By DAYO ADESULU
In the case submitted by the Labour Party and its presidential candidate, Peter Obi, challenging the election of President Bola Tinubu, Prof. Mike Ozekhome (SAN), a human rights activist, called the 2023 Presidential Election Petition Court rulings a “Judocracy” against Nigerians.
Prof. Ozekhome made this statement while presenting the 2023 and 22nd Bishop Mike Okonkwo Lecture, titled “Nigerianization Of Nigerians: A Look Inward,” at the Shell Zenith Bank Hall, MUSON Centre, Onikan, Lagos.
The Presiding Bishop of The Redeemed Evangelical Mission’s birthday celebrations include Bishop Michael Okonkwo’s annual lecture (TREM).
The guest speaker bemoaned how politicians have distorted democracy, claiming that the term “Judocracy” was coined from his neologism “Ozekpedia.” He said that politicians have deformed democracy in Nigeria where the ‘Selectocracy’ of leaders has become the order of the day.
He characterised “Selectocracy” as a political ruse used to arm thugs who steal ballot boxes to choose leaders.
He bemoaned the status quo in Nigerian politics, where people are urged to vote in elections even if their ballots won’t matter and even when the votes are tabulated they don’t matter.
Ozekhome emphasised the necessity of ridding the nation of its political problems, claiming that Nigeria’s economy has been negatively impacted by the country’s political backwardness.
In order to combat prejudice and colonialism, the guest speaker defined Nigerianisation as a purposeful policy in which governments assume control and ownership of private enterprises for economic, political, social, and strategic objectives.
Sadly, he claimed that in the nation “where nothing is ever fair, where anything is possible, and where you have to pay your way through life by offering and collecting bribes to facilitate many of life’s procedures,” the opposite was true.
He bemoaned the fact that ineptitude in positions of authority and pervasive contempt for individuals’ rights are the only ways to live in Nigeria, where there is such a gulf between the government and the populace in the form of extreme poverty.
Professor of political economy Pat Utomi, who served as the event’s chairman, criticised Nigerian democracy for having no moral fibre.
Prof. Utomi bemoaned the nation’s incapacity to engage in meaningful public discourse, claiming that nothing is lost when wealth is lost.
He expressed displeasure at the moral decline of Nigerians, particularly the political elite, and said that many Twitter users should have their minds checked before commenting on national problems.
In his speech, Bishop Okonkwo voiced dissatisfaction with the government and the people it governs, adding that the country’s political backwardness must be turned around for the sake of the people and the entire nation.
At the ceremony, Miss Ike Destiny from VIK International School in Akere Alagbado, Ogun State, who won the essay competition, received an award plaque and N500,000 in cash.
At the 2023 Mike Okonkwo National Essay Competition, Alexander Chibuzor of Archbishop Heerey Technical College, Ogidi in Anambra State came in second.
The pair won the 18th Bishop Mike Essay Competition for Secondary School Students in Nigeria, which had 795 entries and the topic “Nigerianization of Nigerians: A Look Inward.”