Don’t take Nigerians for granted – Okogie tells politicians

#TrackNigeria – The Archbishop Emeritus, Catholic Archdiocese of Lagos, Anthony Cardinal Okogie, has advised elected public office holders not to take Nigerians  for granted.

In a statement on Thursday in Lagos, Okogie said that many politicians failed to keep their campaign promises when elected into offices.

“Nigeria professes to be a representative democracy. We pride ourselves as being among the largest democracies in the world.

“Since the different arms of government cannot contain 200 million people, we elect some to represent us in the legislature and the executive arm of government.

“These representatives have the obligation to consult and report to the people before they act in government. This is what is termed democracy – a government of the people by the people and for the people.

“However, can we find truth in the governance of this country? Can it be said that there is truth in our country’s National Assembly? Is it not a case of those who we elected taking us for granted?” he asked.

The cleric said that Nigerians were fed up with that  and deserved a change of attitude from elected public office holders.

“We are told lies during campaigns when candidates who are utterly unpatriotic and lacking in good character are packaged by campaign organisations and presented to Nigerians as God-send.

“As soon as they get into governance, they begin to break their campaign promises,’’ he said.

On the suspended Ruga settlement proposal, the cleric said that some governors’ acceptance of the proposal did not mean they acted in the interest of their people.

“Ruga settlement that seeks to settle migrant pastoral families simply means a rural settlement in which animal farmers, not just cattle herders, will be settled in an organised place with provision of necessary and adequate basic amenities such as schools, hospitals, road networks, vet clinics, markets and manufacturing entities.

“Our history, especially in the pre-colonial era, shows how such settlements for migrant pastoral families have been used to dispossess people of their ancestral lands and disturb peaceful coexistence in our multi-ethnic country.” (NAN)