Victor C. Ariole
The most important economic resource is trust in the future, and this resource is constantly threatened by thieves and charlatans.
(Yuval Noah Harari, 2015:329)
Any political system that cannot ensure the future, is not worth keeping; not to talk of celebrating. If Nigerians have to die stupid death everyday in the name of weak governance then democracy is not meant for the african. My father always say that if ever humans will ever go extinct it will be by their stupidity not because death is hunting them. The Europeans whether in America, Australia ,Eurasia understand that very well and it reflects on the type of democracy they adopt to keep eye on ensuring that the future is not made to lose the trust so much required to continue the march to greater humanism. It has always been the marriage of intellect and emotion and any group found to be clustering on such basis had always claimed majority and not necessarily the herds’ type of majority.
Democracy has gone beyond the rambling of rote process of the government of the people by the people. Even at that, the people are defined differently as the emotional set up obliges. A tag must be put on a given group to either exclude them or include them on what or who is counted as people. Before 1947, when universal suffrage was not yet put into emotional necessity, women and non-tax payers, so called slaves inclusive, were not part of the defined people for political emancipation. When they started demonstrating that they could help in ensuring better future they were given rights of participation. Note that it was because the resource that they represented was getting invaded by thieves and charlatans that a responsive government reacted.
It is not that kind of physical stealing of votes in Africa or the kind of veiling both humans and animals and dragging them to the polling booths to simulate vote casting and claiming majority won the election. PEOPLE in question must indeed be seen as deserving the emancipation process. Three types of rebranded democracy seem to be creeping into the democratic culture even when they are mindful of their either Islamic or Christian penchants laicity or no laicity. That is also ensuring that the future is not left to the vagaries of human stupidity like my father says.
Recently, Malaysia with its known Islamic dominance elected a prime minister to the greatest surprise of their own collective intellect, someone they once castigated and forced to step aside.
That is also rethinking of what makes the emotional majority that could ensure the future. France, known as the eldest daughter of the Roman Catholic religion has been struggling to keep the future safe with its care of love or romantic embedded cohabitation process of governance. USA, the leader of free world, to their own greatest surprise know that freedom is what the governance process and who appropriate best the emotional content that ensures the future remains the accepted ground’norme to control and manipulate the constitution.
In deed, their two party system ensures that and here is where Babangida must be extolled for insisting on two party system for a consistent humanistic nature that must be guided against unbridled crave for misguided alternative. If Trump has not come to the scene, USA could have drifted to unbridled liberalism or ultra-liberalism; and that is also a state that makes the future headed to Sodom and Gomorrah. What people failed to recollect was that Junior Bush consulted Jacques Chirac before going to Iran war on the grounds that it is the bible injunction to stop an impending danger to their collective tomorrow in a display of ultra-conservatism which had a stop-gap in Obama.
Democracy is a metaphor for economic resource governance that ensure trust of the future for the benefit of those who are emotionally sustained by the balancing waves of capitalism. You either abide by it or dissociate yourself from it as seen only by the CUBANS for now. Russia and China have deviated and the world still see them as socialist countries. Nigerian northern elite still believe in feudalism, a stage both Russians and Chinese battled with in the past to get to their current stage of another variant of democracy just as the current Arabian princes are struggling to reform theirs so as to ensure that thieves and charlatans do not threaten the trust they have in the future. It will surprise you to know that most of the humans in the capitalist field of the Arabian space are not part of the “people” that decide the governance process of the space and it is definitely a type of enabled foreign and princely engineered democracy, not the type of any kind of people by the people. Close to them is the Jewish type of democracy in which no capitalist oriented party wins election and the jews still remain the most cerebrally endowed, with the best managed space on earth and world known money hunters outside Israel of this world as well as the thorn in the flesh of their region. What a crazy world the Americans would exclaim.
In all, the Africans still remain in the middle of nowhere with Nigeria leading to nowhere for now. Democracy has no place for celebration in Africa till Nigeria leads in understanding that the only salvation of the Africans is understanding how to reconstruct the unfoldment process of democracy to suit its own environment by creating its own brand of development process that makes governance the process of engendering economic resource that makes the future safe and less threatened by thieves who plunder for foreign interests and charlatans who misguide the populace and the majority poor to believe that they are enjoying democracy for its end sake as against constantly creating trust in the future.
Nigerians’ future is linked to the entire future of Africa which paradoxically found sacrifice in the over 10million seed humans (not acknowledged as people for democratic process initially) taken away in slavery to anachronistically move humanity forward and upon whom the current stage of democracy is found under probe. In deed, human beings do not need the type of African democracy described as hands tied at the polling booths or the type of herds’ vote in which human development index still remains below herd development index.
Ariole is Professor of French and francophone studies, University of Lagos.