The Duty of “The Nigerian” III – Legitimacy to Govern and be Governed.

To catch up

Legitimacy to Govern.

Every four years, we have individuals present themselves to us as candidates for a political office. Political parties field candidates and present them to the populace as qualified candidates to run a political office. But the question is what legitimate right do they have to govern the population within their domain or territory?

The principle of legitimacy is based on three key principles, namely: 

  1. People want to feel they have a voice, and they can be heard all the time when they speak up. 
  2. The law must be predictable. The rules tomorrow must be expected as the rules today.
  3. There must not be bias in the treatment and governance of the nation in favour of one group against another.
  • Having a Voice.

The essence of any leader, politician, councillor, chairman, governor, representatives, senators, president been in governance is to hearken to the voice of the people and carry out their mandate. Not only that, but people also want to vote in someone who will have a listening ear and not cut them off or ignore their cries when they need to be heard. Kings of old hold court when their subjects come to them to table their issues and get it resolved. It accounted for the rise and fall of kingdoms. It is popularly stated that the monarchy of France fell because there was no bread in the kingdom. The truth is the king never listened to the cries of his people. We cannot alienate ourselves from the obvious truth in this dispensation. There are different voices been heard, a wise leader will sift through the cacophony and identify what the real issues are and address it adequately without fear and favour. Citizens must feel…rather must know that their voice will be heard and not silenced, their voice will be heard and not throttled, their voice will be heard without been intimidated to speak out. These not in place, those in authority have lost the legitimacy to rule and govern.

  • Predictability of the Law.

Per time, the applicability of the law must be known on all occasions. That is, at any point in time, citizens must know that the law is sacrosanct on every given day and would not be misapplied. The rules today must not be bent tomorrow because it does not favour a particular person. The hall mark of justice is that the law must be upheld without fear or favour. What it means for Nigerian justice system is a complete overhaul of our criminal justice system to reflect modern day realities and inculcate a fair system of rewards and compensation for every infringement of the law either against the state, individual or the collective will of the people. The law should be our guiding beacon in all things…which makes the case for a fair and unbiased review of our constitution, devoid of personal agendas and ethnic sentiments. The law must be based on merit and merit only.

  • Equal Treatment of All

As the saying goes, “what is good for the goose, is also good for the gander”. Leaders must not treat one region better than the other or be seen to be favourably disposed to a particular group over another. Everyone is a citizen before the law, and everyone must be treated with the same measure rewards or punishment as the case maybe. We have long been a nation driven by ethno-religious sentiments and it colours our decision making…giving it a bias look. Hence the reason for agitations springing up everywhere and having internal strife fuelled by religion and national discourse tinged with such bias that we arrive at a badly skewed settlement or decision that only adds another layer to a ticking time-bomb, inevitably postponing the day of reckoning with us playing ostrich that all is well. Meanwhile, seeds of discord Is been sown and blown across by ill wind of distrust amongst the people. So, for any leader, or head of State to be successful, then equal treatment must be applied to all citizens across the land…no more political lackeys and jobbers holding sway over who will benefit and who will not. Everyone is a citizen, and we must all be treated as such and as one without laying a precedent of favouritism. In Nigeria, the federal character principle must be abolished to make room for equality, fairness and above all else merit.

“When people in authority want the rest of us to behave, it matters—first and foremost—how they behave…”

Gladwell, M. (n.d.). DAVID AND GOLIATH – UNDERDOGS, MISFITS AND ART OF BATTLING GIANTS. NEW YORK – BOSTON – LONDON: LITTLE, BROWN AND COMPANY

Legitimacy to be governed

When citizens want people in authority to behave in a certain way, then we ourselves as citizens must hold ourselves by the same standard of behaviour first and foremost then we can lay a demand and have a just cause.

We are quick as citizens to point fingers at our leaders’ shortcomings but fail to identify our shortcomings and address them… always willing to play the blame game and not take responsibility. The irresponsibility of the Nigerian citizen is so rampant that even the authorities are willing to be irresponsible in governance. So, who would checkmate who? 

The Way Forward

The average Nigerian citizen is a Nation Builder and has a responsibility for the future generations…to ensure he/she builds a legacy that would be enduring and afford them a chance on the global platform to be worthy ambassadors and citizenship role models across the globe…as Nigerians. And to achieve that, we must;

 “We must rebuild the institutions of good governance

including free and fair elections and a leadership development and

selection process that discovers and deploys the best and the brightest

Nigerians at home and abroad…it is our responsibility as present-day nation

builders to ensure national reconciliation, national reconstitution and

national reconstruction to provide an enabling environment for the

growth and optimisation of future generations of Nigerians. It is our

responsibility, and we must not leave it to the coming generations”. (Bakare, SATURDAY, JUNE 12, 2021)

Bakare, T. (SATURDAY, JUNE 12, 2021). RETHINKING THE NIGERIAN STATE. TEXT OF DEMOCRACY DAY DIALOGUE COURTESY OF PTB4NIGERIA CANADA CHAPTER. ZOOM: WWW.TUNDEBAKARE.COM.

It is time for Nigeria for Nigerian Movement! #N4NM

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