Those who did not study the history of political theory are wading into the domain of political science and practice, half blind and half deaf.
In the USA, very many Senators and Congressmen are lawyers, political and social science graduates, which is why we see an informed address of societal affairs.
There is a mistaken belief in Nigeria and elsewhere that anyone with a cajoling ambition and a star-gazing disposition can be Governor, Senator or President.
This is day-dreaming and if by a stroke of ill-luck such a hallucinated individual rules the waves by design or default, the nation he governs will face occasional degradation, since he can only govern by force, police/military intelligence operations, and secret squads, who are licensed to kill, as we saw in Chile, Argentina, Central African Republic under Bokkassa, Uganda under Idi Amin and in Nigeria under Abacha.
You do not relish a boiled egg in which you have expressed doubt. There is doubt about the efficacy of leading political thinking in the country and how the mobilization of ideas for good governance is improving the societal aspirations of the people or the lack of it.
The old reporting of the views of political leaders, which have not had new content, is dominant.
The further discussions on what opinion has been expressed are postponed indefinitely.
To carry always the photo of the President, any Nigerian President has remained fervent journalistic practice.
The matter was brought up several times at the IPI, the International Press, which my OEP Press Agency, has been studying its reports since 1974.Why do all Nigerian newspapers carry the President’s picture regularly? Is that good journalism or subservient addiction?
Examine the New York Times, the International Herald Tribune, The Times of London, Der Spiegel, The London Guardian, the Daily Telegraph, to which I send my articles regularly.
They hardly print the pictures of their political leaders, but address societal issues and later do in-depth analysis to unearth the issues.
As a result of the age-old Nigerian journalistic practice, political development is handcuffed because ideas are not vigorously canvassed enough.
Romanticized commentaries as editorials do not provide hard-hitting statements that cause leaders to re-think their policies.(The Guardian Nigeria is exempted from this view)
Some editors suppress critical comments and print eulogies. Some news papers have closed down or been harassed to go out of business.
Some authors have been targeted and their articles treated as currencies.
Political commentaries are banal, not focused. Dissenting views are greeted with morbid hostility by agents of negativism.
Political thought from Machiavelli to Marx, form the irreducible minimum of the knowledge evinced in analyzing political discourses in societies around the world.
Nigeria cannot be an exception. Lazy readers find fault with knowledge seeking and carry-on with guess-work, puerile permutations and hare-brained musings, to the detriment of in-depth thinking that causes nations to gain acceleration in the right direction.
George. H. Sabine and Thomas L Thorson declared thus in their book, “A History of Political Theory”. This history of political theory is written in the light of the hypothesis that theories of politics are themselves are a part of politics.
In other words they do not refer to an external reality but are produced as a normal part of the social milieu in which politics itself has its being. The reflections upon the ends of political action, upon the means of achieving them, upon the possibilities and and necessities of political situations and upon the obligations that political obligations impose, is an intrinsic element of the whole political process.”
The apprehension of such deep thoughts are fundamental to positive political engineering rather than, “He said that…He said that.. even if what he said has no social relevance and does not address any fundamental issues. Just because he said that….
Opinionated views lead to tyrannicide orchestrated by strong views like the suppression of the Indigenization Act of the 1970’s, under dubious economic reforms programme.
and its desecration.
“The moral purpose for which political rules exist implies that authority ought to be limited to and that it should be applied according to existing law”.
A subjective action in self-interest cannot pass as a national political policy but as a whimsical call to self-interest.
In a Republic, where strong men dictate policy without the learned resistance of civil society, is bound to be assaulted and oppressed by a cabal, which holds its views on Nigeria, to be sacrosanct, immutable and good for all times.
They have been proven wrong, while the Nigerian society has suffered inexorably in the past twenty years.
Yet, they still dare canvass inanities of inconsequential import, stirring the soul of the people.
Where are the futuristic well-articulated political blue-print for governance beyond 2015?
I guess that in June 2015, the new rulers will be thinking of 2020.
We remember “houses for all by the year 2000, health services for all by the year 2000.
Then they went to canvass same for 2010, then vision 20-20-20 became illusion 20-20-20.
The Nigerian governments have succeeded in deceiving all the people, all the time, which is no mean achievement.
This is largely because the press and civil society do not hold leaders to account!
As Niccolo Machiavelli said, “People are so simple-minded and trusting that anyone, who wants to deceive will always find people to deceive”
Our political philosophy is based on what my in-laws call “AGBATA EKEE”. It is essentially a recrudescence of jungle mentality. It breeds corruption and greed. It continues to thrive! God will overturn, overturn and overturn!!!
Emmanuel Omoh Esiemokhai
Professor Emmanuel Omoh Esiemokhai is the Academic Chancellor, BOSAS International Law Bureau, Abuja, FCT, Nigeria.