Nigeria's 22 Years Of Unbroken Democracy: Is The Nation Truly Democratic? - THE DAILY CRUCIBLE



Saturday, June 12, 2021

Nigeria's 22 Years Of Unbroken Democracy: Is The Nation Truly Democratic?

By Kunle  Alaye 

Though democracy is characterized with several flaws and challenges, especially in some of the developing countries including Nigeria. However, it is still described as the best form of government so far in the world.

Former British Prime Minister,  Winston Churchill, "Democracy is the worst form of government except for others". Much as military government may have sacrosanct structure with fierce discipline, yet the best form of government anywhere in the world is such with a reflection of "participatory system of government".

Nigeria as a sovereign nation, having been under the long trend of colonialism for almost a century (1861-1960) experienced one British administration to another. From the Lord Lugard "indirect rule policy"  of 1914 with the Amalgamation of Nigeria, to Hugh Clifford of 1922, which brought about the unwritten constitution, Arthur Richard of 1946 with Regionalisation system, John Machperson of 1951, with its collapse following the political crisis in 1953 and later the Oliveth Lyttleton of 1954, that brought the piece for Federal System as the pointer towards the independence.

Nigeria unfortunately, was rooted with British political structure which I call "imported sloganeering". This background till date remains part of the challenges the country is going through and indeed has become absolutely incorrigible and endemic.

Nonetheless, the milestone achievements of Nigeria as an independent nation in October 1960 and subsequently with a sovereign pereogative in October 1963, should have set the pace for chronological political, economic and military prowess. Rather the country became rippled with several unimaginable pitfalls and ravaged with retrogression.

The first republic was interrupted in January 1966, through a  bloody military coup that claimed lives of some of the great Nigerian men who fought for the independence and sovereign power of the country. This sudden military interpretation marked the beginning of the perennial involvement of the "post first republic military rule" in Nigeria which lasted for 13 years, until October 1979.

Again by 31st of December 1983, the Military led by Major General Buhari ( RTD) and late Tunde Idiagbon truncated the civilian administration of  Alhaji Sheu Musa Shagari, which brought the second republic to the end. Whilst the military continued to rule a supposed democratic state.

In 1992 however, under the Babangida administration, the military experimented "Diachism"  the mixture of military and civilian personality.  While Babangida represented military personality, the country simultaneously had elected governors and State Houses of Assembly put in place in the cabinet. By 17th of November 1993, Nigeria returned to the military rule of the late dictator Sunni Abacha who was allegedly murdered in June 8th 1998. Thus, brought the transition government of the Abdul Salami Abubakar who supervised the democratic process and later handed over to the democratically elected government of Olusegun Obasanjo led government in May 29th 1999.

So far so good the country has witnessed 22 years of "unbroken democracy" which of course is indeed a milestone achievement with few political and infrastructural development. Especially in the transportation ministry. With this recent rail system, if this can be properly managed will go a long way in boosting the economic sector. However, has the the country truly witnessed any fragments of democratisation at all in the last 22 years?

Never in the history of Nigeria, has the nation been so divided along the ethnic, political and religious lines than now. There is a perennial spate of insecurity and government seems to be clueless on the pragmatic security intelligence to tackle the scourge which has claimed lives of innocent Nigerians, whilst some are still in the captivity of the kidnappers, terrorists and bandits across the country. Thus still make a supposed peaceful country in a tensed and shattered atmosphere.

I really do hope that in the spirit of the democracy celebrations, Nigeria and Nigerians at large, especially the political elites will use this moment to reflect on the journey of this country do far and consider Nigeria as being stronger than any individual regardless of their social status in the country. Thus, play out empirical strategies that will change the story of this great country for good.

God bless Federal Republic of Nigeria!

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