DEMOCRACY they say is the government of the people, for the people and by the people, that is to say the people decides who lead them and also decides how they are been governed by those they entrusted with the trust of leadership. This system of governance has been accepted by most countries of the world, even those who are yet to adopt the system are face with criticism from within and without. Lack of democratic rule in most Arab world is the obvious reasons for the recent revolutions we are witnessing across the Arab world today particularly in the northern part of Africa, and some of the casualties are Ben Ali, Mubarak while the world watch very carefully happenings in Libya.
Democratic governance present citizens with an avenue where the right of individuals is respected and protected, not the autocratic system that has taken over the most underdeveloped countries, and the evidence is how badly these countries are doing economically, their people are the poorest in the world, with less access to basic infrastructures, lack of quality education and better healthcare delivery, the scourge of HIV/AIDS is endemic in these countries of the world. Most African countries fall into the class of underdeveloped countries or third world while some are classified among developing countries, they are call developing may be to give them some kind of respect which they don’t deserve but the name has been coined out anyway.
In the late fifties and sixties when most African countries gain political freedom from their colonial masters, most of these countries adopted the system of government practice in the homeland of their colonial masters, and as they journey along and their people have started settling down to enjoy the fruits of democracy, the military junta sized power in most of these countries and this action halted the wave of development going on in these countries, since then the people of Africa are not very familiar with democratic principles that respect the rights of individuals and also listen to the voices of her citizens.
What we are use to are military decrees and orders; we have mistaken the roles of the military to be that of governance rather than to defend the country and her citizens from external aggression and to maintain internal peace. For instance, in Nigeria we once thought a military colonel is automatically qualified to govern a state and so many military personnel were motivated to join the force nursing the ambition that one day I will become a governor or rule the country.
The situation continues like this until most of the African countries start embracing democracy as the system of governance. In Nigeria after many fail attempt, 1999 marks the return to civil rule where people have the right to choose their leaders and also take decisions on how they wants their states to be manage through the legislative arm of government. When Nigeria got her independent, the country was among countries that were mark for excellence, as the country was described to be one of the emerging economy in the world in the near future, this seems to be true as the then leaders of the country start, they started well, by ensuring they put in place structures that will ensure the country achieve this status as predicted by countries who are economic power of the world.
The contemporaries of Nigeria like India, and their likes actually live to achieve this status and today they are leaders in the world in virtually every aspects of human life in the world, take for instance India today are one of the largest producers of computer micro chips, China the second biggest economy in the world. So, you can see that those who make this forecast actually know what they are doing. But the unfortunate thing is that my country Nigeria prove this projection to be lie by actually not attaining the status given to her then. But what could have been the cause of our failure? This is the question most Nigerians could not provide answer to; we have tried to get answers to this problem, but fail to get the correct answers.
Even the military who we found ourselves under their rule for so many years could not fixe this puzzle rather they further the problems. Little wonder Nigerians were very happy when we heard that the country is going back to the democratic order, everybody is very happy and hope for a better result, since our past civilian leaders have demonstrated goodwill to move the nation forward. So, everybody hoped that the new dispensation is going to do the same. Aside the yearning for development and economic progress of the land the people now hope their freedom will be assured and their rights will not be further denied as its were under the military rule where people cannot express their opinion, the press was caged and the rights of the citizens were highly restricted.
In 1999 the military help to rig the election to the favour of their candidate, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo.
Though most people do not participates in the elections for lack of confidence in the military. So, the election was not fiercely contested, as its were in 2003 and 2007 respectively, but then the contest was between Chief Olu Falae and Chief olusegun Obasanjo and Obasanjo was declared winner of the sham election. Obasanjo became the first president of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), the party who have been ruling the country since inception of democracy twelve years now in Nigeria. The first four years was experimental as the party was excuse, because the democracy then was described as nascent one. So, it was full of anomalies and so many undemocratic practices while the legislative arm no nothing other than impeachment of their various heads for one allegation or the other, thereby announcing to Nigerians that we are actually practicing democracy and Nigerians were deceived to take this on the ground that we are in the learning process.
But are we still learning after twelve years of practice? Is the Nigerian democracy still nascent? Are we going to be learning how to get things right all through our life time as a nation? The ever learning law makers we have who remain in the class of learning making good laws for the past 12 years and still have not learned any good thing to help the populace should they be allow to continue learning while we continue to suffer as a result of their inability to learn fast? They remain ever learning, but never coming to the knowledge of the truth, though they know all the democratic principles but denying the power thereof.
Oh I see that the PDP is so slow in learning that in twelve years, they could not learn anything to improve the lots of the masses, we actually hope for a better life, improve standard of living, good roads, quality healthcare delivery, sound education, and better agricultural development to provide employment for the teeming Nigerian populace. But our hope was dashed and our situation becoming worsened than it was in the past, the masses has lost confidence in the government. Our democracy has not improved our conditions and now Nigerians are yearning for change. Yes changes that will have a far reaching effect on the lives of Nigerians, we are tired of politics of deceit, and the same thing they promise in 1999 is the same thing they are promising us now.
For instance power supply top the list of the promises made then, and today is still what they are promising. The failure of the ruling party was further fueled by the inability of the opposition to put themselves together to form a formidable force to wrestle power from the ruling party, there inability to find common ground to save the masses worsen our plight in Nigeria. But a time has come when our eyes must be open to the reality of time, we must ask for a better democracy and for we to have a better democracy, Nigerians most stand up to ask for a change and also be ready for the change as we the masses need to change our attitude and voting pattern, from that of religion and regional sentiments to that of objectivity, vote for the candidate that present a bright future for the country, people who will provide employment for the teeming youths and put in place better infrastructure for the benefit of all Nigerians irrespective of tribe or religion.
We must not vote in people because we come from the same geo-political region or of the same religion affiliation, but vote for people of high repute and that present progressive change for the country, people who represent the unity of the nation must be supported by all, because the relative peace we are enjoying, if taken away will spell doom for the nation. As our greatest undoing as a nation has been subjectivity when making decisions, but a time has come that such attitude must be dealt with by every individual if we don’t want to continue to be slaves in our father’s land! Yes the attitude of celebrating thieves must also stop. We must call all these people their names and use the power given to us to send them to where they belong.
SULEIMAN wrote in from No 1B Rimi Road off Rimi Drive, Angwan Rimi Kaduna. And can also be reached on 07030476699, sirkknas at gmail.com
NGEX welcomes and encourages reader comments. Permission to post reader comments is assumed, and we reserve the right to excerpt or edit for clarity any comments that are posted. We won't be able to publish all comments. And we can't vouch for the accuracy of posts from readers. Nickname or Name will be used to identify your post.
"The views and opinions expressed in these comment(s) or article(s) do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of NGEX, its partners or its affiliates."