In a couple of days, Nigeria and Nigerians would be celebrating Democracy Day which also marks the first year anniversary of the second term of the President Muhammadu Buhari led administration. This would be half of a decade in which the current government had been reigning in power and authority.
Lest we forget, the question of shifting the nation’s democracy day from the popular May 29 to June 12 generated a plethora of arguments, controversies and questions. The President however, was able to silence his assumed enemies using the prerogative of the presidential power dressed within the regalia of Nigeria’s legal framework and political ideology.
George Orwell had rightly divided the word of truth by saying that “the most effective way to destroy a people is to deny and obliterate their own understanding of their history”. Thus, we should not be quick to exhale the air of June 12 from our historical nostrils.
The June 12 atmosphere is one that wouldn’t go down in a hurry in the memory of all Nigerians without been remembered for its unforgettable and widely assumed quintessential role it played in laying the foundation of a democratic edifice on which Nigeria has built and hopes to build its political and democratic structure.
This was as a result of the widely acclaimed elections which would have brought it in the late Chief Moshood Kasimawo Olawale Abiola into the realm of political power. It was however, declared void and subsequently nullified by the military regime of General Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida.
The 2019 general elections brought in much hopes to Nigerians. Like a two faced dice, some political officer holders were able to beat the goddess of failure and thus retained their seats. On the contrary, some were unable and had to vacate their seats for others who according to the electoral panelists were experienced and fit to take the mantle of political power.
For the President Muhammadu Buhari led government, it was a win-win approach as the erstwhile milliary personnel who Nigerians in the early 80s understood to be an intolerant personality to indiscipline and corruption found his way to the “white house” to occupy and manage the affairs of the country for a second time. 2020, thus marked the first year of the second term of the septuagenarian individual.
The issue of governance has always been a double-edged sword hence we have the governor and the governed or in a more convinent way we can say the elected and the electorate. Undisputably is the fact that both parties are essential as one cannot be left without the other.
This piece is not in any way meant to support or critique any party, we would rather do an anatomy and analysis of the government within the last five years using the tripartite parameters of security, economic stability and corruption.
Since humans are quick to praise themselves for little feats they seem to have achieved, the President and his cohorts (minsters, special assistants and advisers) have always utilised any opportunity not leaving any stone unturned to blow their trumpets in an aggregated show and display of vigorous victories they believed to have achieved.
In a recent appearance on a television show, Festus Keyamo who served as Minister of State, Labour and Productivity was of the opinion that the current administration had done very well especially in the area of job creation which was incidentally his area of jurisdiction.
From his own perspective, Femi Adesina the special adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, in a Facebook post titled: Five Years of PMB: We Are Glad He Came Our Way, listed some giant strides which the Katsina State indigene had achieved especially in the aspects of security most importantly the boko haram insurgency which had been a nightmare for several years. This was in tandem with the points outlined by the Presidential Spokesman, Garba Shehu, who thanked Nigerians for entrusting the leadership and management of the country in the hands of President Buhari.
Several high profile individuals had organizations had also digged out the facts to compare the assumed achievements with reality using reliable statistics.
An erstwhile senator Shehu Sani of Northern Kaduna aptly defined the modus operandi of the government as one that wasted the first four years fighting the enemies of his friends and at the same time whipping up a sixteen year old corpse, while using the fifth year to mount the skulls of his subjects outside the palace. This undoubtedly justifies the claim that the first few years of the current administration was nothing to write home about.
The CNN had also issued a report which placed Nigeria at the fore of economic poverty having overtaken India on the highway of economic development. Reliable statistics abound to prove this point as a magnitude of restless youths still roam about the street in the search for gainful employment.
Femi Fani-Kayode a social activist, noted that nothing worthwhile had been achieved so far. To him the only achievement of the current government was plunging the nation into death and darkness. This was contrary to the belief of Femi Adesina that the emergence of Buhari saved the nation from collapse.
Judging from the recent happenings especially in the terms of expenditures, one cannot but submit to the sublime truth that the nation’s economy is in ruins. Security which seems to be a top-notch is characterised by insurgency, ethnic cleansing and banditry even within the President’s home state, Katsina.
The incessant request for loans without judicious use further affirmed that the health of the economy is dwindling and not healthy as speculated in some quarters. From $6 billion debt in 2015, the current debt owed by the country is over $80 billion dollars. This is amidst the mono-product economy practised by the country.
The People’s Democratic Party (PDP) had lamented bitterly that the democracy day had turned to a day of grieving for Nigerians; a day for commemoration of failed promises, reversal of gains achieved by past leaders and retrogression in our body polity as a nation. It alleged that the current management had been characterised by “corruption, stagnation, poverty, nepotism among others”. Nigerians constantly recount tales of suffering, travails and woe which are entrenched in hunger and poverty”.
In the aspect of corruption, the country’s corruption perception index (CPI) reported by Transparency International (CPI) placed the nation as the second most corrupt nation within the West African sub-region. This was at variance with the anti-corruption campaign which made Nigerians roll out their support for the election of the current government.
Well, we cannot actually assume and affirm that the last five years had been eventful. However, since the end justifies the means, Nigeria and Nigerians would in 2023 be able to tell whether they have enjoyed the dividends and benefits of democracy under the current government.