Sylvanus Viashima, Jalingo
As Nigerians mark twenty one years of uninterrupted democracy in the country, the Speaker, Taraba state house of Assembly Dr Joseph Kunini has said that there is still so much to be desired despite the gains of our democratic experience.
Speaking in an exclusive interview with Sunday Sun, Kunini said that the country has recorded tremendous gains with the advent and stability of democracy in the last two decades but has not been able to make the best of it due to poor policy implementation and lack of political will from leaders.
Kunini, who is a political scholar noted d that Nigeria is undaunted with brilliant policies and sound legislation but the inability of the relevant authorities to implement the policies has remained a major bane of our democracy and the reason behind our slow growth.
He insisted that despite the failure on the part of leaders at various levels and times across political, religious and ethnic lines, the general perception of political office by the generality of the people has also contributed in great measure towards the challenges of democratic and consequently, economic growth of the country.
“Let me first of all join Millions of other Nigerians home and abroad to celebrate twenty one years of uninterrupted democratic experience. For some of us who have been around and witnessed military rule with the attendant coup and all the package it came with, democracy is sure a breathe of fresh air.
“I however feel that there is so much we could have achieved if our leaders have been sincere and bold enough to do the right thing at all times without fear or favor, without discrimination and with less self centeredness. Our institutions are still very frail and vulnerable, not because we don’t have the right policies and laws in place that would strengthen them, but because the political will to implement these policies and enforce the laws is not there.
” Unfortunately, the general public can not also be exonerated from blame. They tend to put too much pressure on political office holders. Political office is an opportunity for service and not money making. I think that is one of the key areas that we have gotten it so wrong and need to work on. People aspiring for political offices should be spurred to serve and not to amass wealth. You can make money from business, agriculture and other areas but not politics.
“Equally important, the people should also reduce the amount of pressure they put on leaders. Yes it is true that things have gone so wrong and there is extreme poverty in the country but if we don’t insist and get things done correctly, the difficulties would only continue to worsen. So for me, I think today is a day for all of us, both leaders and followers alike, to sit back and reflect on our journey so far and retrace our steps. We must chat a new course for us to grow as a nation”.
Kunini who said the journey has been tough for the people of Taraba state, commended the state governor Darius Ishaku for working so hard to bring dividends of democracy to the people despite the lean resources.
Sunday Sun reports that the day was marked on a very low key in the state as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.