POLITICAL elite in Nigeria have been urged to pursue the project of building strong democratic institution instead of strong men, to rejg the nation’s political process and save its nascent democracy from total collapse.
Professor Tony Onyeisi of the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, gave the advice while featuring in a media programme in Abuja recently.
The university don faulted Nigeria’s indirect primary election, saying “we’ve institutional problem. In 2020, I presented a paper in 15th anniversary celebration of Anglican Bishop of Kuba. The title of the paper is ‘Nigeria at 60: The urgent need to cure the potential giant of Africa from its crippling institutional anemia’…
“You know what anemia is? The Nigeria’s political system suffers from anemia.
“774 local government chairmen and their deputies that are participating in the national conventions of APC and PDP, for instance, as statutory delegates are going there to vote for the serving candidates that appointed them… men and women, but we don’t have enough women as a local government chairman.
“The state independent electoral commissions are selected by the governors.
“After Barak Obama was elected late 2008, guess what, he wanted to talk to Africans because he has African blood; he decided that he was coming to Ghana; it was not by accident; it was just to stay at the back of the so-called giant of Africa. There, he addressed African leaders.
“As a parting gift, he told them, ‘African statesmen, you should pursue the project of building strong institution, but not strong men’. These were his taste words.
“As if that was not enough, the secretary of the state, Hilary Clinton, came to Nigeria the same year. Then, after everything, he said, he wanted to see the stakeholders from all the political parties. He said to them, ‘I want to corroborate my boss in his statement for African leaders in Ghana; Nigerian politicians, you should seek to build strong institutions’”, he urged.