There might not be much good associated with the Nigerian politicians, but there are few whose commitment to public service and social responsibility are worthy of mention. Abike Dabiri (AC) is one of those.
Hon. Dariye is a member of the House of Representatives from Ikorodu and the sponsor of the Freedom of Information bill, which the House recently rejected. See: Killing the Freedom of Information Bill…the 7th time!. Other bills sponsored by Dabiri are: Journalism Practice Enhancement Bill and the Nigerian Infant Health Welfare Bill. The latter mandates free medical care for children aged 1-5.
Hon. Dabiri is the Chairman of the House Committee on the Media and Public Affairs. She worked at NTA for 15 years before becoming a legislator.
“President Yar’Adua described his perceived slowness as “a process of learning. [He] also dismissed the thinking of many Nigerians that he is slow, stating that it is a matter of time before Nigerians appreciate the efforts he is putting towards planning.” – Media reports.
As I watch the American democracy in play, the passion of the candidates as they discuss their agenda and play the politics is palpable. Even though election is still several months away, the depth of the discussion coming from the candidates suggest they have a plan – or what looks like one, and have a real agenda for the people they hope to serve.
Juxtapose this with the Nigerian brand of democracy where the current president was handpicked to contest the election. He was reluctant; he had no plans of becoming the head of state. He did not go through his party primaries as he should have, and when he campaigned with others, the events were more of jamborees than opportunities to debate on national issues.
While Nigeria can’t be America overnight, Nigeria should at least have a democracy that looks like the real thing. Also, we ought to be able to field candidates that are ready and have a plan as it happened during Awolowo’s era.
What set Awolowo apart from the pack was the fact that he had a plan – a blueprint of what he wanted do. Unlike his counterparts, Awolowo’s achievement has remained unmatched, and his name and memory evergreen, simply because he had a vision before he became the Premier of the Western Region. And when he won, he could run with his plan and actualize it to the letter.
In the last 10 years, Nigeria has fielded state executives who have failed because they failed to plan. Yar’Adua appears to have caught the wisdom in having a plan though, it’s just that his plan is being drafted while on the job!