Nigeria still in search of true democracy, says Afe Babalola
The founder of the Afe Babalola University, Ado Ekiti (ABUAD), Chief Afe Babalola (SAN), has said that given the state of affairs in the country, the nation was still in the search of true democracy.
He said that the political leadership had denied the people true democracy, noting that, “until we have democracy properly so-called, the journey which began with the annulment of late Abiola’s election of June 12, 1993, will remain uncompleted.”
In a statement, titled, ‘June 12, Whether Abiola Died in Vain or Not: Time Will Tell’, which was made available to newsmen in Ado Ekiti, Babalola said it has become necessary to address the critically important issue of National Conference to draft a peoples’ federal constitution similar to the 1963 Constitution based on a parliamentary system of government.
The legal icon explained that democracy thrives on three pillars, namely, executive, legislative and judiciary.
“For many months, Nigeria’s Judiciary existed only in name. The courts were paralysed by a nationwide strike by JUSUN. For the first time, all the courts in the country were shut down.
“The complaint of the workers was that Judiciary lacks autonomy. This fundamental issue remains unaddressed even with the calling off of the industrial action by JUSUN. Up till now, the legislative and the executive arms have not addressed the issue satisfactorily,” he said.
The ABUAD founder stated further that the legislature, which is the second arm of government in a democracy, has failed to enact a law to constitute a National Conference to fashion out a truly federal constitution to replace the 1999 military/unitary constitution foisted on Nigerians when the military was vacating the reign of governance in 1999.
“Recently, it has spent billions of naira merely to invite Nigerians to discuss a mere amendment to the 1999 Constitution, which is the root cause of Nigeria’s problems today,” he added.
Babalola also said the Presidency was engulfed in a serious battle with insecurity by way of Boko Haram, bandits, kidnapping, armed robbery, burglary and armed herdsmen who roam about the farmlands, killing and destroying farm products.
“The naira has depreciated to an all-time low while many farmers have abandoned their farms due to rampaging cattle rearers and kidnappers. Many schools have had to close down due to the ogre of kidnapping,” Babalola said.