Thursday, June 21, 2018

Something to Brood Over

One of the world’s youngest democracies has got to be among the most muddled. The staggering amount of contradictions and discrepancies that direct the functioning of our democratic process is, simply, hilarious! It is impossible to list them all --- but I can begin with one that you might find worth brooding over.

You may have noticed that in recent weeks and months, a number of political parties have been hard at work announcing the names of their candidates – some new and others, thankfully, in replacement of old ones that are being put out to pasture. The leader of the pack is ofcourse good old ruling party PDP – they are replacing close to 50% of their candidates. Now that has got to be unprecedented in political history any where! Do I think it is suicidal? I do – but I certainly admire the guts of the party leadership – this is very gutsy and it could sink them. But I suppose they know a thing or two that you and I don't.

But this is not the point I am trying to make. What intrigues me is the names of some of the new candidates announced by some political parties. They contain names of some senior civil servants who have been superannuated, or were on the verge of being superannuated. Why does this intrigue me? It intrigues me because of the simple concept behind superannuation.

Being superannuated means you have reached the end of your productive age – that you have outlived your usefulness. There is a law that says that when you reach the superannuation age, you have to be put out to pasture. Thus, enlisting superannuated persons by political parties to contest elections as their candidates may be in contravention of the law that says that a person of certain age can no longer be employable in the government. The question is: what happens if the superannuated political appointee wins the election and forms part of the government? Is reinstatement back into the system permissible?

I am not saying that the political parties are recycling old waste. But what I am hinting at is that if we are to move forward, if we are to bring dynamism into governance, a change in perspective, new ways of thinking and new ways of doing things, I think the political parties must look elsewhere and not keep scrapping the bottom of the same cesspool.

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