It would interest you to know that democracy is one of the best things to happen in a country especially in a Nigerian society that had a long military regime since independence. Democracy is an elixir of life, therefore the dividends of it ought to be seen on people’s faces. From 1999 to t his day, there is a popular slogan that runs through the mind of the civil society and politicians who had long waited for it. It has been very clear that when two or more are gathered to reminisce the voyage of democracy in Nigerian from the first Republic to date, it brings to the fore pictures of a wobbling and intermittent journey we have had and the imaginable democracy we had also been made to bear, which occasionally led us to civil unrest and chaos.
It is no doubt that in 1999, when the long awaited democratic voyage eventually arrived the shores of Nigeria and the new civilian – administrators emerged. The imaginable and elusiveness of our dream became a reality. We were metamorphosing from the long military dictatorship where people were cowed and their mouths gagged. People were enslaved in their own country, freedom of the press and associations were abolished. Freedom of worship was dictated and the very Fundamental Human Rights were not in existence.
However, when the freedom came, like the Biblical Israelites who came out from Egypt after many years of bondage in the hands of Pharaoh, we were all shouting for joy that democracy has come to stay. The sigh of relief was loudly heard and the festivities of liberation were conspicuously seen.
All the celebrations that followed however, pointed to the fact that democracy was a welcomed child of necessity, where the ambience of freedom will be guaranteed, safety of lives and property protected. No doubt, today, democracy has really come to stay in Nigeria like any other civilized country of the world. But it lacks the quintessence and the vital elements that give it reality and the connotation of the meaning – Government of the people, by the people and for the people. The originality of it was the inclusive nature to foster unity and respect people of diverse ethnic groups and opinion. To give room for free information dissemination to different quarters, to share opinion and “power”. Till today, our democracy seems to be malfunctioning, it seems to be lacking on those basic principles and elements that blossom its beauty to the society. The voice of the youths in this democracy is not well heard, women and children are forced to hard labour due to increasing poverty. The old men are dying before their time because of neglect.
Our democracy needs to be revived to the glory of every democrat in the country. Without mincing words, the youths of any meaningful society are always defined as the leaders of tomorrow, since government is an institution of continuum, no set of individual could afford to rule a particular society till eternity since death is inevitable to everyone. At this point, the youths ought to be well groomed for the future of this nation. They should be made to see themselves as leaders of tomorrow by way of properly empowering them instead of making them political pawns. Youths are not pawns and should not be used as such. Women in the society should not be seen as mere child-bearing instruments, everyone should be incorporated into the scheme of things for the development of our country. In the national politics, the principle of power-sharing should be evenly and fairly practicalized to accommodate all the geo-political zones in the country. Nigerians are experiencing fair economic situation despite the rising oil revenue accruing to the federation account. We are getting riches, yet poorer; such is the paradox of Nigerians prosperity. Nigeria needs a stable economy that can engender meaningful development across the nation. And the world will indeed know that Nigeria has entered into full democracy where marginalization of the minority has ended, and justice, equity and fair play become prevalent.