Osun State governor, Mr. Rauf Aregbesola, has alerted Nigerians on the need to prevent the subversion of democracy, which is translating to dis-empowerment of Nigerian people.
He warned that emerging trends including the removal of Justice Ayo Salami and arraignment of Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu have shown that democracy was being subverted into a system of power that translates into disempowerment for the people.
In a keynote address he delivered at the third induction ceremony of the Institute of Public Management, held at the Nigerian Institute of Medical Research, Yaba, Lagos, last Saturday, Governor Aregbesola, who was represented by his deputy, Otunba Titilayo laoye-Tomori, declared that it was when the leadership was subjected to election by citizens, that they could be free from legitimacy crisis with its attendant consequences.
In addition to this fact, Aregbesola said that this was the only means by which legitimacy was conferred on the people, who are the owners of government.
His words: “By subjecting political leadership to election by the masses of the people, it means that the people are politically empowered. When this is done in a free, fair and transparent election, the government that emerges is truly derived from the consent of the people. That government is said to have legitimacy”.
He described legitimacy as the first condition of good governance, insisting that any government that failed to derive from the consent of the people, was “spiritually misaligned and will never be in a position to deliver good governance”.
Aregbesola explained further that when a group of people rigged elections by offering hefty bribes to the electoral commission, the security agencies, traditional rulers, prominent politicians, the media and judges at the tribunal, governance would simply become a business venture, from which the actors hoped to recoup what they expended.
This scenario, he maintained, implies that the resources needed to provide good governance, would be diverted to servicing the network of conspiracy, while the government would be under constant threat from the civil society and the political community for mandate retrieval.
Aregbesola then submitted; “therefore, regime protection, rather than good governance will be the raison d’être of the leader and that is where the resources of the state will be diverted”.
The choices of governance that would be made would not be informed by the logic of good governance, but what he called “the logic of patrimonialism and cooptation” by which state policies, contract award, lawmaking, law enforcement and provision of social welfare, would no longer be in the interest of the people, but that of group interest.
The governor maintained; “this is why contracts are awarded to incompetent contractors; contracts are abandoned or not done at all and why certain individuals commit crimes and get away with it because they belong to the ruling clique”.