Reducing Our Democracy to a Spectre of Ridicule


THE OBANIKORO RIDICULE

Just as there is a warm feeling in the hearts of a lover thinking of a loved one, so it is in the hearts of citizens of a country when they think of the embrace of democracy by their country. When a country embraces democracy, it is believed that it has grown and reached the age of maturity where it can carryon on its own without external supervision; establishing in the minds of its citizens and the rest of the world that it will cause no havoc.

A loud rejoicing greeted Nigeria’s embrace to democracy and there was a glimmer of hope, suggestive that finally, Nigeria can help to guide other democracies in the African continent;but 16 years down that embrace, we can only say that the people who engineered the embrace on behalf of Nigeria, did so half-heartedly, not holding tight and so it is not surprising that Nigeria is spiraling down the democratic cliff.

Nonetheless, we may want to console ourselves in the saying that “nothing good comes easy” or maybe we also share the belief that “for things to get better, some very bad battles have to be fought and won”. I agree to some extent with these maxims because while you’re waiting for the bad times to become good, you must be busy doing the right things rather than engaging in all the wrong things and expecting them to produce favourable results.

As Nigerians collectively, we also believe these maxims but Have at so many times, cut our leaders some slack- now that it seems that these leaders are taking the liberty to finger the buttons of ruins; we may be left with nothing to build with if we don’t cut those fingers. This downward spiral movement did not start today, in reality, we Have had ‘social prophets’, identifiable defaulters and economic signs that could have realigned our minds and those of our leaders to the democratic vision for the country, but all were ignored.

The irony of these is that those who have been driving our democracy from inception cannot link the many bad decisions that have led to worse implementation even to an irredeemable level of unaccountability. I know that Nigerians are ready to forgive and pull the pieces together; but is there a single piece left?

It was condescending enough when we witnessed the deploring of military men in the conduct of state elections where there were no traces of unrest; it became even alarming when that charade of protecting the people revealed a grand plan of manipulating the turnout of the polls.

Condescending still to the point of ridicule, is the fact that the Commander-in-chief of the armed forces, our president, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, did not find any reason to call to questioning those who what has now become known as the ‘EkitiGate’ tape has indicted, if anything he seemed to award these people; of course Fayose got elected, Omisore would have got the same elevation If Rauf Aregbesola did not have his ears to the ground; Sen. Obanikoro got a whopping nomination to be Minister for the second time.

Now, one would think that the law makers would have had enough of the disregard to their position, little did we know that they have swallowed too much of the good frogs and so have become the mouths from which the frogs now croak; lo and behold, Sen. Obanikoro gets the ministerial position-if that is not an award for a task well carried out, I wonder what is.

This is the icing on the cake; at least it should be the last straw that breaks the camel’s back; but, are the people willing to see these goings on as what they are?

I’m tempted to wack that smirk off Obanikoro’s face as he strode shamelessly to bow before the Senators, but I dare not, so as not to incur the wrath of the almighty David Mark who has shown his majesty by promoting and supporting impunity Just so that tradition can be beclouded enough to favour his chosen.

On the other hand, Maybe they deserve this laugh because soon, they would realise that the joke was on them all along; They would realise that the foolishness they alluded to the people they cheated was actually their foolishness and that the stock of ridicule in which they ignorantly reduced our democracy would Soon become their tags while the rest of us build together on a clean slate.

By
Prince Ter. Toryem

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