Saturday, May 16, 2015
The past two weeks have seen Mr Ben Murray Bruce, the former Director General of NTA and the founder of Silverbird Television, comment passionately on issues relating to legislation and governance in Nigeria. The successful businessman was, in the last general elections, elected as a senator under the umbrella of People’s Democratic Party (PDP).
The entry of a person of Bruce’s caliber into Nigeria’s political scene is a sign of the nation’s democratic progression. He has been very blunt, both in his March 29 THISDAY article and on his Twitter page. Some of his tweets read: “If we must pay our Legislators higher than they pay European Legislators then we must pay our workers higher than they pay European workers!;” “As far as I'm concerned, until all state workers are paid their salary, no gov, no commissioner, no SA should collect salary or allowance!;” “A former minister told me how NNPC put him up in a £5000 per night hotel which he rejected. That's an economic crime!”
As patriotic as Bruce’s comments may come across, some are of the opinion that he is only seeking public acceptance and that he is no different from other corrupt politicians. While this may be difficult to judge now, the requisite questions one might need to ask are: “are there good politicians at all; if perhaps, do some deserve the benefit of the doubt?
While we support a politician with whom we share some common goals, it would be counter-productive to attempt to exonerate such politicians of their past misconducts. Likewise, it would be counter-productive to view a politician as corrupt simply because he doesn’t belong to the caucus of the politicians with whom we currently share some common goals.
…in her May 16, 2056 interview with Nigeria Tomorrow News, a Political Science professor, Chinyere Ogechukwu opined that though there were very few good politicians in Nigeria’s early years of democracy, the efforts of the good ones were choked, not only by the corrupt ones, but more significantly by the pessimistic disposition of Nigerians to their altruistic causes.
She said “Because Nigerians had been disappointed severally by politicians, most just found it somewhat relieving to not give politicians the benefit of the doubt, but rather lump them together as a bunch of shameless thieves. Also, because humans are more drawn to negative news, it was easy for the majority and louder corrupt politicians to manipulate Nigerians – often through their agents.
“Things have, however, changed in this generation. Nigerians now think more objectively; and less of themselves and more of Nigeria. Two major factors, I believe, are responsible for this: better education and better access to what goes on in governance.
“The infusion of empirical reasoning and philosophical subjects right from secondary school have made people of this generation more objective and far less likely to be manipulated by politicians. It is the best thing that has happened to our democracy since inception.”
Tuesday, May 16, 2056
You can follow us on Twitter @ngtomorrow