By Adeniyi Adedeji, Ilorin.
Legislature in the present democracy dispensation in Nigeria has not yet met the desire of the people, because of its high turnover of legislators, which had not taken cognizance of their deep orientation.
This is the situation in both states and National Assemblies that had formed a major hindrance to development of a vibrant legislature in the country, says Akogun Iyiola Oyedepo, President, National Leadership Institute, NLI, Ilorin, the Kwara State capital.
Oyedepo, also a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress, APC, and a former lawmaker said this while speaking at the unveiling ceremony of the leadership training institute.
He added that a long history of military interregnums had also negatively impacted on the Nigerian legislature.
He said, “Between 1960 and 1999, a period of 39 years, the Nigerian military was in political power for 30 years. This means that the legislature was only in place for nine of the 39 years.
“The 9 years were years of crisis, where knowledge and skills of law making could hardly be imparted. Yet, between 1999 and now, the turnover of legislators in the states and National Assemblies could hardly allow for the development of vibrant legislature.”
Oyedepo, a staunch leftist and political activist in Kwara State, also said authoritarian style of many Presidents and governors, who were used to military style, had led to the weakness of the legislature in the country.
While positing that there is leadership deficiency in Africa, Oyedepo said that a leader “must be one who would use his or her informal power, authority and influence to direct and control other people in the pursuit of a common goal.”
He added, “Leadership is not greed, selfish ambition, showmanship, nepotism, sectionalism, tribalism etc. Leaders that exhibit all these tendencies in positions of authority are mere pretenders and they are not leaders properly so called.”
Oyedepo said that the leadership institute, a post institutional learning facility, would help to correct misconceptions and wrong perceptions of leadership in the country, adding that Africa needed a revolution of thought, rather than violent revolution.
He said, “All violent revolutions, leading to wars, eventually, end up at the discussion table where peace is negotiated.
“What we need in most African countries today is revolution of thought: thoughts that will change our perceptions about the true meaning of political power and authority. Corrupt leaders create their own enemies as their life style and their selfish belief system create material condition for violence.”