Nigeria as a nation is going through what many have come to term as the darkest hour in the nation’s long history. So many challenges besets the country’s growth and urgent solutions are needed. This article stems from the fact that most of the problems faced within the country have roots in politics, hence, if the political problem is fixed, every other thing begins to fall into place. It must be noted that most of the option given in this article were obtained from interviews and interactions with many Nigerians across the nation. We begin from last to first.
1. Independent Candidacy
One of the ways proposed for saving Nigeria via politics, is to have the option of Independent Candidacy. Proponents of this idea believe that an individual can be sponsored by the people to run for position in government. It is their believe that when a person gets into power with the aid of the people, he becomes solely accountable to the people whose votes and resources got him the coveted position.
2. No Cross-carpeting
In recent times it has become common place to see politicians cross-carpet, especially between ruling parties and the opposition. Those who favor this idea say that events have shown that moving from one party to the other by these politicians is not because of some ideology they frown at, but to better position themselves. Some will argue that everyone has a right political to join whichever he or she deems right, however, if these cross-carpeting politicians cannot make up their minds on where to belong, how can they make up their minds on what direction the nation should be headed?
3. No Immunity
The immunity clause is said to be a great reason why so many people in government have continued to plunder the nation. Those in power tend to use this provision in the law to carryout various criminal activities and no one can touch them while in power. These officials who have been handed great power wield it without caution from the day they are sworn into office. As the days go bye, they get more powerful to the point where they become somewhat above the law itself, hence tainting the entire idea of the rule-of-law. Those whose propose this idea believe that if the immunity clause is removed, then those in power will get to amend their ways, knowing that every error or mistake could see them being walked out of the corridors of power.
4. Vote a New Party
For over 16 years now, Nigerians have only had a taste of just two political parties, so the proponents of this idea believe that if only Nigerians can vote another party asides the now ruling All Progressive Congress and the opposing Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), then things would become better. This thought is in line with the Independent Candidacy idea. For those who believe in this theory, a change from the known to that which little is known, will serve Nigeria a lot better.
5. Death Penalty
For many, any leader who is tried and founding wanting when weighed in the balance, a steep punishment should be handed him or her. If the crime is one of very great of which many turn out to be, then the death penalty should be served to serve as a deterrent to others who think they can toil with the peoples’ franchise. People who pushed for this idea were of the opinion that it is very rare to see leaders get punished for crimes committed. This has a correlation with the immunity clause early talked about. It is their opinion that when those in political positions realise that their lives are at stake if they don’t deliver, then they would try to serve aright, delivering to the people the dividends of democracy.
6. Kill Them All
A very crazy ideology this sounds like, kill all those who we know are in the topmost position, and those who have ruled in the past and still lingering and trying to make a return. The proponents of this course agree that it is a very rash decision, however, they argue that countries where such things have happened, have been stable ever since. They argue that because we have continued to recycle the same leaders, there are no innovations from the seat of power; it only becomes a case of new wines in old skins. To some it was something that would only have worked in a military era, they argue that for such to be carried out now, Nigeria would be thrown into a full blown war. They rather infer that a law enacted that would see less participation of the old names Nigerians have become too familiar with. The law would place all those who have been within the corridors of power act way lesser capacities, only to be consulted once in a while.
7. True Federalism or Divide Nigeria
No doubt, Nigeria is operating a federal system of government, however there are arguments that what is practiced is not true federalism. Hence the call for a review of the system on which the nation is run. Over the years there have been demands for the creation of newer states in Nigeria, the agitation for new states mostly comes from sub-state groups, often ethnic- or tribal-interest groups, which accuse the current larger state governments of subverting or ignoring the interests and necessities of people within the more local areas. Often state governors and leaders in various regions are found guilty of financial crimes, hence the proponents of true federalism argue that if transparency and accountability cannot be attained under the nation’s current federal system, then a split is the best option.
There also issues of tribalism regarding placement of officials in the federal system of government. Current there are claims that the people of the north are having better placements in political offices under the present government. Hence, some people from the east claim that they for too long have been sidelined. The three major tribes in Nigeria (Hausa, Igbo and Yoruba), tend to be oppressing the other minority groups in terms of appointments. Hence, the other ethnic groups have constantly carried out protests in different forms to air their grievances.
Most of which are within the south-south region. Proponents of this theory believe that Nigeria needs to go back to the drawing board and re-strategize on how best to satisfy every one to a great extent. They also believe that if because of the nation’s population and factors of tribe, culture and belief, true federalism cannot be attained, then the nation must settle for a bloodless split like some other nations have been able to achieve.
Nigeria would be a very great nation if it’s political malady is cured. The nation has a great potential to be a leading figure in the world if better governance is given a chance. As said, there are calls for a dissolution from many quarters, however, the fear is that the split might come with irreparable losses as it is in case of Sudan. Nigerians can only hope that their leaders begin to serve with the people at heart. There is a great chance that even in the face to many crisis, the nation can still be restored to and beyond its former glory.