South African, Jacob Zuma and lessons for Nigerians

Nigeria is sharply divided along different ethnic lines, as such sectoral politics which is driven by tribalism is prevalent in the nations suckling democracy.

Political hegemony, economic racketeering, religious extremism and corruption which has eaten intricately into the nations financial hub are other factors that threatens the co-existence and social harmony of Nigeria in general.

It is not surprising that an average Nigerian prefers ethnic politics and sectoral interest above the national interest. Promoting regional interest at the expense of national interest is what dominate the mind and taught of an average Nigerian. It is common to hear words associated to these ignoble developments such as “he is a northern.”

This usually manifest itself, in form of Partisan politics, which is structured to promote tribal sentiments above meritocracy and competency. Sadly these developments has stagnated political success and impeded democratic growth in Nigeria.

In a democratic government, the Constitution is the Supreme law of the land which binds all and sundry. The constitution follows the rule of law and has separation of power as one of its cardinal characteristics. Separation of power promotes independence of the various arms of the government in other to prevent arbitrariness and to ensure checks and balances.

The version of democracy practiced in Nigeria is obviously devoid of such characteristics as the aim is shameful defeated by the actions of the executive which aims to undermine the independence of the other arms by weaving a schism schemes. The independence of the different arms are more apparent than real.

South Africans made a great call to unseat an incumbent president before the expiration of his tenure in office. This has attracted a lot of applause within and beyond the continent. This is the first time in the history of Africa, that an incumbent president was removed in a democratic mannerĀ  before the expiration of the tenure. It was quite incredible.

This is a great lesson for our country NIGERIA which is torn apart by ethnic sentiment, thereby making such calls elusive. The political will to make such call is hampered and dampened by sectoral sentiment. It is important to note that ANC which is the ruling party set aside their party’s interest but promoted the national interest.

I expect that our politicians, especially the legislatures will unlearn the political lessons they have garner and learn from the recent happenings from our South African brothers, to uphold national interest above party or sectoral interest.


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