OPEN LETTER TO ELECTED REPS
YOUR excellency lawmakers, I am using this forum to congratulate you all for having the opportunity to be among those political trustees elected to represent our opinions, perspectives and interests in leading us to a nation of our dreams. We have lived in the worst political times.
A change has just come and you are the change. That is why we entrusted you all with this position to make decisions that will benefit all Nigerians and solve those problems that come with today's complex lifestyle. Time for a nation, where the new generation and our children will not bear the burden of the past inept leaders.
A nation where we can shape our individual and collective destinies with hard work, personal responsibility, integrity, patriotism, and optimism.
A government where our collective political support, ideas and effective strategies will lift large numbers of Nigerian citizens out of poverty. It is now time to reject politics of ethnic identity, hatred and revenge and embrace politics of unity, love, healthy competition and progress. This is the time to forget all the festering grievances of the past, admit those mistakes of the past, and move on healing old wounds which is essential for future success.
Working together, we can do more and better. We are due for a government that will truly represent and serve all Nigerians. The country is now weak and fragile. It is our collective responsibility to fix it back. There is no problem on earth that doesn't have a solution except death. Nigeria should not die in our generation.
My dear representatives, as you know, Nigeria is the most populous country in Africa with more than 150 million people. The whole population cannot go to Abuja to debate and negotiate their interests and problems. That is why 'we the people of Nigeria' elected three senators from each of the 36 states and Abuja, the federal capital, making a total of 109 senators to form the Senate.
We also elected 360 members to the House of Representatives from the 774 local government in the Nigerian federation to represent our various interests. That is to say, in essence, we elected a total number of 469 representatives to engage in democratic debates that will promote our collective interest in the National Assembly in less than 1,440 days-every four years. This house must not divide against itself.
Dear ambassadors of Nigeria in Abuja, the time is short and that is why you men of integrity and trust must be deeply committed. It is time to work hard on new initiatives, performances and improvement. Leadership is full of opportunity to do the right thing. It is not for fun or glamour. Doing the right things is more important than doing things right.
If we do the right things, we all live in peace, but if we continue doing wrong things, there will be no end to poverty, unemployment, corruption, kidnapping, armed-robbery, hired-killers, bomb-blasts, and religious crisis. This is time for serious men to do serious work to save a sinking nation. Let me remind you that this is not a direct Federal Government appointment.
It is an appointment from the consent and will of the people. A sacred bond. You represent the whole people of the nation. You are our only voice and source of joy. The mirror of the whole society.
Your excellency lawmakers, the Nigerian people repose their confidence in you to find lasting solutions to irregular electricity and water supply, insecurity, food shortage, poor state of education, transportation problems, unemployment, corruption, shortage medical facilities, and obsolete infrastructures.
The people in return promise to obey the laws of the land, work harder, pay their taxes regularly, care for their families to prevent deliquents from emerging, and love the country that make it a better for them fulfil their hopes and aspirations. Nigerian voters still believe in representative democracy and that is why they came out enmasse to vote for you in the last general elections.
James Madison, one of the important architects of the American constitution, gave his support for the system of representation as a mechanism ' to refine and enlarge the public views, by passing them through the medium of a chosen body of citizens, whose wisdom may best discern the true interest of their country, and whose patriotism and love of justice will be least likely to sacrifice it to temporary or partial considerations'.
My dear patriotic representatives, the Nigerian voters wanted something different and solutions to their problems considering the level of awareness in the last general elections. They came out in multitude despite all odds to cast their votes under a neutral and non-partisan electoral body of Prof. A. Jega. Politicians are true representatives when they make promises and keep those promises.
You are better when you competently manage the country's resources to the advantage of its citizens. To set examples of hard work and principled living. The idea behind a representative government concept is that sovereign nations or societies are invariably formed for a particular purpose and no individuals can acquire all of the genuine necessities of life. Therefore, a representative government is formed for mutual achievement of common goals and aspirations.
Mr. ADEWALE AKANDE, a commentator on national issues, wrote from Spain.