These days, the common song you hear is that the Presidency needs to be changed, the country is in a bad shape because we have an incompetent President. Once we elect another President, our national problems would disappear, bla, bla.
I wonder what informs this sole fixation about the Presidency. There is the generally false belief that changing a President in a convoluted political terrain like Nigeria would solve the intractable and pernicious national problems.
It is like the man who keeps divorcing, looking for the perfect wife while staying blind to the factors that make it impossible for any woman to play the perfect wifely role he desires.
Yes, the executive ‘executes’, but there are other serious factors I believe we aren’t paying attention to in our relentless castigations of this President.
The National Assembly as presently constituted and peopled is the a veritable cog to development, and would easily frustrate the best angel placed in the Presidential saddle.
They make the law, are a law unto themselves. Therefore, because of this enormous powers, we need men of the highest integrity in there. Not sure we can say we have those men, right there, right now.
While some Presidents would indulgently “do deals’ and get easy passage of proposals, a Presidency that refuses to bend over backwards to accommodate legislative excesses and recklessness would have it rough. Why else did we hardly ever have disagreements between the GEJ Presidency and the NASS?
I leave you to take a guess.!
It is like a boss who wants you out of the organization. No matter your effort or performance, you would get an unfavourable performance reviews, and complaints. You would get frustrated no matter what you do or don’t do.
The Executive can’t just ‘execute’ without cooperation from the other arms of government. They must have the same mission / vision. Align.
The National Assembly cutting down on the budget for things the Executive believes are of prime importance (then inserting their own numerous “projects”) is an example of the negative repercussions of a non-harmonious relationship or synchronicity between these two arms.
While an Assembly can perform its duties excellently well despite / in spite of an uncooperative Presidency, the reverse is not the case.
Oversight functions by The Assembly.
Who oversees the ones carrying out oversight functions – since they are not exactly what you would call a saintly incorrigible bunch?
At the states and local government levels, the style of government we run has no way of checking daylight robberies happening on ongoing bases. There is immunity from prosecution for the Governors. The Local Government Chairmen are mostly errand boys or proxies for the Start Chief ExecuThieves.
Unfortunately these two levels have more direct impact on the daily lives of citizens than a cocooned Presidency at the center. After all, Lagos ran well under Tinubu despite the faceoff with Former President Obasanjo,then. That tells you, if the local arms of government are doing well, the citizens would feel it in their lives, despite presidential supposed ineptitude.
Merely saying, people are not happy, the country is in a bad shape, bla, bla, and laying the entire blame squarely on the Presidency I believe is not quite a panoramic or complete way of assessing things.
The prosecutory arm is not left out in the subpar management of the country.
The Senate President Saraki just got discharged of all wrongdoings. Nothing surprising there. After all, Ibori got discharged too before being slammed abroad. Even ordinary recalling a disgraceful Dino Melaye failed. The power of influence and money. Corruption.
No anti-corruption drive can succeed without the arm saddled with druving it being passionate and alive to its responsibilities.
Judges take bribe. So a supreme court deciding one way or the other doesn’t mean much, anymore. When the judiciary is no longer the (last) hope of the citizenry, then we can say we we are truly in trouble.
It means electoral disputes can be for the most influential – with the ones with the biggest cash war chest to compromise electoral officers / judges being the eventual victors.
No. The problem is not (just) the Presidency. The problem is much more multi-faceted than that.
A tree cannot make a forest. A Presidency / President – alone – cannot run the kind of government needed to take us out of the woods.. A presidency can not weed out crooks in the other arms (intent on maintaining the status quo and throwing all sorts of distractions to confuse the naive).
I am convinced that any meaningful reformation to the nation would have to be all encompassing, starting with that man in the mirror.