By Ani Michael
The reasons for the decline in the social democratic values in the country has been adduced to lack of adherence to democratic tenets, missing of democratic ingredients during leadership recruitment by political parties and total negligence by political parties to encourage competence.
Rt. Hon. Eseme Eyiboh, former House of Representatives, spokesperson alongside other discussants, made the assertions recently on a television program monitored by our correspondent.
According to Eyiboh, Nigeria’s nationalists like Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe, Chief Obafemi Owolowo, Alhaji Waziri Ibrahim and other patriotic elder statemen encouraged political communication and participation of competent people in electoral processes. “When I had the invitation to be here to discuss this issue. I quickly went to the archive and went through the clips of Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe of blessed memory of NPP, Chief Obafemi Awolowo of UPN of blessed memory too , Alhaji Waziri Ibrahim of GNPP and the rest.
“I saw glamour, I saw the nexus between leaders and the followers. I saw a parties of political communication that threw up social democratic values in these clips. Now, the question I tend to ask myself, what happened? What went wrong? Is clear today that we’ve missed the critical issue of leadership recruitment in our political culture”.
Eyiboh, alongside Dr.Emeka Nwosu, former political editor of Daily Times Newspaper and Engr. Ibrahim Hassan, an Abuja based Engineering Consultant appeared on Africa Independent Television (AIT) political and current affairs program tagged People, Politics and Power, with the topic “of vote trading, mandate purchase and imposition”, anchored by a renowned broadcaster, Mr. Imoni Amarere.
Eyiboh, also identified lack of political participation and interactions by aspirants with the electorates as the reasons for the decline in democratic value in the polity. “These days, you rarely see anybody who is contesting an election, then the electorates knowing that person. What you see are posters, billboards etc”.
He said, article 25 of UN covenant, civil and political rights encourages political participation, noting that same is encapsulated in the nation’s constitution, and called on political parties to recruit competent people with capacity, willingness, resistant and integrity to manage political parties being vehicles to drive political aspirations.
On their part, Dr. Emeka Nwosu and Engr. Ibrahim Hassan traced mandate purchase and vote trading to bad economy in the country, saying unemployment, hunger and desperation turned some Nigerians to purchasible commodities available to be bought by Nigerians with deep pockets.
To deepen democracy in the country, they called on religious leaders, civil society organizations and people of good will to lead the attitudinal change and social reorientation campaign, with the intention of correcting the 1999 political recruitment process were majority of competent Nigerians believed that military may not relinquished power, refused to participate in electoral process and allowed all manner of incompetent persons to occupy political position in the country.