What Manner of Democracy Is This


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What Manner of Democracy Is This?




Michael O. Oluwagbemi




“Every dictator is an enemy of freedom, an opponent of law” Demosthenes (Orator 384-322)



March 20, 2006



When I see the headlines I cry for my country Nigeria. Nigeria is a lawless nation, ruled by a lawless man called General Olusegun Obasanjo. If you have not being paying attention to the news recently, Nigeria is one step below where we were during the times of his gang of military armed robbers; we are now a banana republic. In Nigeria, if you dare go against the will of the dictator from Otta woe betide you; and aptly so. Why is Nigeria endowed with such bad leaders? Or is it that innately Nigerians are just plain evil?


You see, at the close of his first dubious term in office back in 1999, OBJoke’s most famous dividend of democracy was our new found freedom. Today, I can aptly describe this dividend a dud check! Opposition is routinely harassed in my dear country - actions that remind us of the dark days of military despots. The SSS idiots are at it again- harassing anyone from Kaita, to Awoniyi or even Ogbeh; anyone that has the nerve to speak up against their master. The use of security forces started with the rigging of the elections using the police then under jail bird Tafa Balogun (MFR – a title Baba gave him for rigging). The rigging was implemented in Ogun, Osun, Oyo, Anambra, Rivers and Bayelsa states to mention a few and today, we are paying for it in limbs and lives lost daily to the drunken ambition of this old man.


Undeniably, the gradual use of security forces to go after leading lights of the opposition is finally a Rubicon that Obasanjo has shown he does not have problem crossing. But his dictatorial traits have been showing albeit subtly in the past. Starting with wanton disobedience of court orders- starting with the Lagos vs. federal Government case in the Supreme Court and later the voidance of permit backed protests by a high court now repeatedly disobeyed by the lawless police force under him; Obasanjo have shown he has no regard for the rule of law or due process. This is a man blinded with ambition and dictatorial tendencies and it is mind boggling to see educated Nigerians carried along with this evil despot masquerading as a democratic leader. The last time it was an anti- third term meeting that was broken up in Kaduna and Effurun in Delta state; today, it is anti-third term campaigner that was arrested in Osun and Cross Rivers – enough is enough. It is high time the international community is alerted to the rising intolerance of this government under the guise of anti-corruption or whatever campaign and it is time we take our destiny in our hands. We cannot afford to trade our freedom to a man we all fought to release from jail- only for him to come here to torture us. Today, I regret ever wanting OBJ released; I really do.


I wish to use this opportunity to finally congratulate the Nigerian Bar Association for living up to their history. After a very long period of barking they finally bared their teeth by boycotting the courts last week- but that is not enough. The next stage should be an all round collaboration between the professional bodies, labor, civil society and opposition to dislodge the criminals in Aso Rock. What is happening in Nigeria today is nothing short of robbery. Sometimes, it is akin to comedy. What is the use of a government that have seen electricity supply dwindle from 2800 MW it met to mere 1750 MW today- an amount not even enough to power a single city in South Africa? To add insult to injury, the government is spending millions to orientate people about eclipse! Haba! Nigerian has been experiencing eclipse via NEPA or PHCN whatever name they go by, and do not need another wasteful expenditure your majesty sir! May be what need to eclipsed is your face from our history books or Aso Rock and then our nation will know peace.


The knuckle heads gallivanting in Abuja will definitely see their day come. The problem with our country is that we are bunch of sycophants that toady up to power expecting to eat from the crumbs of the table. Damn the current opposition jeun jeun politicians- let Buhari or Atiku get there and let us see if the current opposition will not turn to third term apologists as well. The fault is ours- we have handed over our political future to a bunch of money bags and cowards calling themselves leaders. The quicker we dislodge them, the better for us; Obasanjo have fired the first salvo by denying us our rights and it is time we wake up from our slumber and do something about it.


The problem in the Niger Delta is solely a creation of the lack of imagination of the current administration. Seven years later, our nation is at a brink of civil war. Cost of living has increased beyond the means of the common man and the value of the naira has depreciated by over 75%. Yes, I will get redundant statistics from Aso Rock apologetics, but I know the poor old grand ma in the village cannot differentiate between national debt and GDP but sure knows she will go hungry when she cannot afford a thousand naira bottle of kerosene! Ask this administration what it is doing about our nation’s inability to supply energy to feed her industrial growth and Obasanjo will tell you we should deregulate to encourage more imports! Is that what we are? A nation of importers? But you need to know why- the importers i.e. Dangote, Zenon and Coscharis oil group magnates were the biggest contributors to his campaign. Obasanjo have sold our nation to his men, and he calls it reform; reform my feet.


The other day, Danjuma made 2 billion dollar deal to sell a stake in an oil field to the Chinese what he got for peanuts while he was defense minister- and OBJ doesn’t call that corruption. If after seven years he has no solution to our epileptic energy and power sector as well as the problem of ethnic and religious crisis, then he is a damn failure; Period. Corruption is alive and well in Nigeria today via godfathers Uba and Adedibu – these people are protected by his majesty and makes him a very corrupt man as well in all ramifications. The moral burden of leadership is to lead by example but OBJoke have failed to do so, and should simply abandon his claim to ‘Mr. Clean’ status – how did he buy Otta farm? We all know ITT; it is high time EFCC start investigation. May be we need to wake Fela up from the grave to help us with that case.


In my humble opinion, the quicker we dislodge these impostors the better for us. Obasanjo and his men of yesterday are bereft of ideas on how to run a nation. At seventy, he deserves a good rest and has no intellectual sagacity to run a nation with such gargantuan problems like Nigeria. Are we a gerontocracy or a democracy for God’s sake? Why can’t these men that got power in their thirties be content with their forty year looting of our nation and just go home and rest. As for me, I am not resting on my oars. I have decided to do something about it. Not only, will I continue to write until I get my name on SSS watch list but I will continue to pray (with dry prayer and fasting- by all means possible) to the only one superior to these monsters troubling Nigeria that they will be removed like the dark goggled dictator and that it may be sudden and their shame be public such that it will persist in their generation even forever more. Amen.


Last Line:

“Almost certainly we are moving into an age of totalitarian dictatorships. An age in which freedom of thought will be at first a deadly sin and later on a meaningless abstraction. The autonomous individual is going to be stamped out of existence.” George Orwell


“It is a paradox that every dictator has climbed to power on the ladder of free speech. Immediately on attaining power each dictator has suppressed all free speech except his own.”  Herbert Hoover


“No dictator, no invader, can hold an imprisoned population by force of arms forever. There is no greater power in the universe than the need for freedom. Against that power, governments and tyrants and armies cannot stand J. Michael Straczynski




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