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Psychology

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It is not the electoral manifesto that matters; it is the actions when in office that counts and Nigerians have lost faith in the ability of our elected office holders and representatives. Nigerians have continually been hoodwinked by the first (the manifesto), only to witness a complete lack of the second.

It is not the electoral manifesto that matters; it is the actions when in office that counts and Nigerians have lost faith in the ability of our elected office holders and representatives. Nigerians have continually been hoodwinked by the first (the manifesto), only to witness a complete lack of the second.


Our political office holders are most aptly described by the words of Diamond in 2007 as a class of the citizenry who are deeply corrupt and interested only in themselves and their families and cronies. A direct consequence of this massive deception is the widespread loss of faith, distrust and cynicism with which many Nigerians presently view the political system and the politicians themselves.
Nigeria's Political System and Politicians
 Every society or state of the world has its political system. A political system can be described as consisting of the formal and informal structures which manifest the state's sovereignty over a territory and people. It is the civil aspect of statehood. In history, however, a state through its lifetime may have many different political systems. This forms a great part of the story of the history of the political system in Nigeria, however, this is not peculiar to Nigeria, states like China and France also have such history. A cursory look at the lifetime of our political system as far back as the 1920s, would show a clear picture of the dangling nature of the system. From the time of Herbert Macaulay and the Nigerian National Democratic Party, through the period after independence when the nation witnessed regional political parties in the 1960s (e.g. the National Council for Nigeria and Cameroon NCNC of Rt. Hon. Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe), then the Aguiyi Ironsi led military government, civil war and the continued reign of military rule. The return of democracy in 1979 following the election of Shehu Shagari, a government known for its corruption, then a comeback by the military charged by Muhammed Buhari in 1983 and Babaginda in 1985. Babangida's regime was a period in Nigerian political history that is popular for its height of corruption and then the cancellation of the landmark June 12, 1993 presidential election which was presumably won by Moshood Abiola. A hit that has left the Nigerian political environment overly paralyzed. So the story continues to the time of Abacha's dictatorship, the miraculous release from his tyranny on the 8th of June, 1998. Finally, through General Abdusalami Abubaka, Nigeria once again was returned to democracy in 1999, with Obasanjo holding the reins. Sincethen democratically elected governments have been led by Yar'adua, Jonathan and today's Buhari; still the political system of this nation has been recalcitrant at best. It has gone through libertarianism in form of democracy and authoritarianism with a central characteristic of noted instability and ever spreading corruption. The recurrent abuse of power, extensive electoral fraud, and deep rooted corruption common to Nigeria's political system are the major causes of the distrust, cynicism, and the seeming uninvolved attitude of the Nigerian populace towards her political activities.
According to a 2000 – 2005 survey result, Nigerians' satisfaction with democracy plunged from 81% in the year 2000 to 25% in 2005, support for democracy declined from 84% to 65% and trust in president plummeted from 78% to 26% while approval of National Assembly plunged from 58% to 23% and trust in the institutions declined from 66% to 55%. The number of Nigerians who believed that government was doing good dropped  from 64 -36%. Today we can each imagine how low these figures would be following the conundrums of the present government.
Where have we seen progress?
We have been severally informed of the recovery of looted Nigerian resources by past government officials. But how have these recovered resources impacted on the nation's economy? No one seems to know. As such, one cannot claim that any progress has been made in the battle against corruption. In fact, that the returned monies, quickly and noiselessly disappear without trace, further deepens the distrust of the citizenry towards the government. The possible argument that the usage of such monies is a matter of secrecy only reflects the intimidating height of unaccountability and opacity that enshrouds our seeming democracy. To be continued...

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