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Nigeria Democracy is a child of circumstance and of course that of an old age. Nigeria had her independence on October 1st, 1960, became a republic in 1966 and after several years of military dictatorship in governance, only on May 29th, 1999 it became a democratic nation state.
Recalled, that in 1992 Democracy was aborted following annulment of the internationally adjudged peaceful, credible and freest election in Nigeria which produced Chief Moshood K.O. Abiola as winner.
Nigeria’s democracy is only but 18 years comes May 29th, 2017 when Nigeria would be 57 years of independence, a situation that could be viewed as unfortunate against the original intention and postulations of the founding fathers who fought, sought and signed for the liberation of the country from the United Kingdom.
For the period of 57 years of Nigeria democracy has only come to stay after series of failed attempt for only 18 years 1999 to 2017 which indicates that military rule has ruined Nigeria for about 39 years. By the reports of many analysts, democratic governance is preferable to military dictatorship in Nigeria. Issues Abatoir however concord to that.
Many citizens may absolutely be unaware of the style of administration of the Late Nnamdi Azikiwe’s short lived government, although may have read from literatures. But in the current dispensation, style of governance of certain leaders especially during the past few decades may remain fresh in some memories; hence certain accounts could be attempted.
Democracy in Nigeria demands nurturing for a greater, brighter and achievable goals rather than torturing it at the expense of the teaming masses by few individuals at the helm of affairs.
What is Democracy? The popularly most acceptable definition of the word democracy says’ “Government of the people by the people and for the people”.
Judging from the definition above; it implies a government which dialogue and contributions rules other than anarchy, confrontations, militarization amidst others tendencies to silent the masses. It is a style and form of government where the citizenry in line with the Nigeria constitution of 1999 as amended reserves the right of expressions, speech, worship, peaceful assembly amongst others to contribute to the running of the nation.
According to section 39(1) of the 1999 constitution “Every person shall be entitled to freedom of expression, including freedom to hold opinions and to receive and impact ideas and information without interference”. Section 40 says “Every person shall be entitled to assembly freely and associate with other persons, and in particular he may form or belong to any political party, trade union or any other association for the protection of his interests”.
Today, the provisions of 1999 Nigeria constitution has been violated in several ways occasioned on government of tyranny in the stead of democracy. God, come and help Nigeria and Nigerians. Only few rejoices in the country, many cries on daily basis, many found abusing the government of the day, others wishing the government particularly those at the echelon of government all manner of things. What a country?
During the days of Gen. Olusegun Obasanjo (rtd) 1999-2007 Nigerians at least had testimonies of deviation from the military rule to that of true legislation, deliberation and discussions on issues affecting the populace.
In those years of His Excellency President Olusegun Obasanjo, political parties such as the All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA, Action Congress, AC, All Nigeria Peoples Party, ANPP, amongst others had control of some states, state Assembly as well as the National Assembly, yet without confrontations and unwarranted arrest and molestations by the central government rather a smooth sail in the affairs of government.
After the President Obasanjo’s and Alhaji Atiku Abubakar’s regime was the turn of the born teachers turned President and Vice President – His Excellency Alhaji Umaru Musa Yar’Adu and Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan steering the ship of Nigeria government.
The both lecturers particularly Late President Umaru Musa Yar’ Adua’s leadership though short lived as an educationist understood the meaning and operations of the word “Democracy”. The almost two years existence of Late Umaru Yar’Adua on the saddle of responsibility saw the electorates as one indivisible family irrespective of party affiliations, listened to the yearnings and aspirations of the citizenry and tried to provide solution to problems rampaging the nation, including youths as well as making the education section worked.
Occasioned on the death of President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua, his vice and co-lecturer His Excellency, Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan took over the mantle of leadership after several trials, temptations, evil plots and what have you aimed at scuttling his chances.
Without gain saying, the administration of His Excellency, Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, Ph.d, GCFR, had practically explained the true definition of Democracy especially in the Nigeria context where leadership intoxicates.
Contrary to the current trend of things where the provisions of the 1999 constitution as amended is flawed and undermined, the Dr. Jonathan’s administration allowed democracy to thrive even to a point where (Dr. Goodluck) stated he was the most criticized president yet without any negative reactions against those sabotaging his administration’s good intentions for the nation.
Indeed there was no arrest by DSS, Police or incarceration by any military outfit as found these days over any considered offence.
Some Nigerians castigated former President Jonathan in a bid to oust him out of office which was a success but in the unfolding events that administration is however rated high seeing the problem bedeviling the nation today from high cost of food items, transportation, general goods and high-handedness and unstable policies.
Nigeria’s current administration anchored by the All Progressive Congress, APC, has confined some citizens into quick acceptance of such things they ordinarily would not go for.
God forbid, Nigeria would have been a one party state even as most compromised men hurriedly dumps their political parties for the APC, a situation that was not prevalent in the recent past.
In Nigeria today once you were a holder and never a member of the ruling party, the next available option is a hunt after you, using the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC headed by an alleged corrupt chairman, Magu. It is now a country where certain security apparatus are being used against suspected or perceived enemies. Many could not move about without fear of molestation and apprehension. Saying or writing the truth in most cases attracts fears of arrest, hence destroying the constructive opposition and giving rise to a weaken administration.
Recently, certain members of the Peoples Democratic Party had defected to the ruling APC, for obvious reason of attack. Indications have it that most of the defectors from the PDP to APC have some secretes concerning their previous offices.
Incessant molestation, harassment and arrest or attempt of arrest on both public and private citizens, one too many has characterized the present administration under President Muhammadu Buhari of APC, as militarizing the nation and its citizenry salutes the breaking of each day.
Democracy is murdered or seemingly murdered in Nigeria even as accused individuals are not tried but dinning at the presidential villa or on his very cabinet.
However, Issues Abattoir suggests immediate demilitarization of the nation’s 18 years democracy for a possible and urgent growth of the nation’s gross domestic product, GDP.
It is also suggested that certain compromised individuals in the present federal executive council be done away with to pave the way for not only transparency, probity, effectiveness and result oriented government but also for an internationally recognized government.
The use of the military, against any perceived enemy or state by the federal government must stop at least for a trust on the administration and Nigeria in general. On the early hours (2.00am) of Thursday the 16th day of February 2017 the innocent, decent, law abiding citizen and chairman caretaker committee of Andoni Local Government Council, chief Allen Jonah Abbi JP was harassed, intimidated by suspected security personnel at his residence. Thank God he is innocent; hence God protected him and his family.
EFCC is an agency set up for the investigation, prosecution and recovering of stolen funds from such criminals as are sited here in the present federal cabinet and never to witch hunt innocent citizens for refusal to recognize the ruling party or refusal to remain silence over obvious abnormally in the polity.
The tenets of Democracy must be accorded the required recognition for Nigeria to develop. THANK YOU.
With James Mgboineme email@example.com.