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Trends, future outlook of Africa’s leadership, development

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Africa constitutes roughly oneseventh of the human population, but controls only 3.09% (2014) of global trade and economy. The United States, with 5% of world population accounted for 22% of world’s GDP in 2015; while China, with a population figure comparable to that of Africa, accounted for 15% of total global GDP in 2014. Africa and Asia started from broadly the same development pedestal in the 1960s. Today, much of Asia has done away with absolute poverty, while on the African continent, the camp of the absolute poor continues to widen.

There is direct relationship between Africa’s unenviable place on the development trajectory, and the type of leadership prevalent on the continent. Leadership speaks to the ability to motivate. It is the art of exacting from ordinary people, extraordinary performance. It is about mobilisation of people and materials, in the right mix, in the accomplishment of organisational goals, at minimal cost. It speaks to management of change – a transition process, directed at moving people towards greater effectiveness and efficiency (Mimiko, 2012a).

Its core elements are visioning; courage; knowledge; passion; selflessness; and integrity. If any of these is lacking, hardly would you be able to have leadership in the right mix. Leadership impacts substantially on the fortunes of organisations, making it the most important variable in organisational success.

What is usually lost on people given to macro conceptions of leadership, however, is the tendency at marginalizing the ordinary layers of leadership while focusing wholesale on top political leaders.

It is not often appreciated that leadership office exists in different layers, and at all levels. Ultimately, the good of society is predicated upon how each of the several leaders (technically everyone) in a collective applies themselves to the task of leadership. In spite of pockets of good governance and credible efforts at engendering economic development in a few countries on the continent, Africa’s development situation remains precarious.

The general picture is of crisis of governance and development, the basis of which goes back several centuries. Indeed, any robust explication of the nature of colonialism, which ravaged the African continent for at least a century, cannot but come to the conclusion that it remains a critical variable in Africa’s post-colonial experience.

Making this point does not constitute an attempt to absolve subsequent generations of Africans of blame in the governance and development crisis that their continent is. Rather, it is to call attention to the fact that when a people is subjected to the most damning form of exploitation and abuse ever seen in history – 400 years of slave trade, and 100 years of colonialism, it is not unimaginable that the era following these experiences would still be largely shaped by them.

There is no amount of frustration with the present that can justify a denial of the structural impact of those years on Africa’s present situation. Scholars like Ayitteh (1992), and Diamond (1982), have noted the singleminded commitment of African leaders to rent seeking as the basis of the non-performance of the continent. In disputation of the corruption narrative, however, Jeffrey Sachs (2005: 356)) argues that the damaging impact of corruption notwithstanding, it plays only a small part in explaining Africa’s inability to deliver on development.

For him, the development crisis in Africa is a function of the continent’s ‘economic isolation,’ bypassed, as it were, by ‘the forces of globalization;’ ‘omnipresence of disease and death’ (Ibid: 194); and a situation in which ‘geography (too) conspired with economics to give (the continent) a particularly weak hand’ (Ibid: 208).

So for him, an infusion of massive official development assistance (ODA) into Africa constitutes, in the context of market reform, and fairer global trade practices, the surest route to development. In contradistinction to the geography hypothesis is the averment represented by the work of Acemoglu and Robinson (2012), who argue that the existence of extractive political and economic institutions in Africa is the primary basis of its inability to do away with poverty.

These institutions thrive on exclusion of a preponderance of the population from the economic and political processes of a nation; and are directed at ripping the gains of whatever economic engagements they tolerate off the hands of those involved therewith.

In addition, extractive political institutions limit political power, and access to the privileges they confer, to a very limited circle of people united by blood, or ideology, or one or more of the several socially constructed identities. Extractive political and economic institutions reinforce each other; and reproduce poverty and alienation rather than prosperity and inclusiveness.

The debate on the nature of the forces responsible for the development crisis in Africa can go on ad infinitum. It suffices, therefore, to anchor this on the note that fundamental to the leadership and development crises in Africa is the nature of the state that grew out of colonialism.

African leaders have sought to sustain and consolidate this after independence for its depredatory essence. This they do, in the service of the new, local ruling elites, and their foreign collaborators.

The state thrives on power centralization, exclusion, and acute cronyism. It lacks autonomy, hegemony, and capacity. It reinforces the shortage on the continent, of leadership commitment, a pro-people and prodevelopment organising philosophy that provides the basis for state action (ideology). In this context, the state remains largely moribund, and the central task of delivering development, which it is supposed to play, becomes practically impossible to accomplish.

Thus, ‘rather than being developmental like its Asian counterpart, the African state (remains) predatory’ (Mimiko, 1998: 162-177); and a huge force in the demobilization of the African population, and their inability to lead the development initiative. Using the three levels of analysis theoretical schema in foreign policy analysis as a guide, the paper notes that outside of the operating environment presented by the state and system levels, it is the precipitating cause (the trigger factor), at the individual level, that gives direction to a country.

The individual level of analysis is, to all intents and purposes, the domain of decision. It is the decisions taken, or the choices made, by leaders who are empowered to sign off on one of several options before them on any issue, and at any time that, when implemented, constitutes the behaviour of a state.

This is what is subsequently reacted to by other stakeholders at the system level. It is thus obvious that what becomes of a state is a function of the choices made by individual leaders – how rational, well-thought-out, altruistic, and evidence-based – such choices are.

This speaks to the concept of capacity; which at the less formal level, equates the ability to get things done; knowing what needs to be done, and the gravitas to make that which is to be done, done.

In the more formal sense, as it is applicable to operations of state apparatuses, capacity equates, ‘the possession of effective policy tools and sufficient power to carry out economic policy’ (Kumar, et. al., 1995, cited in Mimiko, 1997). Capacity collapse (or gap) is clearly evident among a good number of African leaders (Mimiko, 2011).

It is a more fundamental element than corruption, and virtually all the other array of causes accounting for, and sustaining the development crisis on the continent

TO BE CONTINUED TOMORROW

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The illegality of media parade by police of criminal suspects before their arraignment (2)

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CURTAIN CALL

Last week, we started the above discourse which we shall be concluding today. Thereafter, we shall commence a sequence, whether or not the Senate can legally summon the IGP (part 1). Being a customary practice adopted by courts across common law jurisdictions, it has received judicial affirmation and vindication in a number of cases.

 

The cases of Ani v State (2002) 1 WLR (pt 747) 217 and Bozin v State(1985) 2 NWLR (pt 8) 465,Uzoma v State(2016) LPELR – 26059 (SC), Adamu v State (2017) LPELR – 41436 (SC), Aichenabor v State (2015) ALL FWLR (pt 763) are apposite here. Notably, the practice of parading alleged criminals before arraignment is repugnant to our criminal justice system.

 

This practice gained currency during the military era when armed robbery incidents were rampant shortly after the civil war. For the Police to show their capacity and competence to combat such crimes, they gleefully paraded suspects before the public, to gain public approval and commendation for their “herculean” efforts. But the practice is certainly unconstitutional and therefore an illegality.

 

As a matter of fact, to parade suspected criminals in public amounts to subjecting them to inhuman and degrading treatment which is certainly contrary to the provisions of Section 34of the 1999 Constitution. Section 34 (1) of the 1999 Constitution as amended stipulates that “Every individual is entitled to respect for the dignity of person, and accordingly no person shall be subjected to torture or to inhuman or degrading treatment”.

 

Furthermore, Section 36(5) of the 1999 Constitution stipulates that “every person who is charged with a criminal offence shall be presumed to be innocent until he is proved guilty”. Similarly, Article 5 of the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights stipulates that “every individual shall have the right to the respect of the dignity inherent in a human being and to the recognition of his legal status. All forms of exploitation and degradation of man, particularly slavery, slave trade, torture, cruel, inhuman or degrading punishment and treatment shall be prohibited.”

 

Having regard to the above provisions, it is crystal clear that media parade of suspected criminals is not contemplated in any of our extant laws and the Constitution, except it is an identification parade. A litany of courts pronouncements have since decried this obnoxious practice of parading suspected criminals publicly before trial, as unknown to any law in Nigeria. Cases such as Ndukwem Chiziri, Nice v. AG. Federation & Anor (2007) CHR 218, refer. In Nice’s case, at page 232, Justice Banjoko held that “the act of parading him (the suspect) before the press as evidenced by the Exhibits annexed to the affidavit was uncalled for and a callous disregard for his person. He was shown up to the public the next day of his arrest even without any investigation conducted in the matter.

 

He was already prejudiced by the police who are incompetent so to have such function; it is the duty of the Court to pass a verdict of guilt and this constitutes a clear breach of Section 36(4) and (5) of the 1999 Constitution as amended on the doctrine of fair hearing”. Similarly, in Dyot Bayi & 14 ors. v. FRN (2004) CCJLER 245 AT 265, the ECOWAS court castigated the media trial of Applicants when it held that: “The court is of the opinion that for the fact that the Defendants presented the Applicants before the press when no judge or court has found them guilty certainly constitutes a violation of the principle of presumption of innocence as provided in the 1999 Constitution and Article 7 of the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights.

 

It is quite disheartening that despite these judicial pronouncements, the Police have continually turned a deaf ear and have persistently continued their unlawful, illegal and unconstitutional act of parading criminal suspects in defiance of the clear position of the law demonstrated in the above cases.

 

Ultimately, parading alleged suspects before the public without first getting final conviction of the suspects tars them with the hideous paint brush of guilt and criminality.

 

This is no doubt a traumatic experience for them, most especially if they are later found innocent of such allegations. Parading criminal suspects publicly amounts to gross violation of their fundamental human rights and remains unconstitutional as there is nowhere in our statutes that empowers the Police to humiliate a suspect, ridicule and disgrace him before a proper arraignment is carried out.

 

 

Although there is no legal authority legitimizing criminal parade of accused persons, it appears that the law does contemplate a possible scenario where an accused person, having given a confessional statement (in a criminal offence of outstanding notoriety), maybe subjected to a media parade, where he voluntarily recounts his confessional statement to the press.

 

This appears to be an exception to the rule in Ndukwem Chiziri and Nice Nice v. AG, Federation & Anor (supra). Even then, in any such of such parade, the accused remains a mere suspect and his confessional statement does not operate to negate or remove his protection of his right to fair hearcy  ing before a proper court of law.

 

THE SENATE CAN LEGALLY SUMMON THE IGP (Part 1)

INTRODUCTION

 

There has been much unnecessary hoopla as to whether or not the Senate of the National Assembly can legally summon the IGP to appear before it. Yes, it can, constitutionally and statutorily.

 

It possesses such powers under sections 4, 88 and 89 of the 1999 Constitution and under section 4 of the Legislative Houses (Powers and Privileges) Act, LFN, 2004.

 

Those positing contrary views are merely urging, most unfairly, the IGP to disrespect and desecrate the important institution of the Senate, which, together with the House of Representatives, form the bicameral National Assembly.

The NASS is the Legislature which is the 3rd Arm of Government (Section 4), the others being the Executive (section 5) and the Judiciary (section 6), all of the 1999 Constitution. For the records, it is the absence of this crucial Legislature that erases democra-cy as we know it. Throughout successive military juntas in Nigeria, the Executive and Judiciary were always left intact.

 

The Executive, coming in the form of military oligarchy, always appropriated (better still, misappropriated), the lawmaking powers of the legislature, which it executed in the form of Decrees at the federal level and Edicts at states level.

 

Ouster clauses were whimsically and capriciously built into Decrees and Edicts to oust the jurisdiction of the courts, thus weakening the judiciary. With the Legislature annihilated and the Judiciary castrated, the military rode slipshod on the citizenry in the most brazen, tyrannical, dictatorial, autocratic, oppressive and repressive manner, putting human rights, rule of law, accountability and transparency in governance in retreat and abeyance. It is therefore very crucial that the authority, sacredness and sanctity of the Senate must be respected by all Nigerians, however highly placed.

 

To do otherwise amounts to executive lawlessness ad recklessness. (To be continued).

 

THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK

 

“We need to make sure we’re all working together to change mindsets, to change attitudes, and to fight against the bad habits that we have as a society.” (Justin Trudeau).

 

LAST LINE

 

Nigerians, please continue to engage me in the national conversation whilst awaiting explosive topic of Sunday Sermon on the Mount of the Nigerian Project by Chief Mike Ozekhome, SAN, OFR, FCIArb., Ph.D, LL.D.

Follow me on twitter @ MikeozekhomeSAN

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Showdown in Kiev: Ronaldo, Salah draw attention

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  • Firminho, Mane pose threats to Madrid

 

Cristiano Ronaldo and Mohamed Salah will be the main focus in today’s Champions League final in Kiev and both players are tipped to play a decisive part in who wins the trophy. While Salah will be aiming to stake a claim as the new poster boy of European football, Ronaldo will be keen to push for the remarkable success he has enjoyed in the past years to edge his eternal rival Lionel Messi as to who is the best player of the current generation.

It will be an intriguing battle between an established legend of the game and another who is just establishing himself on the world stage. For Ronaldo, who returns to the ground where he captained Portugal to their glorious football achievement nearly two years ago, it will be the chance to build further on his achievements and mean he has claimed the trophy five times, four with Madrid and once with Manchester United, the same number as clubs like Barcelona and Liverpool have managed in all their history.

“I feel fine, I think my teammates are good and it will be fantastic to win, I love this competition,” Ronaldo said this week. Ronaldo, again this season, has planned his matches so as to arrive in tip top condition for the final and continues to break records having become the first player to score in all the rounds of the Champions League. Salah, aged 25, is from another generation, and has doubled his previous average for a season with 44 from 50 games and 10 of those have come in the Champions League.

He is only 175cms but has considerable pace, ability to cross the ball and a tremendous shot. It is no surprise that Liverpool have priced him at 200 million euros, which is up there with the world’s best, and the question is whether he can deliver now on the big stage.

“For me each game is just one match and I try to win them but I do not want to put myself under pressure to deliver,” said Salah. “I know this is a big game for everyone, a massive match.” Salah will be in the pole position to clinch the Ballon d’Or if Liverpool win this tie but former Liverpool star, Steve McManaman, has warned the Reds winger that Ronaldo will be out to “show who’s the king” when two of the biggest talents on the planet go head to head. “Cristiano will be thinking about that.

Mo has outscored him overall this season,” McManaman , who also played for Real Madrid told the ECHO. “Mo took Egypt to the World Cup and has had an incredible year. Everyone wants to speak to him. Cristiano will know all that but it won’t bother him. “He scores in finals – that’s what he does.

He will be relishing this opportunity to show who’s the king when he goes up against Mo. “He’s had personal battles with Lionel Messi every year and welcomes them. It’s a great battle between Cristiano and Mo.”

“Mo could have the Ballon d’Or off him this year but I think a lot will ride on the outcome of this final. It’s about stepping up and doing the business. What is certain is that two of the best forwards at present will go head-to-head in the Ukrainian capital.

In addition, There could also be the Roberto Firminho and Sadio Mane factor for the English side with both forwards already forming a deadly combination that has seen them score a record-combined 28 goals for the Reds.

Bookmakers are of the view that if the SFM (Salah- Firmihno-Mane) combined to a great effect they would outshine the BBC (Bale-Benzema-Cristiano) force and give the Merseyside team their sixth European title and if not then Madrid will continue with their great adventure in the greatest club competition in the world.

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Killer Spouses: Let’s halt the madness

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The alarming rate of spousal murder in our world calls for collective attention and action. The gruesome phenomenon is fast assuming frenetic dimension in our family life. One begins to wonder how and why lovers who voluntarily came together as husband and wife suddenly engage in extreme hostility with each other. Attending wedding ceremonies these days often agitate my mind as scary tales of abuse and violence that emanate from some of the new homes shortly after the fanfare are on the increase.

I have written articles to address some knotty marital issues that do result in the untimely and painful death of the spouses. Initially, only women were usually the victims of domestic violence. Somewhat, the hunter has now become the hunted as wives now do hack their husbands to death in the course of fighting or as reprisals. Our media is daily being inundated with sour news of one form of spousal death or the other.

Since the June 24, 2011 case of Akolade Arowolo who stabbed his banker wife, Titilayo, to death, over a score of such dastardly spousal murder cases had been reported in the media.

This is aside the unknown or covered-up cases especially in the remote places. An autopsy report revealed Titilayo was stabbed 76 times. However, the culprit did not escape the full weight of the law. He was sentenced to death February 21, 2014.

The new lethal fad these days seems to be spousal killings perpetrated by the wives. The Nigerian Police recently confirmed the arrest of Maryam Sanda for stabbing her husband Bilyaminu Haliru Bello to death. Reports claimed she killed her husband by stabbing him multiple times after seeing text messages in his phone which suggested that he was engaged in an extra-marital affair. Also, there’s the recent case of a lawyer, Mrs. Udeme Odibi, who, after stabbing her husband to death in his sleep, cut his genitals and placed them in his right hand while his stomach ripped open with the intestines spilling out.

These are just a tip of the soaring cases of spousal murder dotting our marital landscape these days. I keep wondering what usually go wrong in loving, sweet, and honey-like affairs that now end in tragedies.

Does it mean that sweet words and ecstatic moments of romance are superficial? Despite costly wedding ceremonies, how come this sad end? I hereby offer a four-prong suggestions as a way to stem this mournful scourge:

i. The parental roles must be reactivated right from the platonic (nonsexual) friendship level as parents must care to know who their children are moving with. In the ages past, parents often determine which families their children would marry from. Customarily, they will investigate the would-be in-laws’ lineage to know if there’s any illness, mental case, premature death, poverty, bareness, marital failure, spiritual issue or social stigma that was common in the family.

More often than not, children rarely reject the choices of their parents because they knew parental decisions were in their best interest. Virtually all the marriages midwifed by parental arrangements in that era endured.

Despite challenges, the marriages survived the odds because the parents were the ‘sureties’ and arbiters at every point of need or crisis. Respect for parents, desired to be responsible couples, fear of stigma in case of divorce, protection of children and family names or reputation were pivotal to the success of marriages at that time.

Regrettably though, Titilayo’s father, Mr. Oyakhire, confessed that the Arowolos’ marriage had been characterised by violence and abuse but he never envisaged it will end in the death of his daughter. Keeping people together in hostile relationships or marriages will ultimately end in regret. Parents must get involved henceforth!

ii. The Church or religious leaders must find a solution to these murderous tendencies in the society. I want to suggest that fathers of faith should replicate what the Apostles did in Jerusalem (Acts 15) when they met to resolve the doctrinal issues bothering on circumcision.

As Holy Spiritfilled oracles of God, decisions should be reached as to how long warring or violent partners should stay together to avoid untimely deaths. Pretending not to allow separation in the name of being sanctimonious is an act of cowardice.

Couples that die during assaults or physical combats might not make heaven because they die in bitterness and wrong frame of mind. iii. The society should stop stigmatizing separated or single parents.

This wrong perception do ‘force’ couples to remain in abusive or acrimonious relationships. Neighbours and people around disputing couples should please wade in quickly to avoid stories that touch the heart.

For instance, before lawyer Odibi stabbed her husband to death, her neighbours confirmed that Mr. Odibi had earlier alerted his friends and his mother that his wife threatened to kill him which eventually happened. Police should have been invited immediately Odibi raised the alarm. Perhaps the story would have been different today.

Please let’s be our brothers and sisters’ keepers. iv. Disputing couples should seek help from relationship counsellors. Family and friends should encourage them to do so in order to salvage the families in crises.

 

Send your responses/private issues to: mikeawe@yahoo.co.uk or 08035304268 (SMS/WhatsApp)

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