By Innocent Okon
Nigeria’s dysfunctional Federalism has thrown up a lot of absurdities! The misinterpreted and misapplied constitutional system has lost its inbuilt regulators. And like a rapacious crocodile, any object or sea animal can’t be denied entry into the stomach.
Successive operators of the leadership radar are more interested in maintaining and multiplying the abnormal order than a reverse to its default setting. This is fundamentally attributable to malignant affliction of the polity by ravenous viruses of religious bigotry, prebendalism and kleptomania. That’s arguably, why we are yet to find an appropriate answer to the leadership question first administered as an examination by the first Military coup of 1966.
From benevolent military dictatorship to full blown maximum rulership, Nigeria as a nation state, is yet to answer the compulsory question on leadership. Even after experimenting with two democratic systems (Parliamentary and Presidential) by the “bloody civilians”, the answer proffered through the few deliverables are still short of the requirements in the marking scheme!
Since 1999, when we were once again given the luxury of civil governance, many distortions have been introduced and entrenched as “new normal” in the governance value chain at all levels.
The President, like the head of a polygamous home, controls and manages a greater chunk of the national resources. This gives him the unquestionable latitude to determine where the so-called “federal presence” can be seen and enjoyed.
State Governors in their respective jurisdictions have become Frankenstein monsters! They wield so much powers that it is only the God given air that their subjects are allowed to enjoy at no cost or restrictions! They control and determine (s)election of local government councils as well as the size of their monthly allocations from the Federal treasury.There’s hardly any pie you will not spot the ubiquitous fingers of Nigerian Governors. They select and sponsor candidates to all the legislative houses at the local government council, state and Federal levels!
The fear of the executive Governors is the beginning of wisdom for any legislator that desires longevity in his or her political career. They hold both the knife and the yam. And blind loyalty detetmines the size of the yam and availability to any beneficiary!
The Party machinery in the state has not escaped their control and dictates. This is possibly why serving Presidents would mandatorily consult and make concessions to them during national elections.
Recently, Governors of the All Progressives Congress (APC) extraction reportedly converged on the Presidential Villa at the behest of President Muhammadu Buhari. The purpose may not be far from enlisting the support of this super breed public officers for a smooth Presidential primary of the Party.
Now in Nigeria, it is safer to question the actions and inactions of Mr. President than risk embarking on such indulgence at the state level. The only time such “luxury” is permitted without consequences is when His Excellency, the Governor, must have exited from power after four or eight years!
But should this be the psycho-political fibre of a servant- leader we troop to the polls to elect every four years? The answer is in the wind.
Okon, a legal practitioner, lives in Uyo.