In the world of today, it has been amazingly observed how so many things have had to conform to a uniformed way of life and practice. This century has seen and accommodated drastic and amazing development. This is not without the impact of science, technology and the new media. Obviously, the world has now become a global village; the effect of these development to humanity has been felt both positively and negatively. The lingering question, however, is about which of the effects is winning; the former or the latter.
Moreover, the truth of the matter is that science, technology and new media has brought about series of creative and innovative change to help humanitarian services in various societies. We can now spy at other countries to get quality services, goods, trending values and even policies in which are lagging in our own society to build or supplement ours. On the other hand, it is about the rate at which this phenomenon is militating and endangering the prosperity of some certain community (weaker and developing nation to be precise). These Nations have lost their values, norms, traditions, policies and administrative competence to globalization thereby crippling the effectiveness of their sense of planning. In such communities, any attempt to unify or solidify their interests is belittled if it doesn’t conform to this globa-foreign way of life; them don sell their right give oyinbo. And even these so-called ‘oyinbos’ remain in their confines and press different information to ridicule our () existence. Yet, we keep following them like the zombies.
Developing nations are now abandoning their homemade policies (either good or bad) to adopt foreign ones due their high rate of acceptability or generality. Series of situations like this can be found in the way African countries desperately crave for the adoption of some alien governmental and administrative policy either workable or not. But one thing they have failed to understand is that no matter how smart and effective a cutlass is on the farm, it can never serve better than a knife in the kitchen. Some indigenous policies will still remain the best practice in some situations no matter the circumstance. For instance, no matter what effort or strategy you employ, a date seed or a mustard seed will never germinate in anywhere in Nigeria. A date seed grows only on an Arabian soil while the mustard seed grows in Israel.
In essence, because a particular policy is working in a particular society doesn’t necessarily mean it will also work for you as well. In Africa, our failure is not in the ineffectiveness of our leaders, But in the ineffectiveness of the adopted system of governance there in. Therefore, we shouldn’t just adopt. We should look closely, considering every circumstances along the line, in the structure of your society and figure out what will best conform to the system before selection. This is one stance our African Nationalists are failing to manage. And it is the earlier, the better.
The painstaking fact is that, amidst all these falls and all in the name of globalization, or maybe it’s in order to continue to prove their dominance, these European countries will still continue do everything possible to make sure that their killer policies are still being used in these troubled Nations; isnt this a wound on humanitarianism? They will, in turns, come all out to claim the superiority of their policies over other policies and how they have been using it successfully for decades/ century. Then they will make all sure that it is enforced on the nations they feel they can influence. Perhaps, with the flimsy help of the world governing bodies (United Nation or NATO) of which they relatively dominate. I think we need to begin to break out of our shells. We need to start sending them parking before they successfully ruin us for their own selfish benefit. Let’s stop their neo-colonialism influence. We have come of age, Africa.
Well, let me send a message down to the so called Superiors. Without prejudice or dispute sirs, these theories and policies of yours have been a great success in your respective place of dominance, but the base still remains that the fact that it work for you doesn’t mean it will work for all. The better you understand that It will not always be applicable to every country. Forcing it on these countries will only make it look like an imposition. So it will be better for you, and for them, to leave these countries to make their decisions on their own. Definitely, you can render some help by recommending to them your policies but don’t try to force it on them.
Through my little experience in the big field of philosophy, I have also come to understand that it is going to be an error for you to bend your data to suit your theory. Rather, you should bend or adjust your theory (if possible) to suit your data. And if that wont solve the problem, then go for another workable theory. The moral behind it is that you cant bend the structural settings of your country to suit a foreign policy rather you should adjust this policy (if possible) to suit the country’s structure. Or better still, go for another policy or system that will best defined the structure of the country. In everything, the environment of occurrence is of very great importance.
As a case study, we should (first) critically look at the application of democracy to governance and administration and how effective it has been generally. Then thereafter take a close shove at its effect in developing African Nations like Nigeria.
Democracy, no doubt, is a blossom and encouraging way of choosing political leaders. It is, according to Oxford English Dictionary, ‘a system of governance in which all people of a state or polity … are involved in making decisions about its affairs, typically by voting to elect representatives to a parliament or similar assembly’. It is popularly referred to as ‘the government of the people by the people and for the people’. But, believe you-me, as sweet as the policy/system might sound, its got lapses; fatal ones at that. No wonder, Tomas Garrigue Masaryk of Czechoslovakia is well remembered for his quote on democracy translated as thus;
‘democracy has its faults, because people have their faults. Like the owner, like the store’
This quote explains as well part of the mishaps encountered in democratic politics. Since it is the government of the people, the masses’ decisions should always be right. Am sorry but there some instances when this masses will be outrightly wrong on some issues, yet the government will have to go the wrong way even when it is obvious they will fail. The responsibility of this failure, however, will not be the masses’ but the leaders in power. What an irony!
By the way, do the masses really think they own this government? How can you when the only power you have is just the ability to exercise your bragging right to choose your representatives only periodically; a fit that can even be jeopardized by just an unfree and unfair election. The real politics and politicking are done only by those few people alone. So where is the ‘government by the people’? Don’t let us deceive ourselves all in the name of ‘democracy’. We know how it is being run. In Nigeria, it is more of a communist society than of the real democracy.
To go down memory lane, Democracy is a system of government that was first tested in the Greek government during the time of antiquity. It, however, went through various transformation and development before its legal adoption by the Americans. Due to its special pedigree, it became trusted over the years for better and accurate result. So many countries have adopted this system all around the globe. Even when it is obvious that is hitting and breaking them deep inside, knowingly or unknowingly, some unfavored nations still hold on to it. Little do they know that they are gorgeously guarding the timed grenade so to say. Well, I may be wrong though.
In this light, Nigeria, arguably the most populous black nation in the world, is a very good example. Over the years, this practice had failed to yield us desirable result yet we are still of a great hope that, one day, it will flourish. Maybe yes maybe not, but I see democracy as a system that isnt capable of catering our structural needs as a nation with diverse human culture and belief. Pardon me if am wrong, but Democracy isn’t a system designed to suit a nation like Nigeria. Let’s begin to think outside the box.
I know the next thing that pops up inside of your medulla, after reading this excerpt, will be to begin to query the acceptability of this article. ‘is he really saying democracy isnt good for us?’, or ‘does he really mean we should give the army a chance? If yes, I doubt if his father was alive back then to witness the terrors of the then military regime’. If these are thoughts, all I will say with a big smile on my face will be to ask some simple and common-sensical questions;
• Are there not other system of government of governance aside democracy and military? If no, then why don’t we give them a check?
Nb; given them a ‘check’ doesn’t necessarily mean ‘adoption’ but, first, a critical review with our structure.
• Why do we keep training people in institutions to study courses like political science, economics, law, geography, linguistics, sociology etc if we cant give them a chance to work out policies and systems other than the oyinbo dumped ones? Are you saying Africans aint got brains? Must we always follow the oyinbo laid down theories even if they aint workable?
And so after taking all these steps of review, if we still believe or find democracy to be the only workable system to fit the structure of Nigeria, then so be it. But in the meantime, its obvious we need to go back to that drawing board.
I hope this article will serve as a wake-up call for Nigerians and Africa at large. But in the meantime, I shall display (with facts and evidence) in my next post why I believed this democracy of a policy is failing us in this part of the world. Anticipate…