“By any law of political or social science it [Nigeria] should have collapsed or disintegrated years ago. Indeed it has been described as a failed state that works. Maybe but some people are living fabulously wealthy lives amid the ruins. And others survive and get by. How? It’s a mystery” – Richard Dowden
Many Nigerians died during the long enduring march to democratic rule during the terrible days of Babangida and Abacha military rule. They died with the hope that they and their children will one day live free from oppression. They died with the hope that a Nigerian nation where justice and equality before the law will triumph over dictatorship. We thought we won that freedom from the jackboot of dictatorship when we succeeded in driving military rule from governance of our nation in 1999. Sadly, the democracy we got is not the one we fought for, the government we have does not in any way look like the government of the people for the people. Our struggle was hijacked by militricians who care less if Nigerians eat from garbage or live in ramshackle houses. What is more, they have also hijacked our judiciary, the only and perhaps last hope for the common man in Nigeria. Even during the terrible days of military rule we have military rulers who are willing to listen to the voice of reason by our judiciary.
One could recall an attempt by the regime of Raji Rasaki to forcibly evict Dim Emeka Ojukwu from his father’s house at Villaska Lodge, Ikoyi, Lagos. The Biafran war General simply went to court and the Supreme Court restored him to his home with an order. The then military rulers do not pick and choose court orders they will choose to abide. Fast forward to the civilian rule of President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan and you can bet Ojukwu would have rot on Queen street, waiting for the government of the day to obey a decision of judiciary restoring him to his home.
How else can one explain the refusal of the People’s Democratic Party to honor the decision of the constitutionally created Judicial Council restoring Justice Salami to his position as President of the Court of Appeal?
Time and again, PDP as a party have shown itself to be anything but a democratic party. Its conventions often end in charade. Party members’ burn and maimed each other, use any means including violence to win electoral primary and then dragged the main election between parties to court based on the rigged primary. None of its governors save Governor Duke, can be said to have performed with any distinction, rather they have been indicted by anti-corruption agencies in Nigeria and abroad. It is a party that could not be trusted to obey its own constitution not to talk of the country’s constitution. They rule by their own dictates and answer to no one but themselves only. The party and its members can be fingered in every political murder, assassination and mayhem since 1999. Their thirst for Nigerian innocent blood is evident in the many air disasters, road accidents and terrorist attacks foisted on the nation by their willful and negligent misrule of every federal governmental agency.
It is against this background that many thought Jonathan promise to bring a change to politics as usual was viewed as a breath of fresh air when Nigeria helped restore him to presidency after the demise of his former boss- Umar Yardua. What we forgot is that it is difficult for a leopard to change its skin colors. And now we know that the salvation of our country lies in our collective struggle to rid our land of Peoples Destroyer Party!
Sadly, our options are severely limited. Even when we vote, we have been told that “he who counts the vote determines the outcome of the election”. We can choose to drag them before the judiciary but they will pick and choose the court order they will obey. We are indeed running out of options other than mass protest and rallies. The petrol subsidy protests in January make it apparent that the government will do anything to infiltrate the ranks of prodemocracy activist and hijacked it for its own selfish ends. It is time for prodemocracy activist to go back to the drawing board and start strategizing on how to rid our land of every vestiges of People’s Destroyer Party. We may not have a country left when the looters in government are finished with us. History will not forgive us if we sit idly by while we let them destroy our hard earned democracy.