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Friday, 26 January 2018

Nigeria: Is electoral politics the answer to good governance and sustainable leadership?

My view on what appears to be a growing perception in Nigeria (and even beyond) that electoral politics is the best way for you to change your society or make a difference in your society. In other words, if you want to change your society or make a difference in your society you must join a political party and vote in every election cycle to select your leaders. I depart from such a view which I call election-centric view.
"I have listened to people across academic and non-academic professions in Nigeria talk about the need for Nigerians to engage in electoral politics if they want to make a change in society. Thus there is a growing perception that the best way for people to change the society is through electoral politics. Though their reference to electoral politics is often generic, but a closer attention to their arguments reveals that focus is usually on voting during election cycles and party politics. For simplicity purposes I call this election-centric view. This view justifies the reason people, particularly young people, are increasingly advised to join political parties, or ensure (for those who have attained the voting age) they register to cast their votes in every election cycle, for that is the only way they can change the society or make a difference in society. There is something fundamentally wrong with this perception. My aim here is to depart from this growing election-centric view and argue that electoral politics alone, though an important part of political participation, certainly, cannot guarantee good governance or the purposeful and sustainable leadership we seek in Nigeria. There are other robust participatory means, for example civic activism, that deserve strong attention."

Read the full article as published on The Scoop Ng by one click HERE.
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