A reckoned lover of the people and community builder, Chief Tobechukwu Justice Ehirim has called on Imo people at home and Diaspora to remain steadfast on democracy despite efforts by selfish individuals to subvert its sanctity.
Chief Ehirim, an Nsukka trained Pharmacist who is a Professional Technocrat and seasoned Administrator also cautioned leaders in Imo state in particular and Nigeria at large to do everything possible to deepen democracy, rather than promoting dictatorship.
He said this in a broadcast to commemorate Nigerian Democracy Day on June 12.
Chief Ehirim, a South African based Supply Chain Expert further maintained that until those in authority apply necessary leadership skills by engaging women into positions of trust without viewing them as second class citizens, the advent of democracy in the country would continue to be seen as a curse.
Hear him, “Women should not be jettisoned in leadership positions, most of them do better than their male counterparts. The leaders should stop seeing women as second class citizens”
The young pro-people Activist popularly known as TJ Ehirim said that the coming of democracy was to guarantee people’s rights and freedoms, regretting that instead of enjoying the inalienable rights as enshrined in the 1999 constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, the citizens were tortured, humiliated and treated as common criminals by those elected to lead them.
“The easiest way to guarantee democracy is by conducting local government elections. The idea of using the Interim Management Committee (IMC), Transition Committee Chairmen (TCs), or Sole Administrators (SOLADs) as the case may be should be discontinued. By so doing, we would be creating broader space for democratic political participation by the many knowledgeable Competent Youths of Imo State who are the most cheated through this autocratic practice of imposition and selection as against election”.
“The Imo youths who have more years on the average to spend on earth when elected would channel the State resources into meaningful service to the people as against puppets and impostors who use fancy nomenclatures to only serve their Lords of ‘lootocracy’ and siphon public wealth to the wicked detriment of the masses and society at large. The interest of every Imolite should be how to transform every sector of our local economy to be attuned to take advantage of the imminent Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR). We must stand against elections rigging”. He averred.
Chief TJ Ehirim, therefore, warned political leaders to abstain from bringing shame to the country’s democracy through draconic, orthodox ideologies, lack of respect to rule of law and election rigging, which according to him were not in line with the international standard.
According to him, the idea has become a stumbling block for Imo State and Nigeria at large to develop, stressing the need for all hands to be on deck in tackling the ugly trend.
He said, “what our state and the country need now is radical governance that will usher in immediate change and transform every sector of the economy. We should stand against election rigging, fraud, lack of respect to rule of law, ballot box snatching, and thuggery. We should promote free and fair elections, accountability, and probity in governance”.
“There is urgent need to enact laws to ensure that official opposition Political Parties receive statutory funding from the state’s coffers. Once this is done, the interest of the masses is protected through a strong opposition that cannot be easily cowed in the performance of their duties as watchdogs of the ruling party”. Chief Ehirim suggested.
He said that until these are implemented and guaranteed, it would be difficult for Nigerians to join other developed nations to enjoy democracy as it ought to be enjoyed.
“The youths have allowed themselves to be deceived with crumps from the expired elites who always address them as “future leaders” when they ganged up to mortgage their future”. He roared.
He, therefore, expressed bitterness on the actions of some youths who allow themselves to be used as political thugs rather than agitating for their rights, assuring that the issue would be a thing of the past if they come together to take their rightful positions in the Nigerian polity.