Federalism, Democratic Inst. & Values
ANN believes that the Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN) is doing too much under our federation. The FGN also runs a large administrative bureaucracy as a result. But our current bureaucracy promotes a culture of entitlement; is not as accountable; and drives much costs into governance. Often, the FGN duplicates programmes and projects of States and LGAs. This waste in limited resources benefits a few at the expense of most Nigerians. It is at the root of inequality and marginalisation threatening our democracy. The FGN has grown too big, and its ‘failures’ is dragging back the entire country.
ANN also believes that political power does not change a person but reveals who a person really is. The ways and means by which politicians gain access to political power, determine the ways that they use political power. While our political and electoral processes have evolved and we have made some progress, we still face huge developmental and political challenges that present mixed opportunities for continuously improving politics, elections and our federation.
In spite of logistics challenges, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has made some progress in making the votes of Nigerians count. There are however opportunities for removing the many barriers to voting. Even much greater opportunities for strengthening the voices of Nigerians behind our votes. ANN believes that only a well-informed, socially and economically empowered electorate can trumpet loud-enough voices behind their votes, to demand for accountability in governance.
ANN believes that political and electoral reforms; and an informed and empowered electorate will re-balance Power Relations in Nigeria, and rightly return Power to the Nigerian People to strengthen our democracy, develop and implement inclusive policies to continue to improve the social and economic conditions of all Nigerians.
ANN believes that these outcomes are better achieved, and Nigerians better served, when those who are elected or appointed into positions of consequential decision-making, are as close as possible to Nigerians, to enable us ask tough questions and demand for accountability. This will ensure that only Nigerians with democratic values, who love (sacrificial) Nigerians and Nigeria, and who have the credibility of their own lived experiences, can hold and exercise the ‘Power of the People’ in trust, to serve in either elected or appointed positions of responsibility.
ANN believes that protecting our elections and the will of Nigerians is the most important safeguard to our democracy. Electoral fraud undermines our democracy and should be treated as high crimes against the will of Nigerians. We believe that electoral fraud is the origin of ‘bad governance’ that is not accountable to Nigerians.
Electoral fraud feeds into ‘patronage and loyalty networks’ of cronies and political thugs that commit crimes against ordinary Nigerians. Electoral fraud compromises our institutions and promotes rogue elements within them to undermine their credibility and to destroy the confidence of Nigerians in our elections.
Electoral fraud allows ‘strong men’ and ‘strong women’ to capture our country to ‘rule us to ruins’. It allows for irresponsible and unaccountable politicians to hold sway, answer to no one, and sustain a downward spiral that continues to inflict great physical and psychological pains on increasingly vulnerable Nigerians.
“Power corrupts; absolute power corrupts absolutely”
(John Emerich Edward Dalberg Acton)
“Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power”
Electoral fraud keeps the best Nigerians (in mind and heart) out of politics and governance. This affects the quality of laws that we make and the policy choices that we promote, often protecting ‘special interests’ at the expense of the socioeconomic development of ordinary Nigerians. Electoral fraud catalyses the processes that increase inequality, divisions and conflicts. It drags our country back and we continue to underperform on major development indices.
Electoral fraud makes our country weak and unable to respond to the many other challenges that we face as a country. Electoral fraud erodes our moral authority to govern, and to project Nigeria as a force for good in Africa and the world.
ANN will continue to educate Nigerians on the importance of maintaining the integrity of our elections to build high confidence. We will work with the Legislature; INEC; Law Enforcement; Technology Companies; Civil Society Organisations; Independent Reporters, Monitors and Activist Citizens; and the Judiciary, to strengthen our elections against electoral fraud and to recommend very harsh punishment for offenders.
ANN will be working with like-minded Nigerians across political party lines to achieve a federation based on ideas and ideals that would provide better opportunities and improve the welfare and wellbeing of all Nigerians. A federation that would evolve from zero-sum outcomes to positive-sum outcomes of elections in which all Nigerians can play roles together and share in our successes and failures.
We strongly believe that industrialising Nigeria is the key to Social Progress. But this would require local governments and states to emerge as stronger units of governance, that are delivering services to Nigerians. This would require a change in the mindset of politicians, from ‘oil rent sharing’ to identifying wealth creating opportunities in all parts of Nigeria to put our resourceful population to productive work.
It would require improving business environment (addressing ease of doing business, regulatory bottlenecks and uncertainty, infrastructure) at LGA, State and Federal levels. It would require States to work collaboratively in areas of comparative advantage. What we describe as “Complementary Advantage”. Federalism is at the centre of our Industralisation Plan. We will engage with Nigerians with clarity on our thoughts and intentions to grow inclusive economy and accelerate human development.
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