Is This Democracy


Dedicated to Nigeria's socio-political issues




October 3, 2007 - December 2, 2007



LUNARPAGES.COM and IPOWERWEB.COM - Despicable WebHosts - Read My Story





Is This Democracy ?




Samuel Peter Aruwan

" A nation of such enormous landmass, yet citizens are fighting over land, a nation of such incredible wealth, yet it wears poverty like a breastplate, a nation of seemingly deep religion, yet so steep in much sin, a nation so populated by farmers and farmland, yet, hunger stalks the land and the nation cannot feed itself, a nation with so many petrol stations, yet, no fuel, a nation with so many politicians, but no political class, a nation with millions of houses, yet no homes, a nation with so much riches, but no wealth,  a nation with so many believers in God, but no faith, a nation with so many office holders, but no leaders, a nation struggling to develop, but not growing..."

(Kukah 2002)

During the latter days of military government, some of us who were very young to understand what government is all about were told that “Democracy” is the solution to our problems. That in a democracy, everything will be done on the basis of the wishes of the citizenry. We heard our Parents, Teachers and Social crusaders, talking about the beacon himself Chief Gani Fawehinmi (SAN) chorusing in unison, that the military governments are not representing the populace. They are only intimidating, dehumanising and looting the state treasure, and so many shortcomings that needed no repetition.

Then, as one begun to understand little by little of this democracy, one was developing a good admiration of the system. In my mind I will be saying, it is just a matter of time, Nigerian problems will be over as soon as we embrace democracy. Democracy was highly publicized and propagated within the country. Many of our brave comrades threw their hats in the ring, fighting for this democracy or even its semblance. In the process many were brutally killed, harassed, tortured and some went on exile. However few of the pro-democracy activists who stayed to hold the bull by the horn, were intentionally implicated in an alleged coup de’tat, one can go on and on .The struggles were continuing with optimism that things will get well in our Nigeria , I mean having a democratically elected government, where all Nigerians will have premium and dignity.

In a nutshell, the military returned the mantle of leadership to a democratically elected government, on 29th May 1999 . Whether it was a genuine democratic process I cannot attest to, but, all I knew then was we were being ushered into a democracy, a government of the people for the people and by the people.

Without much ado, one wishes to ask a question. Did we have democracy in Nigeria ? Is this the democracy people struggled and died for? Is this how Nigeria will continue, to be run by clichés of the unseen cabal? What is the fate of common Nigerians in the governance of Nigeria as a state?

Whosoever, that will be sincere and objective, will agree that, there is nothing like government of the people in Nigeria . Where is the government of the people? Is it the executive arm of government, or the legislature? Please tell me, is it the state executive councils or the state’s assemblies/ who see their Governors as their heads not the Speakers. The Circumstances surrounding the elections of the Senate President, Deputy and the Senate Majority Leader is still fresh in our minds, their elections was noting but monumental rigging and imposition. Illegitimacy cannot but beget Illegitimacy!

Today, we have graduates in millions who have no jobs; we have abundant of human resources wasting away daily. Poverty level is on the increase, the poor are getting poorer, no security for all the haves not, absolutely nothing, just go in to our public hospitals, you see how citizens are perishing like insects.

One can see clearly that there is no development in our communities, looking at the highly inflated contract figures and sub-standard works. The so-called democrats are daily looting the state resources transferring our monies to foreign nations, all to the detriment of the poor. Since 1999 there have been numerous crises in Nigeria, the government cannot even begin to understand the underlying problems talk less of  committing itself to find a final solution, but before our very eyes the President has been committing our own resources towards resolving other nations crises than our own. What a misplaced priority and negligence! Imagine Nigeria giving out loans to other countries but unable to manage her own domestic financial problems.

When one raises an eyebrow, his stooges will say “it is international relations and playing the role of Africa big brother”. What is all this international relations? Any international relations that shall not reflect positively on the life of an average Nigerian, is nothing but a charade.

Who are the contractors re-constructing Iraq and Afghanistan ? Are they not American businessmen and those of their allied nations? Who are the businessmen that re-build Freetown ? Who would re-build Monrovia ? Time shall tell.

Virtually all economic policies in these years of democracy have no positive effects on the commoners but on the rich, who have a free day milking the resources of the people. Today all strata of government institutions only exist in papers and government owned media. Everything has collapsed, due processes are not followed, and those who introduce the so called DUE PROCESS system are those killing it. Even religious leaders have gone blind, supporting the impoverishing of Nigerians all in the name of God. Very few can tell the government their shortcomings.

The police are harassing and killing people daily because of the bribe syndrome. Just look at the National Assembly, what is so good there, they don’t discuss and deliberate on issues that concern the welfare of their constituents. Rather they are busy – busy, buying and travelling. They are not worthy of being called LAWMAKERS; there is no quality in their deliberations. Had they been serious towards addressing the plights of indigents, the way they handled their feud with Nasir El Rufai, things will have been different, where were they when Obasanjo increased the price of petroleum? Who wants to pass a proposed bill breaking the monopoly of NLC in Nigeria ? Are they not the ones supporting the President?

There is no rule of law, no check and balances, no constitutionalism, only ruling and reducing citizens to object poverty. Is this democracy? Please let’s not deceive ourselves. There is no democracy in Nigeria . Everyday we are facing new challenges but, have no serious and capable hands to manage our affairs. Governments at all levels have failed to manage religious and ethnic crises, the Niger Delta cases, Economic and poverty crises,Bakassi,Biafra,Middle belt,etc.

Now the greediness of some selfish individuals is making them to call on those same people who destroyed the country in the past to come back and vie for governmental offices again, to do what? To finish us completely and better the lives of their cronies. Was there no opportunity for them to transform Nigerian? What made them believe that, it is only them  that can  salvage us? Who aided the coming of the present system? What is the difference between a Leopard and a toddling one?

As we approach 2007and beyond, we should avoid the tendency of encouraging or persuading Ex –Military officers, commercialised politicians to contest positions as if to say that we are pleased with what they have done to the nation. We should not deceive ourselves. No Nigerian military personnel can be a true democrat in the true meaning and sense of the concept no matter how many years after retirement. We should learn to always resist dictatorship, be it civilian or whatever, in every form.   

Coming back to the present democratic problems, we should try and put our energy towards building a democratic Nigeria , for what we have on the ground now, is only a shadow of democracy. That is why Gani Fawehinmi,Wole Soyinka, Beko Kuti, Femi Falana, Shehu Sani, Balarabe Musa and others cannot sit and watch rather, continuing advocating for genuine democracy where justice and complete adherence of democratic principles shall become the order of the day.

Democracy is the only way out; anything short of democratic principles will truncate the entire system. Only democracy can free us. With all its crises and blood letting, let us pray that it will be peaceful but also let us be ready to defend it with the last drop of blood for without freedom, life is a prison. Those who fear the blood that comes with democracy might as will tell us to stop the process of procreation; for birth as we all know is a bloody business. But in its blood there is life, there is freshness, there is hope and there is a future (Kukah 2002)

To the beacon himself and his likes, Chief Gani Fawehinmi, there are many Nigerians with conscience who are with you no matter what it takes. Nigeria indeed is in search of good leadership.

Nigerians, let’s give our country a good leadership; we should not fall prey to deceivers and manipulators. We must indeed strive for genuine democracy, no matter the cost.



horizontal rule

© 1999 - 2006 Segun Toyin Dawodu. All rights reserved. All unauthorized copying or adaptation of any content of this site will be liable to  legal recourse.


Segun Toyin Dawodu, P. O. BOX 710080, HERNDON, VA  20171-0080, USA.

This page was last updated on 10/27/07.