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How to rescue ourselves from our political leaders(3)

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Political Education

Dr. ChiChi Aniagolu-Okoye

Picture above credit: Still from Falz – This is Nigeria (official video) ©Folarinde ‘Falz’ Falana

Dr. ChiChi Aniagolu-Okoye

Most of us don’t understand democracy or the real power of the electorate. Colonialism and military rule has created a system of subservience to the leader. Anyone in a position of authority in Nigeria, no matter how lowly that position is, finds ways to abuse their authority and the people automatically accept it.

Anyone who wants to rescue ourselves from our political leaders must start today to organise weekly, biweekly or monthly meetings with those in their sphere of influence, explaining democracy to them. The meetings must discuss the deep governance issues impacting the lives of the people, such as the relationship between bad governance, corruption, poor leadership and poverty, unemployment, crime, violence and so on. The meetings must also discuss citizens’ responsibilities in a modern, democratic society such as holding government accountable, paying taxes and so on and how these strengthen citizens’ rights in a democracy. Citizens also need to know when to resist government and refuse to be intimidated. The power of a political office holder’s abuse is only possible where the vast majority accept that abuse. Once most people refuse the abuse it will stop!

It is, however also important to give hope. You must show examples of places and situations that have improved as a result of good governance and engaged citizens.

There is a reason church is every Sunday. Hearing the same thing over again impacts behaviour.

  • Dr. ChiChi Aniagolu-Okoye, Country Director, TechnoServe Nigeria. is a Development Sociologist.

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