C’River elections: A litmus for democratic institutionalisation

By Prince Mark Eneng Bonaventure

Democracy has been variously defined by Political Thinkers and theorists alike.

It was the famous American President Abraham Lincoln who construed the term Democracy as ‘ Government of the people by the people and for the people…’ To him, it is rule by a majority, implying a collective action in governance.
Aristotle once used the term to describe the form of government that was practiced in Athens, the Greek City-state. For Aristotle himself was not in favour of the system because of the hegemonic discrepancies associated with it.

Be it a Government of the people in the words of Lincoln or a mob action (Ochlocracy) as Polybius would want us to believe that, Democracy has offered much more participation in the affairs of the state than other forms of government. That is why Woodrow Wilson once said that the worst form of Democracy is better than the best form of others like monarchy, aristocracy, oligarchy and dictatorship.

Ever since the expiration of the tenure of the immediate past Local government administration in the state, there have been Political permutations, intrigues and misgivings on what was next. Nerves were also frayed when the State government under Prof Ben Ayade subtly and benignly adopted the ‘HOLGA’ method of running the Local government councils as against the traditional system of setting up the CARETAKER COMMITTEE.
Kudos to the wisdom of the governor.

Before now, hopes were high and aspirations rife on who becomes what in the committee system. Even immediate past chairmen who had served their gruesome and not-so-perfect tenures in the councils, were still pushing for the (only) three months or so caretaker regime.
Very unfortunate.

Though I had no qualms with who became the caretaker chairman or line of staff in the committee system, I had issues first with the system itself because it is quite expensive to run. This is because the committee which is aware that its lifespan was just few months away would do all possible to amass and acquire inordinate wealth before returning to their ‘political barracks’. Secondly, the committee system is too expensive as against the HOLGA method being used and the resources coming to the state would not permit such.

I am particularly interested in the democratization of our dear state and that was why my joy knew no bounds when CROSSIEC under the effort of the governor, announced June 17 as date for the Local government elections. This greatly diminished the ambitious and venomous Political pythons who wanted to usurp the constitutional powers of Democratic elections.

But my advice and caution to the able governor and the electoral umpire (CROSSIEC), that it should not be business as usual.

The process of choosing who is to become the flag bearer of the various Political parties of the entire state should strictly be done in compliance with the Democratic principles and practices.

Great enough, the era of (SELECTIVE) representation is over. Every individual who wishes to participate in the process must be given the needed opportunity and level-playing ground to ventilate their ambitions.

I’m aware of those serious minded individuals who actually started the race long before even the idea of caretaker was extinguished.
A lot have actually done consultations with their various constituencies. Some are still waiting so they will be anointed by some political Samuels and Elijahs, while others are waiting either at the crossroads or at the pooling unit to cause mayhem. To this group of politicians, thiers is the road to Golgotha and sepulchre.
God bless Cross River.

This author is neither an aspirant in the elections nor a campaign chairmen to anybody
I am a Political Analyst,
A public affairs commentator,
A Social and Human activist
An Advocate of True Democracy

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