While he was in the spotlight, a renowned Afrobeat musician known as Fela Anikulapo Kuti, sang that Nigerian democracy is a ‘Demonstration of Crazy.’ This his metaphorical assertion began to spread like a wildfire to nearly every Nigerian lips like Naira Marley’s ‘Soapy’ song. Even though many failed to catch Fela’s drift in the song, everyone danced crazily to its tune; we demonstrated crazy.
Lately, a serving minister, who governed Rivers state as a two-term governor, was asked why he entered into Nigerian politics. The minister replied point blank, “I didn’t join politics because I wanted to be a leader or because I wanted to solve Nigeria’s problems. I joined (politics) because of unemployment.” Many people seemed shocked by this retort. Some even tagged it as a crass answer. Yes, if not to be unfair, Amaechi’s reply was vacuous and not watertight to standoff crucial critics. But I wouldn’t damn him for this but anywise commend his gumption for giving a sincere answer. The minister clearly x-rayed the motive of many politicians in this country. What would a man, who chose to be a leader because of what he would earn, not how to solve the country’s troubles, do to this country than to pillage her riches and patrimonies?
Well, there is no way a blind man would drive a car that he wouldn’t see the only way in the bush. Democracy in Nigeria is serving the cabals and not the people as it was defined by Lincoln. This system is designed, and applied, in Nigeria for rulers to hold keys to the stomachs of the masses so that they(the rulers) would control the people perpetually. Our system of democracy is lopsided. The poor always get a pittance for their sweats, and for the rich, theirs is moolah. This system has made the future looks blurry for our youth; they become forlorn and despondent.
The Afrobeat legend — Fela, deplored the wanton trait portray by Nigerian politicians; they don’t really care for the people. To Fela, he believed, democracy is a system where rulers are serving their pockets and demonstrate the highest notch of crazy. Unlike how Abraham Lincoln defined it, democracy in Nigeria is a system whereby the leaders feel that getting all the riches from the nation’s purse is their right. They forget they are elected to serve the country and not chosen to eat it.
Are these not really crazy? States won’t obey national enactments unless the same is domesticated by their ‘State House of Assembly’. Then what was the purpose of federal bicameralism if not to make statute that would regulate the nation at large. It’s also in this same country that a state may decide not to follow a federal executive order, even on issues where the doctrine of covering the field could be applicable. Do you still remember the 2019 Zamfara Electoral Cases? Good. Where was the spirit of democracy as a system where the government should be voted by the people? Perhaps, the court gave us ‘Courtocracy’ in return: a system where a leader will be decided by the court.
The truth is, democracy is a good system that has governed proficiently elsewhere. But here in Nigeria, the complicity of our leaders and vicissitude of our political system would never let the system serve the people’s interests. There is no more Nigeria in Nigerians. Our system won’t allow you to be somebody if you don’t know anybody and that is not what democracy preaches.
May Nigeria grow but not with visionless leaders.
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