I remember I was in secondary school, living in Aba when Lagos based acquaintances fled back to town. As a matter of fact, Igbos living in Lagos and the North moved back to the east in droves, all in a bid to avoid being stranded in what most felt was an impending 2nd civil war.
The Polity had heated up after General Babangida annulled the election even before the Professor Humphrey Nwosu-led National Electoral Commission (NEC) could announce the results. Babangida blamed it on election discrepancies which I'm still not sure what it means,so any older person privy to the real reasons should please share with me. Anyway, this and subsequent events paved way for a 6 year pro-democracy struggle that culminated in the return of civil rule to the country in 1999. A struggle independently waged by the Nigerian civil society in a bid to put an end to military high handedness.
Today the south western states celebrate June 12 as the most transparent election Nigeria has ever had, an election that had its share of flaws, flaws that I feel are no more different from what we have today. From candidates with questionable reputation, political thuggery, buying votes. For crying out loud, that was the era of "naira burger" where voters who queued behind some candidates were given refreshment in the form of N50 note sandwiched in a loaf of bread and voters who queued behind candidates of their choice were intimidated, candidates who though were civilians were already enmeshed in government shenanigans. All these didn't matter because there was more at stake, more being to get the military out of power.
The Nigerian government as it stands now is meant to be a civilian one with three distinct but complimentary arms, each acting as a check on the other two to ensure a corrupt free nation.What do we have today? A government with arms that are complimenting each other in aiding that same corruption, a country that hasn't fared better than the military, a country where the three arms have price tags, a country that knows its gradually heading back to where it started, a country that claims to be practicing democracy but with the likes of Obasanjo, Buhari, Babangida, David Mark still struggling for power is actually practicing pseudo democracy.
This country is gradually degenerating and the leaders are not ready to handle our prevailing issues honestly. By now I would have expected them to put aside personal gains and for ONCE make this country better, Nigeria should be a going concern, we do not know what will happen by 2015 and we are scared, whether we like it or not, thats the truth, we need to learn from the mistakes of the past, set aside ethnic and religious sentiments and do the needful.
Citizens are not exempted either, its not always about the government, you owe yourselves the duty of speaking out and taking necessary action when need be. A government can never be more powerful than the people that elected it into office by hook or crook.
As it stands now, Nigerians are not ready to go to the polls come 2015 if we have the same crop of people vying for positions so the political parties should be realistic enough come up with new people with credible reputation and knowledgeable enough to run things, as a matter of fact, our political system is way too expensive for us so the right people may not even be able to afford coming out.
Our arms of governments should be held responsible, especially the judiciary, I don't know about you reading but in my books, they hold the ace and should be able to make the other arms toe the line, so the judiciary must step up their game and create order.
Finally, `we owe ourselves the duty of ensuring we elect the right people come 2015, you can't stay at home and expect spirits to do your civic duties for you, 14,396,917 votes were recorded at the 1993 polls, Abiola polled 8,323,305 votes while Tofa had 6,073,612 votes, meaning about 25 million voters never showed face at the polling booths, imagine what difference that would have made assuming it were now!!!!!!!!!!
My 2 Kobo musings.……..