June 12 Democracy Day: A retrospective appraisal by Dickson Iroegbu

By Mazi Nnamdi Dickson-Iroegbu (DGN)

My brothers and sisters across Nigeria, all lovers of peace and progress, and lovers of the development of our country, today I celebrate you, including those who have died in this struggle! Though it seems like all hope is lost, but we must never give up, for the journey towards a great, prosperous, egalitarian and united Nigeria federation is a marathon.

Today, as a citizen of Nigeria who was very young, specifically a teenager, when the campaign jingle of Chief Moshood Kashimawo Abiola was aired on television with the theme of HOPE in 1993. I was delighted at the exciting promises that came with that jingle.

Having grown up and the Muhammadu Buhari government identifying today, 12th June, as our Democracy Day, you will agree with me that all is not well with the country. Is there democracy in Nigeria?

I am of the strong view that June 12, being today, should be a time for us as Nigerians to really consider whether what we have is an ideal democracy or not.

It is important that while we celebrate late Chief MKO Abiola GCFR, the acclaimed winner of the 1993 free, fair and credible presidential election, we should as well scrutinize the leadership that enacted June 12 as Democracy Day; that is the government of President Muhammadu Buhari. How well has the President practiced democracy? How well has he practiced what he is preaching?

We can attest to the lack of civil rule and transparent governance in the current administration. So it is important that we evaluate and say to ourselves as a people and citizens of Nigeria, especially now that the cleavages of our country has been so exposed by the ineptitude and nepotistic system of the Muhammadu Buhari government.

Permit me to say that this message is for fellow Nigerians to do some introspective analysis of the truth about the ills that have befallen us.

The truth is that the solution is clear. Democracy has no alternative! In fact, the worst form of democracy is five billion times better than the best military government. The mess Nigeria is currently facing is simply because of the 1966 coup and that of December 1983 which was another setback. The final setback was in 1993 before we got into the fourth republic. Now the fourth republic got into a major setback in 2015 when the current President was elected into power. That’s a fact!

Therefore, let’s look at the way forward as a people, whether you are Igbo, Hausa, Yoruba, Fulani, Ijaw, Itsekiri, Idoma, Tiv, Esan, Urhobo, Gbayi, Igala and every one of us. Let’s renegotiate and restructure Nigeria. It is only then it can be said, that democracy is reigning supreme; that is a government of the people, by the people and for the people.

Happy Democracy Day Fellow Nigerians