Written by Obulose Chidiebere N
21st May 2020
Democratic political system is occasionally said to be one of the prime attainments in a country with it's values of human rights and every individual's freedom. However, in their enthrallment toward democracy, many people seem to fail to remember if not deliberately over-looking the numerous essentials that prove how far from ideal this system is. Nigeria’s democracy can be easily turned into a good-looking plaster of authoritarian regimes and actions that are extremely far from public ideals. It is the best description of bitter kola whose sound is different from the test. One of the essential main beliefs of contemporary democracy lies in people’s supremacy to build the vector of their country’s political developments. That men are born with equal right and equal opportunity which is the fundamental human right, that justice delayed is justice denied, are all because of this democracy. However, contemporary times have proven that what might seem like a democratic state with a system of habitual elections, diversity of political parties, fundamental human rights and unvarying social dialogue is totally a dictatorial or authoritarian country with a democratic badge to confuse some ignorant and uniformed populace.
Modern democracy consists of institutions that keep together the complexity and diversity of political movements and ideas. While these structures are meant to ensure that democratic processes are not interrupted, they can be turned against this purpose. But sometimes, one wonders if Nigeria's democratic system is different from that of other countries' democracies. Everything is upside down. The media is in shambles, political discourse is in disarray, the independence of the judiciary is only on paper but not in reality. As a poor man, a Nigerian cannot get justice. The independence of political parties seem to have been at snail's pace, turned to serve the interest of a particular group of politicians and the rich of a particular ethnicity. While the above institutions are said to be present and visible in Nigeria political system, they are all just instruments of imitation of a democratic process. In reality, Putin’s fully legitimate and “democratic” rule has been lasting for nearly two decades, giving him almost unlimited political and economic privileges and excluding any opponents from political discourse. Kremlin’s democratic “puppet show” may produce a beautiful picture for the outsiders, yet it carries ideas that are far from freedom and human rights.
A further structural concern of today’s democracies is the rule of the majority’s preference. Though democracies are built upon the thought of people choosing how to preside over their country. Recent times have revealed that sometimes undemanding following of majority’s option may lead to calamitous consequences. Like what is happening today in Nigeria where almost everybody was against the former President Good-luck Jonathan, but was looking at "messianic" Buhari. Time has proven those that saw Buhari as an angel wrong, eventually. It is no more news that Mazi Nnamdi Kanu has been saying that the man in Aso Rock is not the elected President of Nigeria but a smuggled imposter from Sudan. Up till today, nobody has ever come out to prove the claim of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu wrong. Even when the whole world is seeing the evidence of the claim, yet we say we are in a democracy. The one that called himself Dave Umahi, the Nebuchadnezzar of South-East and the Governor of Ebonyi State, has been barring, beating and encroaching on journalist’s rights since he was elected in 2015 and nobody has ever stood up against him for intruding into the freedoms of journalists. Yet, we say we are in a democracy.
The judiciary is the working tool of APC led government. The independence of the judiciary is in a mess. The APC government is the one telling who is wrong or right in a case even before you reach the court, yet we say Nigeria is practicing democracy. The Vice President of Nigeria has gone missing for some months now, nobody has seen him or heard his voice and everywhere is silent as if all is well. But the mess-up of Nigeria democracy is not farfetched. The trouble with her democracy started from the day the constitution written by military was acccepted to be used in a democratic setup. The handwriting is different from the tone. To say the least, Nigeria’s democracy is still full of poisonous issues served in a chalice, producing structural tyrannies in beautiful packages. Surely, democracy may be the best possible solution to build a modern political process but Nigerians have to be ready to face the challenges inherent in this political system. Appropriate reactions are not just by hoping that the issues are going to solve themselves through traditional democratic processes, never!
Written by Obulose Chidiebere N.
Edited by Domendu Emilia
For Family Writers Press