• Tuesday, May 28, 2024
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A clarion call for change: Prioritising devolution and electoral reform in Nigeria

A clarion call for change: Prioritising devolution and electoral reform in Nigeria

The democratic structure of Nigeria, once full of promise, is on the verge of disintegrating. A radical change is required after years of stalled progress and self-serving political gamesmanship. Among the voices amplifying this call stands Shehu Sani, the erstwhile senator from Kaduna central, a seasoned advocate for change in the corridors of power.

With a fervent conviction born of years spent navigating the intricacies of governance, Sani lends his voice to a chorus demanding the urgent prioritisation of two fundamental pillars: the devolution of power and the overhaul of the electoral system.

As Nigeria stands at the crossroads of its democratic journey, Sani’s impassioned plea reverberates, urging a seismic shift in the very foundations of governance.

“He underscored the reluctance of successive Nigerian presidents to enact reforms that could potentially threaten their grip on power.”

Speaking passionately during an interview in Lagos, Sani bemoaned the perennial obstruction of progress in constitutional amendments by vested political interests. He highlighted the glaring disparity between the pressing developmental issues and the self-serving agendas of political elites, a disheartening reality that has plagued Nigeria’s democratic journey since its return to civilian rule in 1999.

With a tone of frustration, Sani pointed out the recurring cycle of futility surrounding constitutional amendment committees. Despite their timely inauguration, he lamented the scant implementation of their recommendations, attributing this failure to the entrenched interests that prioritise self-preservation over national progress.

“Since 1999, the national assembly has been inaugurating committees to amend the constitution of Nigeria, but the problem has been that the issues that are supposed to be amended are not amended because of interests,” Sani emphasised, his voice resonating with a blend of exasperation and determination.

Drawing attention to the contentious issue of electoral reform, Sani did not mince words. He underscored the reluctance of successive Nigerian presidents to enact reforms that could potentially threaten their grip on power. It’s a stark reality check on the inherent conflict of interest embedded within the corridors of political power.

“No president in Nigeria wants to reform an electoral system that will take him out of power,” Sani stated bluntly, capturing the essence of the entrenched status quo that stifles meaningful progress.

In a poignant appeal to current political officeholders, Sani urged them to embrace a visionary approach that transcends their transient hold on power. He emphasised the impermanence of authority and implored leaders to consider the enduring legacy of their actions, or lack thereof.

“Power is transient,” Sani reminded, his words carrying a weight of wisdom earned through years of navigating the complex terrain of Nigerian politics. It’s a sobering reflection on the fleeting nature of political influence and the enduring impact of principled leadership.

As Nigeria stands at a pivotal juncture in its democratic evolution, the clarion call for constitutional reforms resonates louder than ever before. The voices of leaders like Shehu Sani serve as beacons of hope amidst the tumult of political manoeuvring and self-interest.

It is time for Nigeria to prioritise the collective welfare of its citizens over the narrow ambitions of its political elite. The devolution of power and the reform of the electoral system are not mere policy proposals; they are the cornerstones of a truly inclusive and democratic society.

In the pursuit of a more equitable and prosperous future, let us heed the call for meaningful change and hold our leaders accountable to the vision of a Nigeria where the voices of the people truly shape the course of their nation’s destiny. This requires active participation from all citizens.

By engaging in civic discourse, demanding transparency, and holding our leaders accountable, we can pave the way for a brighter future. Together, we can build a Nigeria where every citizen has the opportunity to thrive and contribute to the nation’s progress.

This journey towards a more just and prosperous society requires the collective effort of all Nigerians – government, civil society, and the private sector. Let us embrace this challenge with unwavering determination and a commitment to working together for the common good.