A former Speaker of the Nigerian House of Representatives, Ghali Na’Abba says sycophancy has become the basis with which people are elected into political offices in Nigeria.
The trend, according to the former speaker, is very dangerous to the country and which has also led to the erosion of internal democracy, meaning people do not now see the need to improve themselves.
Na’Abba stated this on Monday when he featured on an ARISE News program, The Morning Show and spoke on the needed reforms for political parties in Nigeria.
“The erosion of internal democracy has led to the erosion of competition because when we have aspirants that want to contest for any election, they compete to become the candidate of the party at whatever level.
“Through this competition, the intellect is constantly improved. So this competition is necessary for the growth and development of each country, that is one benefit democracy confers on any community and that ability and chance to compete is lost and therefore because it is lost, the intellect of Nigerians in the last 20 years has been regressing.
“It doesn’t matter what books you read, what is important is that the polity must go along with social functions and responsibilities. And because we have lost that and because sycophancy has become the main thing in politics, if you are sycophantic enough you can get anything.
“This desire for people to improve themselves in order to compete has been lost, people don’t improve themselves because sycophancy has become the basis with which people are elected into political office or selected to go and occupy political offices.
“So a lot of people don’t now believe they should improve themselves and this is very very dangerous for our country. So there are lots of things that we have lost, I believe that we must do whatever we can particularly leadership that has authority, whether in the federal or state, this idea of obliteration of internal democracy must be looked at and get Nigerian political parties back to a situation whereby internal democracy must be strictly observed in our political parties and sanctions must be imposed on any person who sabotages internal democracy.
“We are losing a lot of things. If you look at the quality of leadership in this country since 1999 to date, it has been falling. Look at the quality of leadership and it will continue until we take this issue seriously.”
By Abel Ejikeme