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Much ado about democratic rule

By Matthew Agboma Ozah
27 July 2022   |   2:44 am
I will not be surprised if many Nigerians are themselves quite irritated by the fetish politicians are beginning to make out of our democratic rule


I will not be surprised if many Nigerians are themselves quite irritated by the fetish politicians are beginning to make out of our democratic rule.

The political arena remains a huge theatre of intrigues especially in this electioneering period as hustlers of political power back-stab and tramples upon themselves as they plot each other’s rise and fall. They care less about the people’s feelings or opinions as they decide whose turn to grab political power and have gone a step further in renting the crowd as supporters to ordain Bishops on political campaign grounds. What a shame.

The people cannot fail to be mystified by the way in which political leaders treat or make commentary on matters concerning the lives and property of Nigerians.

In recent times, political leaders conduct themselves so irresponsibly in society and their body language or comment on national issues has raised more questions than answers on political leadership.

From every indication, the ruling government appears to operate a doctrine of division or favouritism, this in itself, can be seen in the political appointments and it’s causing bad blood in the polity.

One of the delights of many Nigerians is what some political analysts call Nigeria’s second liberation. A movement championed by civil society organisation which helped to herald democratic rule in 1999 after the nation’s independence from Britain and the long years of military rule. Then the political leaders set out to reshape and develop the nation with a promise to bring the government closer to the people.

Today, election promises remain a far cry as it is not in the character of the majority among the politicians to practise true democracy. Therefore, it is easy to conclude that Nigeria’s political leadership has abandoned Nigerians on a railway line as terrorist reign supreme across the country.

After every terror attack, President Muhammadu Buhari will read out a riot act and give the military a marching order to end terrorism and that chapter is closed leaving the victims to their fate. Somehow, it appears Mr. President is speaking to the terrorists themselves, as their next attack will shock the nation to the marrow.

The Kuje prison break where over 300 inmates, the majority of the terrorists escaped saw the President express anger and disappointment with the collapse of intelligence.

At any rate, the ruling government is known to be censured and would always lay the blame for its failure on something and in trying to solve a challenge, it would create an anti-people policy. You will be surprised that, one of the proposed measures to forestall future terrorist attacks was for the government to think about banning motor-bike, popularly called ‘Okada’ nationwide, simply because the Kuje prison attackers came on motor-bike.

As it were, apart from those in the ruling party, everyone else knows that the political leaders have lost every sense of moral propriety and sound judgment. In other climes where the government is truly for the people, the Abuja-Kaduna train attack hostages, Chibok school girls and a host of others would have been released by now. But these incidents seem to be the least of the ruling government’s worries.

Of course, the incessant case of terror attacks has left Nigerians in danger and the terrorists gleeful with their nefarious acts. One wonders if there is anything the democratic government is not doing well because there are things democratic governments are not supposed to do. They are not supposed to change the rules to favour ruling government officials to the detriment of the opposition parties or the citizens in general. They are not supposed to turn a blind eye when the party faithful goes contrary to the law. They are not supposed to make it easier to make money from the nation’s wealth purse or to allow corrupt people an easy escape from the law with a slap on the wrist judgment. Regrettably, all this and more is what seems to play out in today’s democratic rule.

Again, given the spate at which democratic government presents and showcases itself in this part of the world as omnipotent, political leaders have become so overbearing and oppressive in nature. This makes it cloudy whether democracy is truly the government of the people, for the people and by the people. Indeed, most Nigerians are tired of it all and find it difficult to explain if this is the same All Progressives Congress (APC) government that was the people’s darling and the apple of their eyes in 2015? It is said that the Buhari government has made Nigerians from top to bottom live in perpetual fear as Nigeria has become home of terror ever since Buhari promised Africans visas on arrival and our borders were thrown open for about six months or more. This has raised the vested interest in land.

Notwithstanding the known challenges about ownership of land in the country, the Buhari administration has made it a bigger issue. The government on several occasions has devised programmes for grazing reserves or cattle colonies across the country.

To a large extent, this has triggered the enduring crisis between farmers and herders in the country. As earlier noted, the government is quick to blame just anybody for the dark shadow insecurity is bestowing on the nation. Yet, it does not seem to take the bull by the horn.

In plain language, the Buhari administration is a typical instance of being insensitive to the plight of the people. More importantly, religious leaders, who sometimes interface between the terrorists and the government, are neither helping to curb the insecurity situation nor doing much good to the people.

This is because, at the end of such meeting are more ferocious terrorist attacks on the helpless masses and the best government can do is to lament, sympathise and read a ‘toothless’ action speech that tend to bring perpetrators to book.

Such an attitude is decidedly unhelpful and to a large extent has made Buhari lost the popular people’s salute of “Sai Baba”, an ovation that saw him to power. At whatever price, his party faithful should have the courage to tell him that the people he swore an oath to serve and defend are all wearing a funeral look because of insecurity, so that he can quickly wrap things up positively before he finally leaves office. Perhaps, that may pacify the people and win back their hearts.