One of the reasons countries and peoples of the world detest military rule is because of their high – handedness on issues which is usually one-way! Their words are Law and oppositions too, are considered as enemy of the state, as such, must be crushed at all cost. This was the situation the country was before democracy was enthroned 22 years ago. Democracy is defined according to Oxford Learner’s Dictionary; “as government of the people, by the people and for the people”, meaning that, it is a participatory form of government that encourages all hands on deck, both the leaders and the led. While there is nothing basically wrong with democracy as a form of government, the Nigerian brand of this type of government which is universally accepted has made caricature of the word “democracy” itself. One cannot clearly differentiate whether the country is practicing democracy or autocracy, given that, the government of the day is finding it difficult to accede to the demands of the people even when situation is frightening – as it is today in the country.
For six years, what has dominated discourse across the landscape of Nigeria is the issue of cows and cattle, without any solution in sight. Unfortunately, cows have been elevated above human beings for the simple reason that, the President, Muhammadu Buhari looked the other way, while those that elected him into office are killed on daily basis. The killings in Nigeria today has become a huge problem, setting the society on the edge for implosion unfortunately since the police and the army can no longer protect the people. Besides, the government of the day has been accused of handling Boko-Haram insurgents and the bandits from the north with kid-gloves against the separatists’ agitators from the south, who are often met with maximum show of force by the Nigeria military, under the command of President Muhammadu Buhari. We have repeatedly advised here that, the denial of the leaders and the elite that all is well in the country is the greatest disservice anyone can do against his country.
The Nigerian people from various ethnic nationalities have spoken eloquently clear that, the present government should act very fast and save the country from the imminent collapse which is clear to everybody. The agitators today are not only the Igbo, from the South-East but also the Yorubas who are now clamouring for Oduduwa Republic and the Middle Belt also who are calling for freedom. The implication is that trouble would be everywhere if the president makes good his threat of shocking those he thinks are trouble makers instead of embracing dialogue. Commentaries are awash that, the on-going constitution review would amount to efforts in futility since nobody, according to them builds anything on nothing. The document (constitution), they say was the handiwork of the military which is not only lopsided but was also hurriedly handed down to the people without proper scrutiny from various segment of the society.
There may be more confusion lying in wait if the President and National Assembly fail to listen to the voice of the people by presenting a document that would guarantee fairness, equity and equality amongst the citizens of the country without considering their religion, tribe or ethnicity. Let government deepen its search for peaceful – co-existence in Nigeria and not dishing out order or threat like the one released this week by the presidency, “insecurity in Nigeria is now mentioned all over the world. All the people who want power, whoever they are, you wonder what they really want. Whoever wants the destruction of the system will soon have the shock of their lives. We have given them enough time”. In resolving the issues bedeviling the country today, the president should listen to the voice of reason and desist from threatening a people who are already frustrated with the system. The noble thing now is for the president to see himself as a democrat because in democracy, “might they say it not right”.
The fragile nature of the Nigerian state currently calls for continued dialogue and consultations and again, how to stop the orgy of killings across the country especially innocent people, being massacred in cold blood and extra-judicially, thereby desecrating the tenets of democracy that promotes fair hearing in a democratic setting like Nigeria. We call on the federal government to stop forth-with the spate of killings, especially in the South-East, SouthSouth and go after Boko-Haram and the bandits who have killed and rendered millions homeless in the NorthEast and North-West, regrettably.