have Learnt By Reuben Abati by ephi123(f): 1:10pm On Oct 23, 2015
Too late!
Story story story tongue

1 Like

Re: Six Lessons We Have Learnt By Reuben Abati by xender(m): 1:10pm On Oct 23, 2015
Kay kay
Re: Six Lessons We Have Learnt By Reuben Abati by aoshi: 1:13pm On Oct 23, 2015
Now, he wants to return to being a writer!
Enough already mr oga.
We don't need you to remind us of the things we learnt and effected ourselves.
Au revoir!

2 Likes

Re: Six Lessons We Have Learnt By Reuben Abati by Ujuhot(f): 1:20pm On Oct 23, 2015
Shaadey:
In summary↓↓↓↓↓

First Lesson:It is clear to every discerning person that only democratic rule is
now acceptable to Nigerians.

Second Lesson:The people have learnt that those in positions of power at the highest level may not be trusted to respect the laws of the land or the oath of
office they took.

Third lesson: Nigerians have become very
conscious of the implications of the health of
their leaders for the stability of the polity.

Fourth lesson: that any Nigerian child
regardless of the manner of extraction can
aspire to the highest office in the land

Fifth Summary:Nigerians have taken to
heart the fact that the people have the power to
change a sitting government at all levels and
that the power of incumbency even at the centre
is at the mercy of the electorate.

Sixth lesson:This is probably the most
important. Nigerians have learnt after 16 years
of democratic rule not to place implicit trust in
politicians without asking for accountability.

A thousand likes

4 Likes

Re: Six Lessons We Have Learnt By Reuben Abati by AWONEYAN(m): 1:25pm On Oct 23, 2015
Good you admit:
Please add this. Campaign of hate wouldn't work in Nigeria, if you like give 1billion to AIT, nigerians decision is based on what they have suffered.

If Buhar no perform to we will change to APGA

4 Likes

(1) (2) (Reply)

Ipob’s Threat Forces Bishops To Flee Anambra / Troops Neutralize 7 Boko Haram Insurgents In Borno,recover Weapons(photos) / The Untold Story Of The Biafran Ogbunigwe

(Go Up)

Sections: politics (1) business autos (1) jobs (1) career education (1) romance computers phones travel sports fashion health
religion celebs tv-movies music-radio literature webmasters programming techmarket

Links: (0) (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7) (8) (9)

Nairaland - Copyright © 2005 - 2018 Oluwaseun Osewa. All rights reserved. See How To Advertise. 125
Disclaimer: Every Nairaland member is solely responsible for anything that he/she posts or uploads on Nairaland.