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LIBERTY… one nation bound in Freedom.

Liberty is one of the most significant words in life. It’s significant and import can be felt and applied in virtually every area of life: spiritual, physical, material, economic and political.

The most important, sacred and inviolable dimension of liberty is spiritual. A thousand physical lacerations cannot penetrate it, the strongest and most heavily fortified prison cell cannot desecrate it, economic and financial woes of the worst breed cannot open up the sanctity of spiritual liberty.

Burn the house, set the furniture and all personal effects on fire, inflict the body with severe and incurable disease, yet you can never penetrate the sweet repose of the soul or its inner serenity. This is a strong and irrefutable law of life.

However this same truth that holds sway in the spiritual also holds true in every other area of life, particularly the political. Important as the other areas are(material, social, economic) the political is by  far the most significant.  This is because political freedom guarantees and creates a conducive environment for every other kind of liberty. The bedrock of true political liberty is a power of franchise and freedom of expression.

Thirty years ago, nations like Singapore and Brazil are regarded as third world and developing, but today Singapore particularly is now a first world. What could have accounted for such drastic, unbelievable and overwhelming national transformation of the Singaporeans?  It is correct political leadership that is so focused and determined to break away from political and economic servitude to the West and become a force to reckon with in global economic and political order.

Nigerians can and must insist on this kind of political leadership at every level of governance: ward, local, state and federal of our body politics.  It is a truth and reality that Nigerians need to live, embrace and deeply appreciate that eternal vigilance is the price of liberty.  From the last conducted elections, it has become obvious that voting patterns are changing unlike in the days of Awolowo and Zik when people voted only on party lines.  Nigerians have voted on the merit or demerit of individual candidates for public offices.  This is very salutary and it is a proof of a higher level of political education that is now evolving among many Nigerians.  But the crusade for political education across the length and breadth of our great nation must continue strongly and steadily for the next four years, before the 2015 elections.  The battle to flush out money hounds and religious bigots and discover, encourage and support visionary, people conscious and need fulfilling progressive people into public offices is a do or die affair unlike one of our politicians who said the election of one particular candidate is a do or die affair.  I submit with due respect that any candidate can lose or win an election and no one candidate for public office has all the solutions to our national malaise.  Therefore, the choice of any one politician is not and can never be a do or die affair.  However, for all of us Nigerians to become aggressively eager for political education and to become  strongly determined  to root out ill-motivated leaders and vote credible candidates and serve as eternal watch dogs over our political space and to hold public office holders accountable  for responsible governance  is indeed a do or die affair. Why? Because every other freedom to be truly or fully enjoyed must have political freedom as the foundation.  Spiritual freedom, physical freedom, material freedom, economic freedom, social freedom the total fulfillment of human potentials and possibilities is hinged and completely dependent upon political freedom.  What then is our conclusion?

Africa is waiting for Nigerians to arise to set the pace for others to follow.  I once read that one out of every 10 Africans you see is a Nigerian. Nigeria is the most populous black nation in the world. The facts are too obvious to admit of contention that Nigeria is one of the richest nations in Africa whether in terms of natural or human resources.  Some states in Nigeria are bigger than many nations in Africa.  We have one of the best and brightest brains anywhere in the whole world, yet millions daily live in grinding poverty eking out a living at subsistence level.  This slumbering giant of a nation must arise to fulfill this God-given mandate of championing the cause of Africa’s ascent from the debris of poor leadership and the attendant poverty that has dogged this continent for ages. You who are reading this article are an agent of change that Nigeria is waiting for through proactive participation in politics and the political process.  One man’s fiery inspiration and courage can set ablaze the fire of nationalism, patriotism and positive change.

One of the key political behavioural change that is urgently needed in thispost-election era is litigation consciousness. May we forever banish from our thoughts such sayings as “Ai ti kootu de ka sore” (we don’t litigate and become friends afterwards) or Olo’un maje  a rejo, at’ebi at’are  (may we never go through litigation whether we will win or we will lose) . This thinking pattern may have its merits in one’s personal affairs but in terms of using the Court System as an instrument to ensure political liberty it will lead to nothing but colossal disaster.  Whether or not you have money is immaterial for there are many organizations, legal and paralegal bodies as well as human right lawyers who are prepared to take up political cases bordering on disenfranchisement during elections or flagrant abuse and misuse of power and office after elections.

Time is here when corrupt, inept and dysfunctional parties and office holders must find themselves inundated with so many court actions that they will no longer be able to get away with political irresponsibility, greed and corruption in government and other abuses of the sacred trust reposed on them by the electorates.  We have exercised our franchise and voted, and by flexing our political muscles against bad and irresponsible governance, we are creating an enabling environment for virtue, integrity in public office, creativity and innovation in both public and private sector and a culture of excellence in all that we do as a people and as a Nation.

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