Safeguarding the Social Contract of the People
Transparency and accountability forms the core of social contract. And, without the two, social contract will be nothing but a mirage. Right now, the Nigerian situation is a most lachrymal type because of the failure of government to live up to its creed of guaranteeing the safety of the people from external aggression and also providing welfare for them. So, it won't be out of place to conclude that, in the Nigerian scene, social contract merely exists on papers, not operational.
Many a people, out of ignorance, have written to condemn the statement of Governor Seyi Makinde admitting the failure of the State government to secure the people, which ordinarily is the basic responsibility of every government. However, it beats me hollow to read same people commend the statement of Maj. Gen. Buhari (rtd.) whereby he was shifting the blame for the challenges of insecurity on State governments across the country. The blame-game points to two things, that; it is either the President is far from reality or he is intentionally being naïve of the structure of government in the country to the extent that he was even referring to the three tiers of government without pointing at their workings as enshrined in the Constitution.
At this point in time, I feel it is important to educate many as regards how government is structured in Nigeria today. And, as a matter of fact, these opinion-pushers need to understand that the admittance of failure by the Governor is not personal, but, governmental. Governor Seyi Makinde heads a government which is incapable of securing the people of the State because of the over-concentration of power and responsibility at the Federal level which is why there is an increased call for restructuring from all angles so that each tier will function adequately.
In some advanced countries of the world, it is the heads of local government councils who make up the engines of development and social transformation. And, for these areas of competence and responsibility to be clearly defined and guaranteed in Nigeria, the agitation for restructuring of the country must cease to be evaded by those at the helms of affairs, most especially those at the national assembly who are meant to invoke such. The happenings in the country as it relates to insecurity and development in relation to the failure of State governments to adequately curb these has once again exposes that once the arbitrary dictatorship and interference of the centre in areas of regional competence and developmental priorities is abrogated, it will no longer matter what part of the country produces the leadership at the top.
Buhari and his acolytes who have chosen to misunderstand and misrepresent the purpose of the call for restructuring must stop shying away from it, because that is the only way to allay the fears of the minority. Right now, the fear is genuine and the questions relating to our collective existence as a people which include but not limited to; the country Nigeria should be, the manner her internal relationships should be ordered, how to achieve the fair pattern of the relationships of the parts to the whole, amongst others must be appropriately answered.
Nigeria, as presently made up, has gotten to a stage whereby the interrogation of the very essence of nationhood has been inserted into daily consciousness of the people and also at its peak. The happenings across the country is a proof that every effort of the mannequin President to dissuade the people from interrogating the very essence of the existence of the country is an effort in futility. However, we owe it a duty to this generation and generations unborn to ensure that the aberration being witnessed today does not occur again, and, that can only be made possible by modifying the very structure of the country through the overhaul of the internal arrangements in order to ensure that the unthinkable which is being witnessed right now does not manifest in another phase of our existence as a people.
The refusal of Buhari to admit the failure of the government he heads to secure the people of the country from terror is enough proof that the pit that had been dug which some persons had tumbled into its darkness and vanished without a trace had widened and is ready to consume the very foundations of our homes while those we have entrusted to secure our lives and improve our wellbeing look away.
While the tempo of the call for restructuring is sustained, I call on the Governors of all South West States, to, with the statement of Maj. Gen. Buhari (rtd.) whereby he called on them to deploy means of fighting crime, begin the distribution of AK-47 rifle and other ammunitions to operatives of Western Nigeria Security Network codenamed Amotekun in ensuring that the security of the people is guaranteed by confronting the marauding Fulani vampires that are on a jihadist revolt.
Kazeem Olalekan Israel (GANI) writes from Ibadan, Nigeria.