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While it is worthy of note that United States of America got independence from the British government on the 4th July, 1776 (around 241 years ago); and Nigeria got independence from the same colonialist on the 1st of October, 1960 (around 57 years ago). We must still not pamper the seemingly excuses of our failures and ineffectiveness as a people.
Granted, these two nations got independence at different periods in time; we cannot deny the truth that progress and developments are incremental in nature – that is, whatever is done by a people or a person does not need to be re-done as it were from the scratch; but improved on by another. And that explains the technological progress of countries like China, Malaysia, Brazil and the rest.
Take for instance, Malaysia came to Nigeria some decades ago to get the seed of Palm tree; yet, Nigeria imports palm oil from the same nation today. Did the Malaysians begin by reproducing the seeds? No, what they did was to bring the effectiveness and efficiency to their production, which is a missing factor in Nigeria.
At independence, Nigeria adopted the same system of government used by the former colonial master – Parliamentary System; after a period, Nigeria became a nation ruled by the Military when the adopted system of government failed. Then, Nigeria moved from British system of government to the American system of government, which is referred to as the Presidential system of government. Unlike the Malaysians that got palm seed from Nigeria and made great use of it; Nigerian Presidential system of government, which was borrowed as it were from the United States of America, cannot be said to be like what was borrowed.
The Vice-President of the US is the President of the Senate; while Nigerian Vice-President is seen as the “Spare”, and at best, a firm supporter of the President. According to NewYork Times and Quora, The President of United States of America is exempted from prosecution on any action taking by him in his or her capacity as the President of the United States – any suit must be addressed to the office of the President of the United States, which is defended by the Federal lawyers in the Department of Justice. However, whatever done by the President before his or her election and during his or her election could be taken to court – even while being President. And that explains why former President Bill Clinton was removed from office.
The situation we find ourselves in Nigeria is a little different from that. Nigerian President enjoys what is called Presidential Immunity. He cannot be taken to court on any matter while in office. Unlike what is happening now in US, where the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is investigating the alleged link between Trump and Russia during the elections, in Nigeria; no agency of the government (executive arm) can probe any action or inaction of the President – even if they were before he or she gets elected.
Obviously, a nation where the executives are above the law, and every other person not close to them is under the rule of law; cannot in any way be liken to a nation where everybody is bound by the law of the land – even if the person is a President or Governor. The corruption, impunity and ineffectiveness that we see everywhere in Nigeria today cannot be distanced from the apparent exemption of the executive arm of government from prosecutions. Come to think of it, out of all the arms of government; it is the executive arm that spends money, make appointments, release contracts, employ and fire/sack, and command the armed forces; yet, that same executive cannot be probed. The former President of South Korea was removed from office because of the allegations of corruptions made against her; same with the just elected President of Brazil. Yet, nobody can probe any serving Governor or President of Nigeria – including their deputies! Where are we going as a nation?
Our economy is suffering today because of what the past and the serving executives across various levels of government in Nigeria have done. If these men and women cannot be probed, then we are teaching the new generations to do their worst. And we must not forget, new generations always outperform the past or old generations. So that what we are leaving behind are not taken over (through corruption or impunity) by subsequent generations; let us start doing the right things in Nigeria. We really do not need foreign political and economic consultants to fix Nigeria – we know where the shoe pinches us most; let us remove such shoes and let them get fixed by our own home grown shoemakers. May God bless Nigeria!