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Know Your Rights: The Dignified Office of the Nigerian Citizen

Nigerian citizens, over the years, have not functioned in their official position not only because of ignorance of that constitutional right but also because the leaders have plundered the common wealth beyond the reach of the citizens to a level that leaves the citizens preoccupied with the cross of survival.

The office of the citizen is that long neglected arm of government called the civil society. Governance really is about the people and this social contract is laid down in the constitution of Nigeria. Section 14 subsections 2 a-c of the 1999 constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended provides that sovereignty belongs to the people of Nigeria from whom government through the constitution derives all its power and authority. It also provides that the security and welfare of the people shall be the primary purpose of governance and the participation by the people in their government shall be ensured in accordance with the provisions of the constitution.

Nigerian citizens, who are plagued by the ineptitude of her leaders, have completely lost confidence in the law and are faced with the rigours of existence. The average Nigerian is tired; his exalted office still remains a fluke to him. His life is shred at the mercy of his circumstances. His hope is tired of motivation as he hopes against hope. He is unemployed, underemployed or unemployable. He has long forgotten his right to life as he snoozes under stomach infrastructural schemes devised by the devil himself. He worships the dubious politicians to find a square meal to his name. Afterward, he makes endless arguments with good memories then takes off his shirt at nightfall in search of a place to pass the night.

Dear Nigerian citizen, your life is worth more than this. You are the essence of governance. You have a right to good life. You have no business being poor. It is an abuse to human life to see you hopeless in this condition while your leaders swim in the vault of ceaseless wealth. It is your right to dream, to aspire to great heights, to raise happy kids, to grow to the size of global relevance, engage in international businesses, create platforms for scientific inventions, turn your stories into literary artifacts for world touristic appreciation and export your native brands into world-class value.

You have an office in this government. You have a right to call for the books and demand that things be done rightly. If you stand up for your right, the power brokers will soon find out that it is no longer business as usual. This is not the time to lay back in defeat. It is not the time to put your hand on your jaw and wallow in your misery. It is not the time to engage in rhetoric and demonstrate faith on irrelevant expeditions. It will be fatal to stay dormant in a country where impunity reigns supreme. You must summon your representatives in government and demand for justice. If you play down on this, I can assure you that the brook will dry off when you finally wake up from your slumber and your options will have shrunk into nothingness.

Study great economies, make findings, juxtapose empirical ratio and synthesize same at the policies of our economic scale. Go on air; contribute to national transformation by sponsoring a bill, speak out and call this government to order before they fail us again. Then watch how your efforts will trigger the desired change. You must occupy that office of yours – the office of the citizen of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. We are in dire need of men and women to occupy these positions. Vacancies exist at all levels of this enterprise and we must take on that pursuit. The office of the citizen of the Federal Republic of Nigeria must become the mainstream of modern governance. Join us now!

 

 

 

About the Writer: Evans Ufeli is a lawyer and the author of acclaimed novel, ‘Without Face’. He is also an Alumni member of the Writers Bureau, Manchester, a highly sought-after conference speaker with a passion for the concept of change. He lives in Victoria Island, Lagos. You can contact him via Facebook: Evans Ufeli, Email: evanylaw@yahoo.com, Twitter: @Evansufeli and Phone: 08037712353. He blogs at www.ethicsafrica4u.wordpress.com.

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