America Again Leads by Example.

  • Government of accountability.
  • Gov. Cuomo resigns.
  • American democracy vs its Nigerian counterpart.

Kathy Hochul

Gov. Kathy Hochul

On August 10, 2021, the 56th governor of New York State, Andrew Cuomo, announced that he would resign as the state governor in two weeks’ time.

The resignation was a result of continuous demand by the citizens for him to vacate his office because they had lost confidence in him. The governor fought like a wounded lion but eventually gave up. This is democracy; this is accountability.

He did not tell the citizens that “I am the second God of this state. Nobody can remove me from office.” Neither did he send the police and soldiers to destroy the towns and villages of those who opposed him.

Democracy must be a way of life. In a democracy, the country is bigger than anybody irrespective of the person’s political or family background. Power belongs to the people; the people must decide.

Members of Cuomo’s party, Democrats, not even its sitting-president, Joe Biden, could help him trash the people’s will. This is mature democracy, rule of law, and constitutional governance.

On this day, August 24, 2021, the Lieutenant Governor, Kathy Hochul, took over from him making her the 57th and the first woman governor of New York State. The handover was peaceful, smooth, and without litigations.   

The smooth transition of power means peaceful continuum of administration in the state. No time was lost and no gap was created between the former governor and the new administration.

Going through Governor Hochul’s biography, one will see a humble and gradual political process. She is not a daughter of a former governor or senator. Public office should be based on merit. Based on this condition, the office holder is challenged to bring out his or her best. The outcome is different when the process is manipulated. This will land a wrong person in the all-important public office and the result will be corruption, incompetence, impunity, and backwardness.

Nobody lobbied the state assembly members with money and huge contracts to rubbish the popular demand for the governor’s resignation. Of course, in a civilized and transparent democracy, the people control the power and any attempt to destroy their demand would be unpopular, out of order, and could cause somebody his political career.

Nonetheless, Governor Cuomo’s decision would be a political abomination in Nigeria. If there is nothing again to do, he would quickly start the impeachment process of the lieutenant governor to create a vacuum and there would be nobody to hand over to. And any state assembly member who dares to proceed with the governor’s removal will be impeached with the shortest delay and his political career destroyed. He or any of his parents could be kidnapped to teach him a bitter lesson. And for him to realize that somebody is notoriously in charge of the state.

The president would even lose his respect for him to allow a governor of his party to be removed from office unceremoniously. A governor is the president’s boy and this is shamelessly proclaimed publicly.

In this setup, the governor is answerable to the president only. Nobody can remove him from office not even the judiciary without the president’s cooperation. Any judge who tries it, will lose his job. This is the starting point of corruption and impunity in public office.

Just on Sunday 22nd, this week, some terrorists invaded the premier military institution in Nigeria. They killed two soldiers and abducted one. This is the defense academy that trains not only Nigerian military personnel but the whole of sub-Saharan Africa. At the end of the day, federal government will pay ransom for the kidnapped officer and deny that any ransom was paid. The family of the deceased will receive nothing, no compensation.

The Nigerian jihadists are inching their way forward. Very soon they will link with Taliban in Afghanistan. One World Islamic Caliphate is coming closer. The West is still watching!

The saying that it takes time to build democracy is a porous idea and more importantly, defensive. Any house that lacks solid foundation can hardly withstand storms and tornados. It is easier to manage a private company than a country. In a private company, you can bounce back easily. In a country, you have diversity, the good and bad. There is need for good policies and enforcement of those policies. Above all, democracy cannot thrive without patriotism no matter the good intentions of the political players.

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