#INSIGHTWITHLARIGOLD: Free Men Can Not Be Equal By @Lanre_Olagunju

For any generation to do better than the previous ones, the economy must be structured such that it is able to provide solutions to present challenges in ways that are considered faster, smarter and less consuming.

The days when man was limited to communication via physical contact are gone and almost forgotten. Today, we are not limited to text communication anymore, as internet and other technological devices have ticked the communication barrier out of the limitations of this era even in many poor third world countries.

Mineral resources by themselves in their crude state do not produce wealth. When you check closely, you realize that many of the technological advancements and majority of the world’s wealthwere birthed out of the curiosity of individuals who out of freedom, took risks, gave their all to the full expression to their deep and inner cravings or fantasies as the case may be for others.

In The Wealth of Nations, Adam Smith pointed out that people chasing their own self-interests in a free enterprise economy, as if led by some “invisible hand,” end up promoting the public interest.When individuals are free to be themselves and given the chance to author their own stories. Each person begins to find his proper place in an intelligent community. The result is that creativity blossoms, and wealth will be tremendously generated, though at varying degrees from one person to another. (Unfortunately some don’t see justice in that).

The modern society is characterized by different individuals who are fully aware of their different specialized skills, abilities and also disability. But more importantly, great talents can be reduced to nothing without liberty. You look at it from this instance; children who are brought up with more freedom averagely tend to do better than those who were not given the ample opportunity to express themselves. And that is relatively spelt out when you compare African kids to kids from other parts of the world.

In the same way, freedom makes all the difference between a prosperous society and an impoverished one. Yet, freedom has proved to be a delicate concept, delicate to understand, delicate to give and at the same time delicate to control.

The belief that when you give freedom and a level chance of play to all, all men should yield equal outcomes is not just very untrue, it also lends credence to the fact that the concept of economic freedom has not been understood.  Many who are quick to point out that all men are born equal and will return equal do not essentially point out that men can’t live and remain equal in the real sense of the word ‘equal’, specifically because of our different abilities, desires and willingness to achieve. Come to think of it, some have more talents than others; some never even discover theirs while others go the extra mile to invest more time into refining theirs. So why would any sane person expect that different inputs will yield same output?

Oh let’s leave talents and willingness to work out of it and let’s consider a mundane thing like saving habits. And that brings to mind the agitations and discussions of many Nigerians when the Switzerland government started releasing stored stolen funds by former late president, Gen. Sani Abacha kept in some of her banks. Some Nigerians were of the opinion that the funds be shared to all Nigerians. In the real sense, the funds will truthfully and abundantly go round and remain. But my argument is this, even if the released money was shared and some Nigerians who once had nothing now are given millions of Naira, it will only take few hours or days to keep them financially equal. As some will spend theirs in marrying more wives, some will save and some will invest, increasing their net worth.

An extension of individual freedom is exactly what free market is. The foundation of a market system is that people benefit from their own purposeful actions. The idea of equality for all men might be attainable in some dimensions, but definitely not all.

Of course we all can and should be equal before the law, but even at that, some will positively explore their rights under the law to attain much more than others.

Rather than simply allow the natural phenomenon of “reap what you sow” take its place, any attempt to forcefully make men produce same outcome or income out of their own personal interaction in the market place is an attempt to birth chaos and anarchy.

*This article was first published on AfricanLiberty.org

Lanre tweets @Lanre_Olagunju on Twitter

Blogs @ www.larigold.blogspot.com

#INSIGHTWITHLARIGOLD runs on www.omojuwa.com every Saturday.



Bamidele Aturu

The struggle for transparency and openness received a boost today, the 1st day of March 2012 as Honourable Justice B.F.M Nyako of the Lagos Judicial Division of the Federal High Court granted the claim of Olasupo Ojo Esq in his action for himself and on behalf of the Committee for the Defence Human Rights (CDHR) under the Freedom of Information Act, 2011. The law firm of Bamidele Aturu and Co had approached the court on behalf of the Plaintiff for an order of mandamus directing the EFCC to disclose to or make available to him the information he requested in his solicitor’s letter to the Commission dated the 7th day of June 2011.

It will be recalled that the EFCC had accused Mr Ojo who was then the President of the CDHR of compromising himself and the organization by collecting the sum of N52 Million from some of the suspects being investigated by the Commission in order to weaken it. On the instruction of our client we wrote pursuant the Freedom of Information Act to the Commission on the 7th of June 2011 demanding the following:

a.       Name of the suspect or suspects that gave N52 Million to the leadership of the CDHR

b.      Persons in the leadership of the CDHR to whom the money was given

c.       The manner in which the money was paid, that is, when, where and how.

The Commission, under the controversial former leadership, failed to deliver the information sought by our client in breach of the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act. The order of the court today is a mandatory one which must be obeyed by the Commission. Effectively, the court has directed the Commission to supply the information requested by us on behalf of our client.

We expect the new leadership of the Commission to comply with the Court order forthwith. But if it does not, we will do everything humanly and legally possible to ensure that somebody gets decisively punished for disobeying the order. Our firm reiterates that in order to build democracy, statutory bodies must refrain from maligning credible individuals to score cheap and infamous points. We are committed to this goal implacably.

In the meantime we are grateful to God that we succeeded in obtaining the first order under the Freedom of Information Act. We also commend the justice for her courage. Nigerians must make use of the Act to expose corruption and corrupt or reckless public officials. May God bless Nigeria.

Bamidele Aturu Esq