It is not enough to boast about free and fair elections or successful transfers of power. At this point, 2 decades into the 4th Republic and 65 years post Independence, we should be judging ourselves by new criteria!
What is the level of transparency and accountability of our government and its institutions? How do we manage corruption when it is exposed? What is the level of responsiveness of government to the needs of the people? What is the level of continuity of our development despite changes in government? How equitable is the distribution of resources?
What is the level of inclusivity? To what extent have we truly operationalised gender- mainstreaming? Are we truly committed to protecting our environment or are we just throwing buzzwords around while people destroy our land, water, flora and fauna?
As we watch democratically elected governments toppling in the sub-region to the delight of their citizens, let us take a cue from the fragility of democracy and the need to keep the interests of our people vested in the protection of our nation-state.
Democracy isn’t imprisonment in a self-destructive system. Democracy is not meant to make us slaves to a system that has lost its moral compass. Democracy isn’t meant to undermine our progress and vision as a nation!!! Democracy isn’t just about elections! It is also about what happens in between elections!!
Today, the words of Bob Marley’s Redemption Song come to mind
“Emancipate yourselves from mental slavery,
None but ourselves can free our minds
Have no fear for atomic energy
‘Cause none of them can stop the time
How long shall they kill our prophets
While we stand aside and look?”
meritocracy #good_governance #TogetherWeBuild
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