ACHIEVER PETERSON, Abuja
February 24, 2015 – The Presidential candidate of the United Democratic Party, Chief Godson Okoye, has explained that the refusal of politicians to see politics as a place of service rather than profit-making venture was the major cause of problems confronting the nation’s democracy.
According to him, until politicians begin to separate service from “mercantilism” in politics, Nigeria’s democratic process would continue to be in crisis.
Okoye, a legal practitioner, made the observation in Abuja when election observer groups under the aegis of All Nigerian Nationals in the Diaspora, paid him a courtesy visit.
He regretted that politicians in the country do not only lack the commitment to work towards the success of the country’s democracy but also the “right mindset on how democratic system should work.”
Okoye said, “The problem we are having is that politicians don’t have the right mindset on how the system should work. Their own is oh, I have invested N5 million for an election, I must make N10 million out of this system before I leave. They forget that sound mercantilism and politics are two different things. Politics is about service and mercantilism and business are about profit. You can’t mix up the two.
“If government constructs road, how much does it make from the road, what do they profit from making road? Nothing, in terms of Naira and Kobo but in terms of economic activity, they are expanding the space for people to pursue their socio-economic activities that will improve their lives. We must begin to see politicians as a place to offer services to the people and not where we can enrich our pockets.”
Earlier, in their mission statement, acting Global Chairperson of ANNID, Dr. Justina Obi, explained that the visit was part of their programs of engaging the stakeholders in the country’s political process to ensure that the country got it right in terms of democratic governance.
She said, “We are engaging the stakeholders in the country’s political process or the electoral system to ensure that they deliver the dividends of democracy, to ensure that the electorate are not left out in the game and to also rub minds to find out what is lacking or what is good in the system that we can continue.
“We are here to see how all the political parties can come together and what they can disagree on that would enhance the development of this nation. We are not just observing the election but the process. The process includes the distribution of the PVCs, voters’ awareness, stakeholders meetings and the rest.”