Events of the last few months are throwing interpretation of democracy to another level. It is no more what the great philosophers from the ancient Greece meant it to be. For them, the Greeks, it is government of the people for the people by the people.
This application has no meaning in the Nigerian context. Even at what Ibrahim Babangida called “home grown democracy” during his wasteful experimentation with the project called Nigerian for over seven years, the meaning of democracy as we see it today remains a bitter and useless version what the Army Four-Star General from Minna in NigerState practised.
Starting from a selfish and wicked structure called Nigeria Governors Forum, which is a demonic entity for the sole selfish survival of members to the annihilation of the unprotected citizens of this failed nation, one would see the handwriting that the meaning of democracy is being reinvented.
Before then even, there is evidence of total failure in the practise of our democracy. For example, the late law guru , Gani Fawehinmi, fought a major battle, using the instrumentality of the law, to put an end to a major illegality going by the name of the “office of the first lady”, at both federal and states levels. Gani won that battle, l think, but the operators of Nigeria “care no damn” about it.
Gani is gone to rest with his creator, the office of First Lady and, maybe “First Widows”, remains. The present incumbent of that office in Nigeria, Dame Patience Jonathan, just this year, has the unrestrained audacity to include a N4 billion project under the sub-heading “office of the First Lady”, in the Nigerian National Budget sent to the National Assembly by the Presidency. Can we see the democracy of “care no damn”?
Talking about “care no damn” about any issue, President Goodluck Jonathan was to promote it to a household name when he told television viewers [all over the world that NTA covers] that he “care no damn” on declaration of his assets.
For President Jonathan, it was a “moral issue but not legal”, which brings an interpretation that our President do not mind being morally bankrupt while legally okay. His conclusion reminds me of the maverick politician from Oguta in ImoState, Francis Arthur Nzeribe. It was he who made the statement many years ago that “what a millionaire minds is legality and not morality”.
What, therefore, is the difference between Nzeribe, the creator of that nefarious and unregistered Association of Better Nigerians [we cannot forget so easily how that Association truncated the “freest and fairest democratic election” ever held in this country which eventually led to the death of the winner of that election, MKO Abiola] and President Jonathan, who could not draw the line between his “legal and moral” obligations to Nigerians, the people he is elected to lead?
He ought to have known, as a scientist with PhD degree, that a man who is morally bankrupt is not qualified to lead people democratically because democracy will ever remain a legal structure. That is Nigeria’s democracy for us on the other hand.
Let us welcome this Peoples Democratic Party – new face of old and new – roforofo [in honour of Fela Anikulapo-Kuti’s memory] battle. Can we define the meaning of democracy from this free for all “chop and quench” battle of the titans? Are there some Nigerians, still, who did not know that the reason for this fight to finish between the “old” and the “new” PDP is for our money?
There is no way that the creator of heaven and earth, who equally created Nigeria with its wealth, which these dealers parading themselves as leaders, are carting away to their private bank accounts, will not call them to judgement. Yes, my prayer will be in agreement with the President of the Senate, David Mark, when he was talking about the thieves of the Pension Reform Fund. He said that “may God put them in the hottest part of hell”– Amen.
The “family” affair of the PDP is coming together again; both the old and the new, after our common wealth had changed hands, some foreign bank accounts of some individuals had gotten a boost, some earnings from crude oil sales had been mismanaged, part of the never audited security vote had collapsed into “securing pockets of some individual politicians” and many other calamities against 90 percent of the 150 million Nigerians. Eh! God will fight for us and defend us – the hopelessly oppressed citizens of this country that presently have no comforter!
Is this not a democracy that has gone crazy? Think of it. Please, do.
Mr Godwin Etakibuebu, a current affairs commentator, wrote from Lagos