By NELSON EKUJIMI
December 21, 2014 – Ever since the hey days of military adventurism in governance, which was characterized by ineptitude and maladministration, the Nigerian people have always risen up unison in condemning and seeking the exit of such governments because of its retrogressive policies. The unity of the people against governments which represented everything that was a violation of the purpose, honesty, responsibility and values of the Nigeria people was challenged or confronted by such administration whipping up primordial sentiments just to divide the people along ethnic and religious lines because of its acknowledgement of the fact, that a united people conquers all obstacles.
It was the unity of purpose of the Nigerian people that led to the ouster of the junta of the evil genius, General Ibrahim Babangida (Rtd) when the people went to the polls on June 12, 1993 and voted for a democratically elected President in person of late Chief M.K.O. Abiola. The unity of Nigerians to be rid of the misgovernance of the Babangida regime was so vociferous and vehement to the extent that the people jettisoned ethnic and religious sentiments to cast their vote for a Muslim Muslim Presidential and Vice Presidential ticket of M.K.O. Abiola and Babagana Kingibe of the SDP as against the Muslim Christian ticket of Bashir Tofa and Sylvester Ugoh of the NRC.
The unity of Nigerians against bad governance as epitomized by the IBB Junta was so iron cast that the people of Kano, Bashir Tofa’s home state voted for his Yoruba opponent even in Tofa’s home town, such that a son of the soil was defeated in his ward and local government. Though, the election was treasonably annulled by the ruling junta, all efforts by the Babangida administration to elongate its tenure using the instrument of lies, deceit, propaganda, blackmail, ethnic and religious sentiments failed because of the resolve of a united people.
Even when late General Sani Abacha assumed the reins of power as a result of the unresolved June 12, 1993 crisis, which swept away the illegal and unconstitutional contraption called interim government that was put in place by General Babangida (Rtd.) and headed by Chief Ernest Shonekan to succeed him as against the will of the people which was freely expressed at the polls, he couldn’t make an headway in governance because of the unity of the people in insisting on their mandate and had to resort to crudity and criminality to sustain his hold on power. Despite the crimes committed against humanity by the Sani Abacha regime, he couldn’t break the resolve of the people until he passed on to the great beyond, on June 07, 1998.
It was this unity of the people against undemocratic tendencies and fear of suffering the same fate as his predecessors that compelled the inheritors of government, led by General Abdulsalam Abubakar (Rtd), after spending less than a year in office and realizing the collateral damage done to the collective image of the military and the Nigerian people as well as the international opprobrium inflicted on national image, decided to quickly hand over the reins of power to a civilian administration on May 29, 1999. Once again, the unity of the people in insisting on what is right was a great factor in exiting the military out of governance.
When Chief Olusegun Obasanjo assumed the reins of power as head of a civilian government in 1999, a new dawn of civilian democratic rule was heralded into the Nigerian political landscape, but when he was deviating from the expectations of the people through the exhibition of dictatorial tendencies, the people rose up in unison to condemn him and when his third term agenda was on the card, it collapsed because the people were united in rejecting its illegality and unconstitutionality.
The same unity of Nigerians came to fore when late Alhaji Umaru Yar’Adua assumed the reins of leadership after the exit of the Obasanjo administration. The people rose up in unison in condemning anti democratic actions of governments any time it was contemplated or implemented. This unity of the people against illegality and unconstitutionality played no small part in ensuring the swearing in of Dr. Goodluck Jonathan as acting President when his immediate boss died notwithstanding the illegality being perpetrated by some characters in the Presidency. The Nigerian people spoke as one not minding their ethnic and religious inclinations, state sponsored lies, deceit and propaganda and triumphed.
In all of these instances, the people were confronted by government praise singers, lies, deceit and propagandists who went to town singing like a bird to whoever cared to listen that the then head of the government was God sent and that whoever was opposing him, was opposing God as though opposition was a new development in human affairs, afterall, it’s an incontrovertible fact, that variety is the spice of life. People in some cases were threatened, incarcerated on trumped up charges and prosecuted for treason, but at the end of the day, the unity and resolve of the people triumphed and such governments were sent packing.
Since coming into office of President Goodluck Jonathan, we have witnessed a situation in which the government of the federal republic of Nigeria has been ethnicized and religionized by the occupant in utter violations of the constitution. President Goodluck Jonathan has violated the constitution of the federal republic of Nigeria and debased the institution of the office of President, the way no other occupant has done in our political history. He has politicized the highest political office in the land to the consternation of all patriotic Nigerians. In all facets of governance, the present administration has been found wanting to the extent that both local and foreign commentators deride Nigeria as being ruled by a nonexistent government.
The Goodluck Jonathan government has played politics and exhibited insincerity on the issue of security of lives and properties of Nigerians in utter violations of the constitution. The government has displayed the highest level of incompetence and irresponsibility in tackling our security challenges in the North East in particular and in Nigeria in general. The government’s handling of the boko haram’s kidnap of over 200 secondary school girls in Chibok community for over 250 days now is provocative, embarrassing, insultive and a national embarrassment.
The President Goodluck Jonathan administration has assaulted the psyche of Nigerians by its labeling as a money laundering country as a result of the illegal and criminal launder of 9.3 million dollars raw cash to South Africa which was confiscated by the government over there because of the illegal nature of the transfer even after the Nigerian government tried to save face by its cock and bull story that the money was meant to purchase arms.
The present administration has not only promoted corruption and impunity, but has also humiliated Nigerians to the extent that the government of the biggest black African country in the world is a butt of jokes in the international community. President Goodluck Jonathan administration has succeeded in embarrassing the image of Nigeria by the conduct of our security agencies that today, who have violated laws of the land, decency and responsible conduct as exemplified by the activities of the DSS, Police and the army in being used to abuse the democratic rights of Nigerians during the Ilaje Ese Odo Federal constituency bye election in Ondo State which is inconclusive since April 2014, the Ekiti and Osun States gubernatorial elections in which security agents wore hoods, intimidated, arrested indiscriminately, detained illegally and brutalized hapless voters in violation of the constitution and the Electoral Act.
The icing on the cake was the treasonable invasion of the National Assembly by officers and men of the DSS and the Police acting under the orders of the “IGP” Mr. Suleiman Abba who attempted to overthrow a democratically elected national legislature which is the bastion of our democracy, but we are still waiting for the legislature to do the needful by calling on the executive to ensure that Mr. Abba is brought to book for the offence of treason against the Nigerian state.
Today, the Goodluck Jonathan administration in order to cover up its failures in governance has resorted to lies, propaganda, whipping up ethnic and religious sentiments with the aim of keeping the people divided. Today, the collective destiny of over 160 million people is at risk as a result of a nonexistent federal government presiding over a balkanized Federal republic of Nigeria in which some criminals have taken over some of our territories and hoisted their flags, in which millions of Nigerians are internally displaced persons, in which corruption and impunity is the order of the day, in which supposed cabals and saboteurs reign over our oil industry, power generation and distribution, security of lives and properties according to the government, in which the federal government abuse our security agencies to violate the democratic rights of citizens, the constitution, endanger the peace and tranquility in our land and endanger national security and democracy, etc. All these actions and many more of the present day government are undemocratic, illegal, inhuman, irresponsible and totally unacceptable.
As we go to the polls on February 14, 2015, one would like to admonish our people to take to heart, the words of the Holy book that, “Truth exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people”. We must all come together and send a clear and unambiguous statement to our political elites that enough is enough of this politics of deceit using religion and ethnicity as a weapon by doing the needful at the polls, after all the Yoruba’s say that “Ajumobi ko kan ta nu, afi eni ti Oluwa ba ran si ni, lo le se ni loore” meaning “Favour is from God and not man notwithstanding the fact, that we are offsprings of the same parentage”. Enough is enough of tolerating misfits in government because of primordial sentiments and be complaining!
The victory of the people in the horizon is hinged on the people’s unity against all divisive tendencies and focus on issues, antecedents and performance, so that Nigeria can rise again and by the grace of God, it shall be so.
Disclaimer: Views aired in this article are exclusively those of the author and does not represent those of the publishers.