THE SOCIAL CONTRACT – By A Charles Ize-Iyamu M.Sc
However feeble the influence my voice can have on public affairs, the right of voting on them makes it my duty to study them, to understand them, so that I can properly measure how much I can give , and expect, from the Commonwealth to which I belong .
The social order is a sacred right , which is the basis of all other rights ; nevertheless, this right does not come from nature, and must therefore be founded on conventions.
If that is the case, it stands to reason that an agreement of a sort must be reached. It is from this agreement that man draws the confidence to contribute to, and expect from, the membership of the Commonwealth.
Man’s first law is to provide for his own preservation, and his first cares are those which he owes to himself, and as soon as he reaches the age of discretion, he is the sole judge of the proper means of preserving himself.
It is in furtherance of this that man sees the need to come together with other men and form societies. He anticipates that society will offer better protection and access to the good life, more than he can do for, and by himself. Therefore, each man puts his person and all his powers in common under the supreme direction of the general will, and, in our corporate capacity, we receive, each member, as an individual part of the whole.
Having found ourselves under the convention which results in the formation of societies, we see the need to periodically review the tenets of the convention, while situating same within the ambits of extant needs , duties, obligations and aspiration.
For the first time in a political contest in Edo state,
the political parties are not on trial!
the candidates are not directly on trial!
Who then is on trial?
This time, it is the people who are on trial!
The people’s understanding of the reasons for the existence of state is on trial!
The people’s sense of values is on trial!
The people’s understanding of their rights , duties and aspirations within the Commonwealth is on trial!
How did this come to be ? And what is the way out?
The periodic elections is one of the ways to ensure that the people are involved in their own governance. So every four years we go to the polls to express our choice . This choice ought to be an informed choice, and the information to aid this choice should come from knowledge. This knowledge should be codified in print, since that serves as a permanent and accessible reference for the present and the future.
We ought to see in bold relief, that which ought to be done , and how best to do it. This is what the SIMPLE AGENDA is about. This document has called to question, the people’s understanding and willingness to choose what is best for them and posterity , and that , is the trial!
The SIMPLE AGENDA is not only a unique opportunity to establish a social contract between the rulers and those they rule in Edo state , it is an idea that deserves attention as the introduction of the emancipation of the people, the establishment of a relationship of mutual respect between the governor and the people he governs , based on reciprocal reflections where everyone knows his place , and knows what to give and expect in return.
For the first time in Edo state, a candidate for public office has put down in black and white, a checklist for his own assessment. Reference points to measure his success or otherwise. An opportunity for the people to discuss and contribute to their development , through a document which tells them the intention and direction of government. A document that helps them situate their roles and dreams in the body polity. Before now, candidates for public office make campaign promises which varnish upon assumption of office like the morning dew does at sunrise.
So the challenge of the SIMPLE AGENDA to the people is ; ” dare to recognize and vote for development, and I will strive to make it possible”.
Should the people then ignore this Clarion call to protect themselves? The answer is a resounding NO!
Therefore, to reject the SIMPLE AGENDA of Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, is a negation of the self and condemnation of posterity.
The idea should not only be applauded , but embraced and operationalized, so that, for the first time, we as a people may truly hold our collective and individual destinies in our own hands , by holding in the same hands , an agreement between the rulers and the ruled, a document who’s content will be continuously reviewed in our March to the proper state of representative and participatory governance.
There is a tide in the affairs of men , which taken at the flood leads to greatness, and omitted, all the voyages of life are bound in shallows and in miseries. Let us sail with this tide to greatness .
J J Rousseau ( The social contract)
William Shakespeare ( Julius Ceaser)
A Charles Ize-Iyamu M.Sc