By Fatai Balogun
It was Professor Claude Ake who reasoned that the kind of democracy Nigeria requires is a social democracy that places emphasis on concrete political, social, and economic rights, as opposed to a liberal democracy that emphasizes abstract political rights. It will be a social democracy that invests heavily in the improvement of people’s health, education, and capacity so that they can participate effectively. This is because the kind of democracy obtainable will be dependent on how far the democratization is driven by Nigerians themselves and the modalities employed to achieve this.
It is also imperative to underscore the fact that, some so-called representatives of the people have performed far below expectations, while others have done creditably well. Regrettably corruption, avarice, eye-service, mediocrity and maladministration are the order of the day. But what APC stands for is change, a change that will bring qualitative and quantitative social benefits to the people and honour to the party. It has also been said that the political class place a high premium on power. They accumulate power by all means, do everything to secure it and prevent others from getting it. As governance becomes permanent, politics becomes Hobbesian: power is pursued by all means and kept by all means and the struggle for power becomes the overriding concern. Indeed politics becomes the only game in town, it is a game played with deadly seriousness for the winners win everything and the losers lose everything. Development does not occur in the framework of a political style which essentially institutionalises warfare.
And this exactly is where Dr. Kasali comes in. He wants to change the way politics is handled in our clime; he wants transparency and accountability to be introduced to every level of politics. He wants corruption, manipulations and self-interest to be eliminated from the scheme of things. He wants to consolidate on the achievements of the APC governors before him. He wants to make APC a more successful party. He wants to run a graft free government that is predicated on the exigent need to make life better for the people of Lagos State as well as take Lagos State to greater heights.
Dr. Tola Kasali is calling on the good people of Lagos State to give him a chance and join hands with him in this emergency rescue mission to fundamentally consolidate on the gains of Lagos State, so that Lagos State can compete favourably with modern cities and countries like Dubai, Singapore, Hong-Kong and Qatar. Like Dr. Kasali usually says, the people of Lagos must not suffer in the midst of plenty. He has lofty ideas for the consolidation and transformation of Lagos State; he wants a Lagos where people will enjoy the fruits of their labour, a Lagos where people from the lowest of backgrounds can aspire to become anything great and marvellous in the new Lagos of our dreams.
The good people of Lagos must strive to elect the best candidate that would serve their interest and there is no other person than Dr. Tola Kasali, who is tested, trusted and eternally committed to the good of the generality of the people of Lagos State. A truly democratic government is at all times a mirror image of the desire of the electorate. The correct theory upon which true democracies are established is the running of a government in the open service of the people by their representatives. Granted, no society can claim complete immunity from corruption and incompetence, but a democracy should be better off in this regard because of its absolute control over public officials within the framework of the Rule of Law and accountability. On the contrary, Nigerians are evidently helpless in the face of the unfolding legitimization of corruption and official arrogance by those whom they have handed power to in the name of democracy. Quite tragically, people are being pushed into the unfortunate, if not dangerous, rationalization that if this is democracy, then, it was not worth fighting for. The truth is that this not a democracy yet. When people compare their lives under the military with that under the present democratic dispensation, the impression is often given as if democracy has done them in. That is why APC will make a strong impact in the polity.
The statement Dr. Kasali is trying to make is that we as a people cannot be exception to the rule, we must be able to galvanize all efforts and make things work as in all civilised countries of the world. Things can function in our clime properly, Lagos can be next tourism and business destination of choice the world over. However, for this to happen, the good people of Lagos State must vote en masse and ensure that Dr. Tola Kasali becomes the next Executive Governor of Lagos State, who will consolidate on the ground-breaking achievements of his predecessors in office.
It is important to note that, Dr. Kasali is a loyal party member that has contributed to the growth and development of the party at various levels and on different occasions, he is a team player and not the kind of person that can rock the boat or upset the apple cart of the party and her leaders. He has deep-seated administrative, managerial and political experiences in both the private and public sector that can stand him in good stead and thereby catapult the party and the state to the apogee of remarkable successes in all spheres of human endeavour. He is a man who will be fair to all.
•Balogun wrote from 123A, Sanusi Bello Street, Lafiaji, Lagos.
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