The Paradox of Nigerian Democracy @ 21


In the wake of the circumstances surrounding Nigeria as a Federation, some have seen what is tagged the “Federal Republic of Nigeria” as a paradox. Some who consider the complexities of the dynamics encumbering the Country, see the controversies as subjects of rhetorics. Many at the local level and grassroots are appearing to be casting away the assurance they had once held unto, while they much expected to see days of democracy and the end of draconian military rule. At much disappointment, many are beginning to pour their venom and spew out spittle at whatever is called democracy in Nigeria. Thisis largely a question of “has democracy really satisfied their yearnings for over two decades?”

History tells of how Nigerians in their numbers had trooped into thestreet to celebrate the exit of the years of military administrationmarked with excesses of draconian reign of impunity. The level of euphoria at which people mobilised themselves to perform their franchise of voting a representative as a key tradition under the democratic system, was alarming. Many had really believed it was nothing but the clear path of freedom into a drastic turn around into good life imbued with an elevated standard of living. The mouth of the majority were already salivating in expectations of nothing but a transition into better living. It will be reminiscent how many bombarded the street to celebrate the death of the  former military leader, Sani Abacha, who many tagged as a draconian maniac, who successful did nothing but all-round evil to the Country. No better accolades had been made of several military administrations in Nigeria.

In all this however, the present realities are appearing to be forcing many Nigerians to begin comparing the  experiences under the democratic system in the past 21 years with the days of the military in power. A large part of those in the locales who had experiences of the days of military rule are now beginning to yearn for a return ofthose days. But one would then ask what would have arouse such desire, since  worldwide, many have always been critical of military rule as a reign characterised by impunity and highhandedness where men’s rights and freedom are caged under the hands of gross totalitarianism.

The rationale behind the longing for the sour taste of the days of the past may not at all be far fetched. It all lies in the overarching disappointment the masses have experienced for a long period spanning over two decades now. The reports reaching the ears of Nigerians from Countries across the world were drastic development experienced wirhin their jurisdiction not very long after transition into democracy. All these accounts have contributed to put much hope in the hearts of majority of Nigerians. Living to experience increasing hardship which were never suffered even during military regimes have watered down the hope of many.

As Nigeria marks 21 years of uninterrupted democracy, an urgent call for a rethink on the stirring patterns of the Country’s structural system must be put into consideration. A continuation of the existing structural patterns of piloting the affairs of the Country may never cease to create strains that impede development. Several elements of military drafted patterns are still finding full operation in various ways. These deficiencies have been manifesting surreptitiously to affect growth and development in the Country. The call for the restructuring of the Country’s socio-political and economic system is an option not out of box. Appropriate statutory measures should be employed to fix existing deficiencies dragging development backwards.

This is the time for the National Assembly as the law making body with merry-making and bench-warming cliques of lawmakers should be jettisoned. Nigerians should rise to the standard of been critical of who they elect as their representatives at whatever level of government. Choosing representatives on the basis of cheap patronage characterised with vote selling is an ill exchange for development.

Nigerians needs to be educated. The suffering of the masses is an experiential warning, severe enough to sensitize Nigerians that selling their votes, is selling and exchanging their will for good living. Nigerians should imbibe the culture of sniffing for who a good, people-centred and passionately competent leader is and how to fight tirelessly to bring into the forefront of power.

It is high time competent personalities among the elites shelve aside hiding in the clouds. The onus lies on everyone, as the norm under democracy, to rise to take their future into their hands. Where the competent hands are hidden under the bosom, nothing is expected than that the feeble and incompetent hands will take the advantage and bear rule over them. Criticisms in this regard will change nothing and amount to nothing but noise making.

All arms of government should at this time begin to restructure their patterns of operation, such that the benefits of checks and balances and the principle of separation of power is brought into bear for efficiency and effectiveness as the situation demands under democracy.

All the arms of government, the executive, legislature and judiciary,particularly at the national level, should work harmoniously and creatively to see to how obsolete provisions in the Nigerian Constitution which are so hostile to modern day development are amended and replaced with virile and working ones that satisfy the requirements and demands of a seasoned 21st Century democracy. Drawing essential references from the resolutions of past National Conferences such as the 2015 CONFAB  is not out of point here. Nigeria needs a redemption and no viable option must  be left out, while shelving aside all political sentiments and leanings.

The paramount moment has come; the time for sober reflection. The time to lay down wounds to apply medicinal remedies. The time for correctional measures to change the narratives of situations in the Country. The time to redefine, revitalise, rebuild, and revolutionise the Government. However, since humans are the ones who constitute what we call “Government” and not physical structures, it is therefore in all, the call for all to harmoniously come together, place their hands on deck and dissect to drive the Country towards the bank of greatness and development.