Dangerous democracy



The most certain test by which we judge whether a country is really free is the amount of security enjoyed by common man. Democracy is good. No one, and not even the most negative and partisan detractors, can deny that. Unfortunately, what we operate for now is merely its semblance, certainly not the same thing as Lincoln, and indeed enlightened Nigerians, had in mind. That is why it is still necessary that we continue to ask a fellow Nigerian which part of the republic does he come from, what religious faith does he profess and what party does he support before his basic civil liberties are accorded him.

The way forward for the democracy project in Nigeria is for us to work harder for the eventual actualisation of truly accountable democratic governance in the country by consistently unmasking the charlatans presently debasing the system.
Quite tragically, people are being pushed into the unfortunate, if not dangerous, rationalization that: if this is democracy, then, it was not worth fighting for.

We, believe that the democratic system of government can only be built, sustained, and defended, by the people when, the people exercise their fundamental democratic right to choose, through free, fair, and clean, elections, with all eligible citizens properly registered and all political movements, political parties, and independent candidates, given a fair chance to freely, organise, campaign and monitor, the registration of voters, the delimitation of constituencies, the location of polling stations, the polling, the counting of the votes, the announcement of the election results, the adjudication of election petitions, and all aspects of  the  whole organisation and conduct of the elections; and with all forms of corrupt electoral practices promptly investigated and promptly punished, in accordance with the Constitution and the electoral laws.

The truth is that this not a democracy yet. When people compare their lives under the military with that under a democracy, the impression is often given as if democracy has done them in. That is the danger. For our semi-democracy to have arrogantly put on the toga of a full blown democracy in a wholly non-democratic environment would naturally breed undue hatred for the time-honored political invention, which no doubt is doing quite well in other climes.
The promise of the dividends of democracy by the government and the resultant expectation of it by the people of Nigeria is both illusory and preposterous.

Someone sent this massage to me that “only God can save Nigeria” is a common refrain used to punctuate any discussion of crisis in Nigeria.  Talk about the lack of electricity despite a myriad of power generating options, and someone will say, “only God can save Nigeria.” Or discuss the high crime rate fueled by youth unemployment, immoral leadership, and maladministration of bountiful resources, and you will hear a sigh of despair followed by “only God can help Nigeria.”  Down ward spiral of the country? – “only God can deliver Nigeria.”  Hyper-corruption? – “only God can help Nigeria.”  Destructive  leadership? – “Ehh…only God can save Nigeria o. Now, when we say, “Only God can save Nigeria,” With unending killings what do we really do? Its now all common man stand up day and night as we are all powerless no hiding place in Nigeria

Already the quality of basic education in Nigeria is extremely poor, leading to low demand and unacceptably low academic performance.  There are 30 million primary school-aged children in the country, of whom an estimated seven million are not enrolled in school.  Of those currently in primary school, less than one third will attend junior secondary schools and even fewer will proceed to senior secondary. Nigeria has a massive number of out-of-school children and young adults with limited literacy and numeracy skills who have little hope of ever joining the formal workforce.  While education indicators are poor nationwide, the greatest need for assistance is in the predominantly Muslim north. Now the north is not even talking of education rather than peace for God sake is this democracy blessing to the north or what?

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