Entries on Arts
Abstract. This paper critically examines the Islamic religion and its laws (the sharia) with a view to determining and exposing how misconception and misuse of religion can impact negatively on the socio-politico-economic development of a country. It argues that although religion as a subject deals with unseen and supernatural realities, yet it occupies a prominent place vis-à-vis the socio-politico-economic development of all known human societies. The paper further observes that whereas there is nothing wrong with the concept of Islam, it (Islam) contains in it (as do other known religions) some seeds or elements that make it prone to easy misconception and multiplicity of interpretations. On this basis, the paper goes on to opine that sharia-induced crises are on the increase in Nigeria because some over-zealous, unscrupulous and selfish Nigerians who are conscious of the volatile and sensitive nature of religion deliberately take advantage of the vulnerability of some Islamic and sharia injunctions to multiple interpretations and perpetrate religious crisis. On the whole, the paper notes that both Islam and its laws (the sharia) have much to offer Nigerians and indeed the rest of humanity, if only the custodians of Islam and the sharia do more to adequately educate its numerous adherents on the true intent of the wordings of the Qur’an and the Sunnah. Failure to do this, it concludes, will result in more and more muslims falling prey to the unwholesome antics of selfish and unscrupulous Nigerians in the garb of custodians of Islam.
ABSTRACT This paper examines the concept of constitutional democracy and its operation within the context of Nigeria’s political terrain. While arguing that the intention of the founding fathers of our great nation in establishing a constitutional democracy was to create political and institutional mechanisms that will help to checkmate the arbitrariness inherent in government with a view to making sure that power is used for the good of society, it observes that our present-day rulers and other political leaders have turned our government into a regime of personal rule where persons take precedence over rules. Furthermore, it notes that although in principle constitutionalism has a strong relationship with the notion of a democratic government, they are nevertheless two distinct concepts. This is even as a government may be constitutional but not democratic, or democratic and yet not constitutional. The paper observes that the idea of a democratic government is used to portray the idea of a government built upon the consent of the governed obtained freely from them via the instrumentality of periodic elections. It also notes that even though Nigeria has abstract constitution and institutions which are indeed some of the hallmarks of a constitutional government, her problem remains that these formal rules of political and institutional game hardly govern the conduct of her rulers and other political leaders in the course of their political actions and decisions. Such a development, the paper contends, portends some ugly political and economic implications. Politically, it denotes the absence of the rule of law, lack of development, and an invitation to anarchy. In the economic sphere, it discourages foreign investment and therefore, leads to huge economic loss. The paper finally concludes by observing that Nigeria must be both constitutional and democratic for her to really pass for a genuine constitutional democracy. This it can only achieve by strictly and religiously adhering to the hallowed tenets of constitutionalism and democratic governance.
Abstract. This paper examines the Nigerian education system vis-à-vis the quality of Nigerian graduates in the labour market. It argues that Nigeria’s education curriculum places undue emphasis on the possession of certificates, and that this undue emphasis on certification has made every other value about education secondary to the acquisition of certificates. While noting that it is through education that knowledge or skill is acquired for the development of the individual and the society, the paper contends that the placement of undue value on certificates without the requisite knowledge to defend them has cheapened the pursuit of knowledge, learning and acquisition of relevant skills. It appears that every Nigerian aspiring to go into education has, as his immediate concern, the acquisition of certificate. In a related development, the paper notes that it was the quest to possess certificates at all cost that led to the entrance of “expo” (examination leakage) into our education system. It further argues that besides making nonsense of the noble aims and objectives of examination, examination malpractice has resulted in bad consequences for both the Nigerian education system and the labour sector. Firstly, it has bastardized the image of Nigeria’s education system and that of the graduates it produces before the international communities. Secondly, the high level of intellectual emptiness displayed by most Nigerian workers that are products of this bastardized system has resulted in work inefficiency and low productivity. Seen thus, the paper concludes that education which is supposed to be an instrument for poverty reduction and national development has now been turned into a veritable instrument for human and national underdevelopment. As a solution to the quagmire, the paper suggests that in terms of employment, our government and human resource managers should shift emphasis from paper qualification to the possession of requisite knowledge or skill. Again, there should be massive campaign aimed at value re-orientation of the Nigerian masses.
The rising wave of violence in the run up to the April polls calls for concerted efforts from all stake holders to stem the tide of the critical election are not to be threatened or marred. Across the polity, violent conflicts are raising fresh concerns on the prospects of smith conduct of the polls which are less than two months away. In Amaimo, Ikeduru Local Government Area of Imo State, recently, unknown gun men disrupted the senatorial campaign rally of the Action congress of Nigeria. When the dust neared, an ACN Stalwart, Dr Charles Anokwa was discovered missing. There have also been reports of violence in Gboko, Benue State and Bayelsa State, between rival political parties. Also, on February 25, 2010, unexploded bombs were recovered at the VIP pavilion during the flag-off of campaign for re-election of Government Sullivan Chime of Enugu State. It is significant to up this undesirable trend in the bud before it becomes the hallmark of the coming elections. The paper identifies the absence and lack of democratic norms among politicians and the politics of winner takes all with scant regard for service delivery to the populace has enthroned a do or die” political culture in which contestants are determined to win at costs, and what ever means, fair or foul are the major threats to April 2011 elections. The paper concludes by positing that the playing of politics with bitterness could torpedo plans for peaceful polls. This is because violence has now become a way to settle scores, with lives sometimes lost in the process, as political assassinations have also been employed in some states. The paper enjoins Nigerian politicians to eschew playing of politics with bitterness.
Endemic corruption has become an issue of major political and economic relevance in recent years. This has led to a resurgence of interest in analyzing the phenomenon and the diverse forms that it assumes in developing polities with an expectation that democratization and economic liberalization offer potential routes to dealing with the problem. As Nigeria moves towards her 51st independence anniversary, the polity is at crossroads in its fight against graft. Aside from its internal battle to fight corruption, recent revelations on mega bribery scandals being perpetrated by the ruling elites have confirmed that corruption is a cancer that may stunt the nation’s growth. In spite of the effort s of the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) and the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related Offences Commission (ICPC) stem the rising tide of corruption in the country. The socioeconomic menace has continued to maintain it’s upwards trend, especially among public servants and political appointees. Critiques of the anti-corruption agencies blame the ugly trend on the mode of operation and of the agencies, which according them should be restructured. Some observers have also put the threshold on the criminal justice system and call for the creation of a separate court with the jurisdiction to try all allegations of corruption. The paper examines in a thematic form the various forms and types of corruption. The article also identifies various reasons that inhibit the graft war in Nigeria and the implications for governance. The paper concludes by positing that the recent political history of corruption in Nigeria suggests that corruption is not new, and that, indeed, corrupt practices have been part and parcel of Nigerian politics from inception.
INTRODUCTION The deluge of environmental problems facing the world today has made it imperative that we re-examine our relationship with the environment, especially as most of these environmental problems are caused by human beings. The environmental system has continued to deteriorate owing to what many believe to be the result of over-exploitation of nature. Many would readily argue that much as man’s activities towards the environment have the survival and well-being of humans as the driving force, the environment and its non-human contents have a value of their own that needs to be upheld. It is the realization of the truism in this assertion that led to the emergence of different pro-nature or environment groups with the primary aim of conscientizing the public on the possibilities and the urgent need for establishing an ethical/morally-based relationship with the natural environment. This paper, therefore, is an exposition and appraisal of some key issues and systems/schools of thought in environmental ethics with the aim of laying bare the latent implications of these varying schools of thought vis-à-vis man and the environment. It also demonstrates that irrespective of the use the environment and its non-human contents can be to man; there is the need and the possibility of developing an ethical-based relationship with the environment.
The objective of this study is twofold: to explore the legal framework for the fight against corruption in Nigeria, and to offer some reform measures for the reduction of corruption in the polity. It is hopeful that the public sector will become more efficient and effective if the recommendations delineated in this analysis are implemented. This is because with a number of empirical studies and theoretical policy debates linking corruption to a series of accountability failures, which lead to socio-economic cum political pathologies, especially, poverty and underdevelopment, transparency and accountability based on this prognosis, are prescribed as palliatives for political corruption, and developmental failures. Framed in the development context, the argument is that accountability is a path to empowerment in terms of both answerability, and enforceability of public duty-bearers to provide information and justification about their actions, and penalties for accountability defaulting, above all, a means of repairing the ‘leaky pipes’ of corruption and inefficiency. Hence channeling national resources more effectively towards result oriented development initiatives. In other words, anti-corruption war was made one of the foremost features of the “effective state”, and a movement for good governance, albeit the latter, not a democratic principle. Realizing that corruption is not, intrinsically a crime, until it is expressly prohibited and made punishable under the law, several anti-graft programmes which include preventive, and punitive measures have been implemented in fighting the scourge of corruption. The paper is structured into various sections. The introduction is closely followed by a literature review on the corruption, theoretical framework of analysis, the legal framework for anti-corruption and the need for government accountability. In order to accomplish the study purpose, the analysis uses an exploratory case method to give a historic synopsis of the Nigerian anti- corruption institutions. In sum, the paper concludes with some recommendations on how to increase accountability in the public sector.
Corruption in Nigeria has festered and irredeemably so due in part to the virtual non-existence of institutional mechanisms for ensuring that the machinery of governance and public administration are not unduly distorted or diverted to the satisfaction of egotistical and parochial interests. Nigeria’s public service is saddled with a bureaucratic arrangement that is notoriously overbloated, yet it is always easy for particular officials or civil servants to hijack the paraphernalia of public service and deploy same in the service of amoral designs. The just concluded probe by the Nigerian Senate on the mismanagement of the police pension funds is one incident out of numerous cases which exemplifies this odious phenomenon. The leadership newspaper captures it as follows: “At last count the amount said to have been stolen amounts to about N156 billion. Perhaps most disturbing was the brazen falsification of documents to withdraw the pension funds that will not get to the beneficiaries.” Illustratively, there was a situation where the Senate probe committee heard how officials of the Police Pension Board falsified documents to withdraw N24 billion from the budget office for the payment of pension that required only N3.5 billion. One does not require any further elaboration to prove that Nigeria, as a social entity, has lost its soul. For when a society degenerates to the level where public officials cultivate sadistic delight in stealing death benefits of retirees, such officials will also harbour no reservations about stealing the buried coffins of dead bodies. This paper examines the police pension scam that was investigated by the Nigerian Senate. It explores the background information to the scam, the investigations and findings. The paper concludes by positing that the scam is a blatant indication of the porosity of the county’s institutions and the weakness of its statutory processes for the public officers indicted in the pension probe to have found the latitude to flirt with such stupendous sums of money without any institutional inhibition. Even with the hullabaloo being made by Sanusi’s CBN about the all-important requirement of lodgement disclosures in the new banking reform, it is curious that debauched public officers could launder and divert public funds into private accounts without being dictated and halted.