IS OURS AN OBTUSE DEMOCRACY?

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Could someone help unravel this riddle that seems to worry me!

I do not know how many times I have had cause to thank the Greeks for bequeathing to humanity the principle of democracy.

It is democracy and it’s attendant rule of law that differentiate the conduct of man from what obtains in the jungle where survival is only guaranteed for the strongest and fittest.

No matter the insincerity of the British Colonial Masters, they handed over Nigeria to Nigerians on an acceptable note of constitutional democracy.

By the principle of constitutional democracy, citizens have the right to hold and express opinions that do not constitute a threat to peace and laws of our land. They also have freedom of lawful association and assembly.

Our President, General Muhammadu Buhari, whom we elected to address our problems, has been away on medical grounds for well over ninety-two(92) days.

No body says that Gen Buhari is supper-human. He is like any other human-being. He could be sick like any of us. Taking cognizance of the fact that age has almost run against people within his chronological bracket, it leaves no one in doubt that God should not be blamed if Buhari gets sick.

If there is any person that intends ridiculing the President for being sick, such an individual deserves pity. I say this because such intent can only stem out of stupidity.

President Buhari, to be fair to him, has paid his dues to his fatherland. As a soldier, he had fought to ‘keep Nigeria one’. He has always created impressions of fighting wars against corruption and other social vices.

He had also paid himself maximally by truncating Nigeria’s democracy and imposing himself on the citizens as a Military Head of State.

The above notwithstanding, Nigerians had also elected him as their President. Unlike what he did in 2003, 2007 and 2011 when he had lost in presidential elections and had taken his victorious opponents to tribunals and courts, incumbent President Goodluck Jonathan whom he defeated in 2015 graciously and most unprecedentedly patriotically congratulated him even before the presidential result could be announced.

Despite clear evidence of under-aged children voting in a place like Kano where it was alleged that in order to cover up the unimaginable magnitude of electoral fraud that was committed there, a cabal that wanted Buhari at all cost as President had to exterminate the family of Jigawa-born Mikaila Abdulahi who had served as the Resident Electoral Commissioner in Kano State during the Presidential and National Assembly elections. Mr Abdulahi, his wife and two daughters were said to have died in a fire incident that had gutted their house only few days after the 28 March 2015 presidential election. The circumstances were quite bizarre. Yet President Jonathan did not even contemplate taking his case to court. What else will Nigerians give to Buhari?

Leadership must be driven by conscience, among other virtues. Whether we like it or not, morality comes first before Constitutionality. Technicalities in law can give way to injustice. That one emerged victorious in a court may not necessarily mean that one was, indeed, right.

Morally-speaking, President Buhari, knowing he is almost incapacitated by illness should be humane and patriotic enough to resign his position as President.

Even though the Acting President; Prof Yemi Osibanjo, seems to be filling the gap, the truth is that Nigerians need an incumbent President that is fit and proper to attend to their problems. This is even more compelling now that our country is facing many herculean challenges.

Sickness of President Buhari is being taken advantage of by the British Government. Parking slot alone where a presidential plane has been parked at Heathrow Airport at the rate of $4000 per day, if the plane is still there, amounts to $372000 for ninety-three days. If we multiply this amount by N365, it would amount to N135,780. We have not talked about the medical bills, estacode , exigencies and other miscellaneous expenditure.

Who does not know that Nigeria is bleeding? For how long will this go on and for how long should Nigerians keep quiet?

It was, therefore, heart-warming to see Charles Oputa’s Our Mumu Don Do Organization stage a peaceful protest last Monday at Abuja, asking President Buhari to either return and face his duties or resign.

But true to our version of democracy, the Nigerian Police came dangerously hard on this Group. They fired many canisters of teargas at them, as harmlessly peaceful as they were seated. The Police claimed Charly Boy’s Group was infiltrated by hoodlums and miscreants. How many of them did they arrest?

Charly Boy; the Area Fada, was allegedly so subjected to inhalation of teargas that he collapsed in the arena. What type of democracy is ours?

Yesterday, Tuesday 8-8-2017, in far away London where our President is most expensively domiciled, barely twenty-four hours after Charly Boy and his fellow protesters had been suffocated by teargas fired by our ‘very friendly Police’, a Nigerian by name Jonathan Goodluck Oberia and his female friend protested in front of Abuja House, demanding to know the health status of our President.

Nigerian officials in the House, thinking they were in Nigeria, quickly invited the British Police to come and arrest the duo. When they arrived and observed what the couple were doing, they simply laughed and told the Nigerian officials that what Oberia and his friend were doing did not in any way contravene the laws of the British Government. They left without halting the democratic exercise of Oberia and his acquaintance.

The question remains why must our own democracy be different from what it should be?

Executive Director.

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