The Oasis Reporters
February 17, 2018
Since the return to civil rule back in 1999 what we call democracy in Nigeria has managed to remain in place for 19 years which therefore means that a child born in 1999 attained the voting age by last year 2017.
The teething problems which every new project would usually experience have remained ever since. Various adjectives like “nascent, young” were used to describe the obviously stunted democracy. After 19 years of this manner of a democracy anyone still deploying these same adjectives to describe our democracy will be guilty of being austere with the truth.
The fact remains that we have very deliberately refused to grow our democracy which explains why the nation has stagnated. If we must tell ourselves the truth, democracy ought to grow strong institutions which will in turn sustain and support the democractic processes.
As things stand, there is no desire to grow institutions that will protect and support what we call our democracy in Nigeria. The players on the field are so self centered to the extent that once voted to power they no longer see themselves as representatives of the people. There is therefore this almost total disconnect between those elected and the electorate.
Nineteen years after, we have a stunted democracy before us. The future is as bleak as ever. The most important responsibility of government which is to secure and provide for our welfare is left in tatters. The middle name of this nation is INSECURITY. In almost every corner of this country our citizens are being slaughtered in the most brutish manner. Life in this country has become so hellish and brutish. Animals being slaughtered in and outside our abattoirs receive better treatment. Governments have elected to live in denial and masking terrorism behind the veil of HERDERS/FARMERS clashes.
It has been said repeatedly that the few remaining Fulani who own cattle can never abandon them in the field and go killing people but governments have continued to flaunt this dubious narrative. In doing so, the Fulani terrorists have been having a field day killing, maiming, burning and destroying as they march unchallenged.
The military is now compelled to fight on 2 fronts, the insurgency in the North East and Fulani terrorists elsewhere. While it took just about 3 years to defeat Biafra’s rebellion, it is taking us so long to deal with Boko Haram.
The Boko Haram insurgency is becoming enigmatic to the extent that it is becoming an embarrassment to this government. If our diplomacy is working at all, a regional approach between the counties around the Lake Chad, Nigeria, Cameroon, Niger and Chad would have suffocated these criminals.
Questions begging for answers include the sources of their funding, logistics and sponsors either local or international. Once these sources are cut the insurgency will naturally be starved out. The current approach in fighting the insurgency is akin to trying to mop up a floaded room while the tap is left running.
Until this is achieved, how feasible will it be to conduct a reasonable election in 2019?.
With the spate of killings of innocent people in the name of farmers/herders conflict going on without abating, only the Creator Himself will save this nation. It has just been reported that about 30 villagers were killed by people simply described as gunmen. Those killed committed no offence aside the fact that they are Nigerians. The Fulani terrorist gangs responsible for these killings are after the soul of this nation but instead of them being labelled the terrorists they really are they are called simply as gunmen. Had the killing been carried out elsewhere say in any of the Middle Belt States, it would simply have been swept under the usual farmers/herders conflict in so doing we deny the nation the naked truth and without the truth being told there is no magic or military solution that can lead to solving this insecurity.
In the 2015 elections there was the allegation and accusation of underage voting particularly in Kano State where the result was too good to be true. If the pictures of underage voters trending in Social media truly reflects what transpired in the just conducted local council polls in that State it portends danger signals for this nation in 2019.
The question to be asked is, under what arrangement were or are the under aged registered only in Kano?
Elsewhere, there is crisis in the governing APC as well as in the main opposition PDP. How these crises will be resolved will give an idea of how 2019 will be. With the number of illegal arms in wrong hands, one can predict gloom. To avert a catastrophe there must be a deliberate effort to disarm and expel all the Fulani terrorists gangs responsible for much of the bloodletting in this country.
The governing APC has appointed an ombudsman to reconcile aggrieved party members across the nation. In Kaduna State the gulf is getting wider and wider between the antagonists. The Government House faction of the APC is so inclined to violence and thuggery that it appears unlikely that the 2 sides can sit on the same table for any reconciliation. It is quite shameful the resort to thuggery and violence in the politics of Kaduna State.
If a government finds and encourages the use of thugs and other sundry miscreants in resolving issues, then those in support of State Police should better have a rethink. State Police in the hands of the likes of Elrufai could easily graduate to a Gestapo
Written by Gora Dauda.
He’s a commentator on public affairs and writes from Kaduna, North west Nigeria.