Abraham Lincoln in his immortal Gettysburg address may have described democracy as "federal government of individuals, by folks and for people", but anybody with eyes on either side of the nasal area of course understands that the later great chief executive of america did not have the Nigerian brand of democracy in mind when he designed that description. What moves for democracy in Nigeria has nothing to do with people. It is quite simply federal government of ghosts, by ghosts, and for ghosts. A predicament where 150 million Nigerians cannot establish eyes on the so-called chief executive for 100 times and counting sums up the huge ghost town that the land has been turned into via the grossly abused name of democracy. A hidden knowledge society is what democratic practice in Nigeria has been converted into.
The ruling Individuals Democratic Party (PDP) is quite adept at using the word "people" to deceive people. But some Nigerians are effectively wising up to the fact. For example, in the recent re-run gubernatorial election in the rebel status of Anambra, when the PDP cried "Capacity to folks!" the real people ran away to Peter Obi's All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) going out of only ghosts to vote for the PDP! Not even Teacher Maurice Iwu's Indie National Electoral Commission rate (INEC) could take into account the fingerprints of the secret ghosts that massively voted for the PDP in that election!
It really is in the type of the spooky practice of democracy that Nigeria now boasts of two half-presidents. Inside the abracadabra sense of "the greater you look the less the simple truth is" there is the invisible leader that nobody considers and the acting president who as his subject implies merely works, an ordinary actor just like that funny man Mr. Ibu of Nollywood! Not even the best writers of wonderful realism or science fiction can configure the occurrence of Nigeria's two half-presidents.
It is from this phantasmagoric background that a body that message or calls itself the Isekiri, Urhobo and Isoko Democratic Union granted a release that operates thus: "The chaotic melodramatic farce enacted at the Nnamdi Azikiwe AIRPORT TERMINAL, Abuja, by armed forces personnel on Thursday, during the reurn of our own ailing Leader Umaru Musa Yar'Adua from his 90-day lack without leave (AWOL) can best certainly be a dance macabre. A whole President sneaked into his own country in an ambulance and was hurriedly moved into another ambulance and considered right to Aso Rock and roll, without informing the Acting President, speaks quantities about the relentless nefarious activities of the infamous cabal that has organised the country to ransom since the President got ill and was flown to Saudi Arabia. The wide open and naked show of brute drive exhibited by military employees, who chased and horse-whipped innocent Nigerians from the vicinity is another testament that our nascent democracy has been presented captive by a little but powerful cabal. "
As is the truth in the mafia, Acting Chief executive Goodluck Jonathan has just been remotely managed to manage the oath of secrecy, aka Omerta, on his ministers. It really is now a democracy of speechlessness, just like in any other key cult. Minister of Information and Communication Teacher Dora Akunyili who had been quite conversing on the incommunicado of the sitting president that necessitated the "acting" leader caper has thus been silenced, much to the applause of the cabal on the jugular of Nigeria. The feudal juggernauts boasting to signify the North are not entirely pacified because they are insisting that the Nigerian cosmos must break if poor Dora will not resign her post and apologize to the feudal lords. Shout "Up North!" ye brethren! Dora who defers to the Blessed Sacrament as a Catholic in doing her do better than will soon understand that there is nothing sacred or blessed in the cultic inferno of the PDP, the quintessential magic formula society. It all amounts to a family affair of "man-eat-man-or-woman!" Since it is written in the Bible and put to tune, "How can we sing the Lord's song in a strange land?"
The PDP is to all intents and purposes a peculiar land to personages like Dora and Jonathan. They are advised in no uncertain conditions that they don't belong. What with the coffle of the PDP sharing with Jonathan to his face that he should not dream of contesting the 2011 presidential election! The hoary witches and wizards of the coven of the PDP have spoken!
This nonsense has lasted for much too long. If there were to be always a proper national election in Nigeria I daresay that the PDP can only place a poor third as took place in Anambra Express. It is merely the secret society code that the goons of the PDP are using to hoodwink Nigerians with the idle have a discussion of "the most significant get together in Africa". With the current situation of two half-presidents superintending on the affairs of the hapless land, enough time is nigh to punch at the portals of the secrecy and open up the Nigerian modern culture for good. The initiative of marching on Aso Rock and roll as enunciated by the Save Nigeria Group (SNG) is a superb first step. Let's all sign up for the crusade.
The occurrence of a definite civilian police force, militia, or other paramilitary group all over the place may mitigate for an extent that it could intimidate this democracy. Competitors of gun-controlled regime have cited the necessity for an equilibrium of power in order to enforce the civilian control of the armed service. Politicians who in person lack armed service training and experience but who seek to activate the country in armed service action may associated risk resistance to be tagged "chicken-hawks" by those who disagree with their political goals. The consolidation of democracy is not simply a problem of more or smaller military services prerogatives; the higher level of armed forces prerogatives there's a moral quest to reduce such privileges.
For all these, members of the professional ex-military chiefs, their serving co-workers and their non-uniformed followers were participating in Nigeria's nascent democracy. They stage bureaucratic bargaining process of the state's policy-making equipment; participating in regulatory support and at exactly the same time, attempt to restrict the insurance policy options of elected representatives when it comes to military issues. Since Nigeria's 1999 recovery from authoritarian guideline, members of the authorities and military weren't constitutionally prohibited from voting. Other significant legislations did not pub organizations advocating the overthrow of the federal government from participating in the political process. These measures, however, were implemented too late to avoid the military's multiple incursions into Nigerian politics.
History demonstrates the main explanations why democratic systems of federal are overthrown are armed forces: conquest or military services coup. Strong security must prevent or deter conquest, but a strong military can boost the threat of armed service coup, so a sensitive balancing act is necessary. Therefore alliances with other democratic countries seem to play a crucial role as well as interior constitutional investigations on the military services. This newspaper analyses the progression and maintenance of democracy from the point of view of the impact of military services considerations. Insurgency probably has been the greatest risk to Nigeria's fledgling democracy. The actions of the JTF and the Niger Delta militants produced local anarchy, which directly challenged the government's legitimacy. Therefore led to the national point out of crisis and the draconian governmental countermeasures cited previous in the individuals rights part of this work.
Competitors of the activity for democracy in Nigeria have searched for to undermine it by on the one hand casting aspersions on the competence of the visitors to judge what was best for the country and on the other condemning the essential tenets of democracy as un-Nigerian. There is certainly nothing at all new in Third World governments wanting to justify and perpetuate authoritarian guideline by denouncing liberal democratic ideas as alien. By implication they assert for themselves the official and sole to decide what does or will not comply with indigenous ethnical norms. Such classic propaganda aimed at consolidating the powers of the establishment has been examined, analyzed and disproved by political experts, jurists and sociologists.
But in Nigeria, distanced by several ages of isolationism from politics and intellectual developments in the outside world, the folks have had to sketch independently resources to explode the twin misconceptions of their unfitness for political responsibility and the unsuitability of democracy because of their society. When the activity for democracy spread out across Nigeria, there was a surge of powerful interest in the meaning of the term 'democracy', in its background and its sensible implications.
More when compared to a quarter-century of thin authoritarianism under that they had been fed pabulum of shallow, negative dogma hadn't blunted the perceptiveness or political alertness of the Nigerian. On the contrary, perhaps not all the surprisingly, their desire for food for conversation and controversy, for uncensored information and objective evaluation, appeared to have been sharpened. Not only was there an eagerness to study also to absorb standard theories on modern politics and politics institutions, there was also wide-spread and clever speculation on the type of democracy as a social system which they had had little experience but which appealed to their common-sense notions of what was credited to a civilized modern culture.
There was a spontaneous interpretative respond to such basic ideas as representative administration, human privileges and the rule of regulation. The privileges and freedoms which would be assured by democratic companies were contemplated with understandable enthusiasm. But the responsibilities of those who carry responsibility for the maintenance of a stable democracy also provoked much thoughtful thought.
It is natural that a individuals who have suffered much from the results of bad authorities should be preoccupied with ideas of good administration. But the conscious work to make traditional knowledge highly relevant to contemporary needs was not restricted to any particular circle - it travelled through Nigerian modern culture from metropolitan intellectuals and small shopkeepers to doughty village grandmothers. Why has Nigerian using its considerable natural and recruiting failed to live up to its early promises as one of the most energetic and fastest-developing countries in Africa? International scholars have provided comprehensive answers reinforced by careful analyses of historical, social, political and monetary factors. The Nigerian people, who have had no access to sophisticated academic material, surely got to the heart and soul of the problem by turning to what Zik spoke on the four causes of decline.
In the process, the interim federal government could have the ability to concentrate on reviving the current economic climate as well as repairing fundamental privileges and liberties of the Nigerian people like the repair of democracy through basic elections. To that end, the international community must continue to apply both financial and diplomatic pressure on Nigeria's military junta. That is to ensure that the junta does not conclude doing what juntas are wont to do: make grand claims about rebuilding democracy without the slightest objective of relinquishing capacity to the democratically elected staff of the folks.
A Historical and Qualitative Point of view Nigeria's military have undermined the democratic processes by either leading or straight aiding every Nigerian coup d'tat except one-the coup of 1995, in which civilians overthrew a armed service dictatorship. Surprisingly, it isn't democratic elections, however the coup d'tat that has proven to be the most widespread means of Nigerian transfer of government
For instance, through the 1999 military services to civilian guideline elections, some Nigerian police officers with their Army counterparts seized polling channels, threw out prospects' polling agents and stamped the ballots themselves. Critics also directed to too little impartiality shown by the INEC and a failure to curb the wide-spread misuse of state funds by pro-military get-togethers. There is limited time allotted for electioneering, and election rallies by anti-militarized people were frequently suspended or disrupted. The state of hawaii owned marketing blatantly marketed the views of the armed forces government view, plus some opposition party activists were even gunned down.
Complaints made to the Independent National Electoral Fee (INEC) were ignored. At several polling channels in Interface Harcourt and Lagos followers of the military-backed candidates took control of proceedings, threatened the local observers with violence and avoided their entry into polling booths, as they tampered with the ballots. Ballots were stolen, fake ID cards were in blood flow, and many postal ballots were within unauthorized hands.
At some polling stations in Wuse inside Abuja (FCT), indelible ink was absent, allowing some voters to cast more than one vote. At other locations, polling stations were evolved at the last second, or valid electoral lists were absent thus preventing reliable voters from casting their votes. Many voters complained that their names have been omitted from the electoral lists even though that they had voted in the previous elections and had not changed dwelling. Others complained that whenever they arrived at polling stations these were advised that their votes got already been cast. In Abeokuta and Minna no dependable authority knew where a particular polling place was.
The reforms now being championed by the Obasanjo Presidency touch the armed forces services as vitally as they impact civil society. Among the list of civil populace the reforms are meant to gain those who want to work for a full time income and not go on federal patronage. By the same token, the new order is also designed to favour soldiers who rather face their career and define their career avenue in terms of excellent military service alternatively than politics adventurism.
The present dispensation affords us an possibility to reflect on issues that are germane to the institutional coherence and operational readiness of the nation's fighting causes. As Nigeria proceeds to undergo challenging transitions in various facets of life, key countrywide institutions are required to build-up their internal constructions, capacities and processes towards defending the young democracy with courage and patriotism. The Nigerian army remains a essential national establishment in this respect. It must be helped to revive those core worth of cohesion, hierarchy, self-discipline, esprit de corps and value for constitutional order that will be the hub of professionalism. An investment in military services professionalism is an investment in democracy. Under rogue armed service regimes, Nigeria virtually missed from opportunities for the professional development of its military. It really is time once more to build up our military into a formidable fighting force.
The fatality squads, linked to state set ups either through productive involvement or tolerance, come to such a level of control that they proceeded to go beyond the amount of an isolated or marginal sensation to become a musical instrument of terror, which systematically applied the physical reduction of political competitors. Many of the civilian and military authorities in electricity through the 1990s participated in, promoted and tolerated these communities' activities. In spite of the fact these still latent clandestine set ups have not recently made their presence known, they may be reactivated at any time that those in high degrees of ability were to apprise that a "dirty warfare" could be resumed in Nigeria. Since these death squads constituted the element that demolished any remaining vestige of circumstances of law during the armed discord, Nigerian government shouldn't only expect an alert and settled attitude to avoid their resurgence, but also solicit international aid for their total and total eradication.
In this technique, two factors have grown to be clear: first, some political parties acknowledge and defend the perfect of your "protected democracy, " where the military have a substantial role in the political system. Second, a feature of civil-military relations in the Nigerian democracy has been the technology of informal mechanisms to solve central issues related to the armed forces autonomy. The next way to analyze tastes is to give attention to the level of elite unity about the role of the military. Unified elite that rejects armed forces intervention in politics may inhibit armed forces treatment in politics, while a fragmented elite may permit the creation of anti-democratic coalitions between your armed forces plus some industries of civil world.
The Nigerian political transition commenced in 1998 when the principal gatherings opposing the dictatorship (Christian democrats, Activists, Radicals, and sundry decided to take part in a constitutionally mandated plebiscite in which people had to decide whether Abacha's authorities should continue for another eight years. Since that time, the political discourse of the transition has been dominated by some political "principles" that all celebrities have accepted, like the military actors. These ideas are basic ideas that offered as guidelines during the period of move and later, during the establishment of democracy.
Respect of the institutional construction. Although opposition celebrations declined the Constitution that was enforced in 1993 by the military dictatorship, they accepted the platform it set up. Therefore, the new democratic administration had to apply norms it had turned down in its program. For example, IBB's government didn't consent to the constitutional provision that allowed the commander-in-chief of the military to remain in charge for eight additional years, but democratic regulators had to accept this constraint because it was area of the Constitution they swore to value in 1993. Political leaders knew that individuals required a peaceful move. Steadiness was (but still is) a central goal in the first and second democratic governments. As we will see later, the rule of stability often has been more important than other aims such as justice, accountability, or responsibility.
In final result Nigerian commanders in the United Nations (UN) peacekeeping mission in Liberia and Sudan have been associated with corruption. Their activities have ranged from dark marketeering and running prostitution bands to positively abate it. Continuation of these practices within the ECOMOG peacekeeping quest worries this administration, who fear that such behavior could jeopardize the success of such quest in future. Clearly, the fight for democracy in Nigeria has not been won. It will take all the resourcefulness of the Nigerian visitors to triumph over the crafty machinations of Nigerian's armed service and parts of the clerical elite who've thrown their weight behind insurgency. For real democracy to have hold in Nigeria not only will the folks of Nigeria have to combat the internal foes of democracy, they'll also have to beat the crushing electric power of the armed forces godfathers, who cynically subvert or stymie steps towards genuine democracy in Nigeria.
REFERENCE: L. Chinedu Arizona-Ogwu
Writes from Oyigbo; Rivers State
Nigeria's democracy still fragile, US insists
By Firm reporter, Shared: Wednesday, 7 Apr 2010.
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