Democracy: 60 Years Of A Fruitless Journey By Buhari Olanrewaju Ahmed

Nigeria is a tragic book with different stories from each chapter. Her potentials declined divisively with ethnocentric, egocentric predicaments that have waddled the progress of the country.

The negligence of political leaders for decades polluted the atmosphere for peaceful co-existence.

The battle of superiority over the minority, the sniffy puffy by the ruling class desecrated the reactions of the masses.

A resurgence of interest in Nigeria from decades has generated different and intense ideologies for social, political, moral, cultural and economic predicaments that impeded the progress of the country.

A journey of 60 years that birthed poverty, hardship, hatred, nepotism, egoism which accumulated over discrepancy between political gladiators that continue to frustrate the peaceful resolution of one big brotherhood. 

Democracy accommodates justice, equal rights, all of which results in political atmospheric conditions that establish an egalitarian society for pro-people policies.

Our electoral system has been bastardized with self-gratification; a country where the electoral umpire declares the winner as a loser with the help of political incumbency.

Electoral violence such as snatching of ballot boxes by thugs with the help of Nigerian police, killing of electorates before, during and after election day, etc. are all part of the political defects enthroned during the last 60 years of Nigeria’s existence.

The Nigerian judicial system is another temple of corruption. The system has been corrupted by political elites, making it a very difficult place for the poor to seek redress for justice.

Nigeria’s judicial system is controlled by the executive whose interest supersedes the interest of the masses. They make recommendations for chief judges in violation of the doctrine of separation of powers.

Corruption is one of the biggest defeats to democracy. Nigerians believe that corruption is the only way to get rich within a short time, while politicians accumulate wealth through the backdoor.

They design policies in favour of a selected few among themselves and impose backbreaking policies that not only create poverty but also extort from the empty pockets of the masses.

Democracy is an institution that provides equal rights, coupled with equal distribution of wealth and resources. Democracy is expected to be a service delivery with pragmatic debate and viable strategies which could be implemented for emancipation of her social and economic predicaments.

Insecurity has peaked so high in the country. Boko Haram, herdsmen and bandits have claimed many lives, displaced thousands of people out of their communities, etc.

We are in a country where the president is not aware of what is happening in his own country. A country where bandits have superior power than the security agencies. A country where the government negotiates with criminals is enough to tell the Nigerian story.

One would be surprised that the government knows where to find and negotiate with criminals it ought to arrest. The Department of State Services for instance, was created to gather intelligence on security, but these days it only gathers intelligence on how to trace activists who criticize the government in power.

Destitution has taken 90 percent of the country, despite its abundant natural resources. The proclamation of loyalty to ethnicity affected the efforts of re-uniting the people from different ethnic groups.

The bloody civil war that broke out between 1967 to 1970 can never be erased from memory which ultimately vented anguished and explored animosity, hatred and marginalization.

Democracy in Nigeria is synonymous with autocracy, where intolerance over criticism and political discourse is seen as obstacles that blocked development in the country.

Since the inception of democracy, the government in power has always found it difficult to implement political change.  That is why abuse of human rights, censorship of views and opinions, intimidation, harassment and killing of opposition members are all rife in Nigeria.

Injustices married with impunity, different strokes for different folks. The bond that brought us together has been broken by religious crisis, ethnicity and regionalism by some bigots that feed fat from crisis.

The failure of democracy is a deliberate intent by Nigerian politicians to hold on to power, with a divide and rule system that makes it hard for the vulnerable ones to occupy vital positions in the country.

Nigerians need to re-unite, we need to summon courage to change the trajectory of this country. The youth need a unifying voice to tackle these challenges.

We need a revolution of consciousness that will awaken the spirit of oneness in us without any form of bias. We need to stand for what is right against what is wrong. That is the only way we can all enjoy the dividends of democracy.

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