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Time to confront politicians encouraging thuggery

The National Peace Committee (NPC), like in the past, prevailed on the presidential candidates of the 18 political parties to sign a peace accord on two occasions. This was aimed at making them play the game of politics according to the signed rules of engagement. New Telegraph, however, notes with displeasure that rather than reflect the spirit of the Peace Accord, which was, and is still in force to keep a respectable distance from the breakdown of law and order, some political gladiators have continuously invested heavily in thuggery.

We are further alarmed to observe that some politicians, like in some previous dispensations, maintain an army of able-bodied but jobless and violent persons who readily carry out the unlawful biddings of their principals. Every electoral tussle is regarded as a must-win, even when the office seeker does not have a proper understanding of the public expectations with regard to the office in question, let alone his/her manifesto and the demonstrable capacity to function in the office aspired to.

Consequently, thuggery has remained a recurring decimal in Nigeria’s politics with misguided politicians and their equally misguided hoodlums unleashing physical assault, arson, voter suppression/ intimidation and murder of political opponents as well as other forms of thuggery on defenceless citizens. While New Telegraph continues to extend kudos to the National Peace Committee for her foresight in initiating the Peace Accord, we wish to state that the act of signing such an accord has pitiably turned out to be a hollow ritual as the peace accord itself is not a tool of compulsion compelling the political gladiators to remain civil and decorous. We are dismayed to observe that some of the key political figures who have participated in the signing of the accord have, by their utterances or deeds encouraged thuggery before, during and after elections.

The revered political activists take pleasure in allowing jobless but able-bodied youths to surround them without making meaningful contribution to the growth of the polity. These able-bodied youths are usually kept happy with drinks, hard drugs and unlawful but unsustainable ways of making quick money. These benefits make them have the misguided belief that their principals mean well for them and that they should go to unimaginable limits to make him have access to power or sustain him in the position of authority even when such an individual pitiably lacks leadership attributes.

Such developments have helped in giving Nigeria’s democracy a negative image to the extent that the nation’s democracy is not positively referenced in the comity of nations. Sadly, a reasonable number of out-going and in-coming political office-holders appeared to have their hands stained with thuggery. With thuggery, they have exhibited desperation to get into different positions of authority. This has bequeathed Nigeria with a colony of men and women in the rooms and corridors of power but who unfortunately in truth should have no business with governance. Individuals who get into power through thuggery usually show interest in primitive accumulation of wealth and not really interested in utilising the platform of politics for the service to the people.

If at all such persons want to be remembered for anything, they deploy their energy into the sale, privatisation or liquidation of national assets. All in the erroneous belief of reducing the cost of governance usually caused by the political actors themselves. While selling the national assets perceived to be nonperforming? Non-performance of any public assets/ outfit is a form of maladministration which could be traceable to any human organisation, be it private or public.

The cure, therefore, to any non-performing public assets is in effective and efficient administration each public outfit must be given the benefits of having a quality administrator, who must be given the free hand to run the organisation in a manner that merit and productivity would not be sacrificed. This starts with the mode of recruitment. Personnel to all departments must, in addition to meeting the academic requirements, must be individuals who have a strong liking for the industry or sector they are going to work in.

Except if an individual has a liking for the intended profession he/she is not likely to be productive. Political office holders who strolled into power on the back of thuggery are not likely to connect with the link between quality management and sustenance of public assets. And because they are able to align themselves to such reality, they erroneously subject the nation to the avoidable loss of losing its investment under the guise of non-performing assets, which end up becoming private assets sold to the new owners at criminally low prices. However, one way of ensuring that thuggery becomes a thing of the past or is drastically reduced is for our security agencies to not only apprehend the hoodlums but, more importantly, also unmask their sponsors.

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