… Africa is poor because its leaders chose that path —Prof Lumumba
By Anthony Okafor
Following the outcome of the 2019 elections across the country, former Deputy Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria, and the Presidential candidate of the Young Progressive Party, YPP, Prof. Kingsley Moghalu, has called for fundamental reform of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC.
This is even as a former Director of Kenyan Anti-Corruption Commission and Former Director at the Kenyan School of Laws, Prof. Plo Lumumba, blames African leaders for choosing the path of poverty due to their reliance on special aids and grants.
While briefing newsmen on the sideline of the 6th Goody Jidenma Foundation Public Lecture with the theme: ‘Governance, Insecurity, Poverty and Economic Development: Wither Africa?’ Moghalu condemned the chaos meted to some electorate during the proceeding of the election, stating that it will be challenging to get up to 12 million Nigerians coming out to exercise their franchises during the 2023 election.
According to him, “I am calling for fundamental electoral reform of INEC as an institution. We have seen that the capacity of INEC which is constituted today to deliver quality elections is quite doubtful and all we get is excuses, so we need electronic voting, digital voting backed up block chain technology so you cannot rig it, that is what we need and people can actually vote in their homes on their telephones.
“Electoral reform is job number one and all citizens of Nigeria must and should demand for it else our democracy will continue to be very weak. Look at what has happened in the recent elections, the presidential elections 29 million or 27 million people. In 2023 at this rate if you get a total of 12-15 million votes you will be very lucky, if we continue to operate the electoral system we are operating today. Who wants to die, who wants to come out to vote and end up losing his or her lives, nobody.”
While commenting on the ideal of Nigerians voting individuals that do not have the interest of the country at heart, he said: “This is the fundamental problem of the Nigerian democracy, we need to have a much more informed electorate.
“People need to understand what good governance is and the kind of candidates that can give them good governance, but in Nigeria there is a lot of poverty, people vote for money, tribe, and religion. If we vote this kind of individuals, at the end of the day we keep running around in a bottomless pit and the cycle just remains. The people of Nigeria themselves and even those of us who have aspired to lead our country, we have a joint duty to work together to change our mindsets.
“Nigerians have to ask themselves a very simple question, why are we where we are 60 years after independence? Should we continue to vote for the problem or is it time for us to vote for the solutions?
“We need electoral reform in Nigeria so that votes can count. Our votes do not count which is a fundamental problem for us as a nation. Although the awareness is increasing, still the votes do not count. So Nigerians themselves need to ask themselves very basic questions. Don’t we deserve electricity, adequate water, and good school for our children and hospitals?
“Why do you leave candidates who have the kind of experience to provide this things, people who have run institutions around the world and in our country Nigeria and then you vote for people who the only thing they can offer you is N500 or N1000 that you could eat in one day, what happens in four years? These are the fundamental questions of Nigeria democracy.”
Africa is poor because its leaders chose that path—Prof Lumumba
Meanwhile, following several aids along with grants from international communities to assist Africans in alleviating poverty from the continent, a former Director of Kenyan Anti-Corruption Commission and Former Director at the Kenyan School of Laws, Prof. Plo Lumumba, has questioned the funds.
According to him, “These grants and aids can never solve Africa’s problem rather, it would continue to make its citizens poorer and unless it unites and speaks with one voice, it will continue to play a second fiddle among other continents
“The high poverty mindset of the African race is what has subjected it to relying largely on grants and aids from the advanced countries of the world. The problem of Africa is the problem of leaders,” he said. “However, instead of it to liberate itself from poverty by electing the right leaders, it continues to vote in men and women who do not understand good governance.”
The renowned Kenyan Prof, who is also a staunch Pan-Africanist, explained that only good governance can translate into economic development for any nation.
He noted that the time has come for the African nation to define its own democracy and governance that is suitable for its economies and not those that was defined for it by the Western economies of the world.
“The architecture laid by the international economies of the world does not take care of the Africa, making the continent an orphan in international affairs,” Lumumba said.