WHAT does it matter when any date is proclaimed as Democracy Day?
A Democracy Day that has been proclaimed from an aborted and inconclusive election does not necessarily mean it is superior to the the day in which a reformatory president was sworn in 1999.
Many believe it was part of a grand political wizardry to mesmerize the unthinking voters in Nigeria.
The thrust of all that Nigeria’s democracy is going through is wrought by ex- military leaders who enjoy changing the goal posts of Nigeria’s democracy left or right and the powerless voters are just hoodwinked to either clap or rap the government for the wrong reasons.
If one military president thought is fit and proper to annul an election that was adjudged the freest and fairest, only after 25 years or so, another militarized civilian PreasidentBiuhari had chosen to eulogize and award a the nation’s highest honour of Grand Commander of the Federal Republic (GCFR) on his and the vice presidential candidate of the then Social Democratic Party (SDP).
The dead who are not alive to appreciate the national awards- of GCFR on MKO and Gani Fawehinmi and the living Kingibe are today beneficiaries of another soldier man on the throne.
Of course, the families of the dead are eleated by the belated recognitions poured on them but the recipients would have loved it more as living persons.
The rich and wealthy MKO would have loved to demonstrate his wealth to all manner of persons but I later heard from close military friends that it was not the bidding of Ibrahim Babangida(IBB) to annul the election but the young blood- tested coup- prone officers who felt an MKO Presidency could deny them of their matrimonial partners if he so wished by just beckoning at them.
Maradona IBB saw the restless locusts whom he feared could truncate his reign in a rather bloody manner.
The little splash of bonfires on the streets of Lagos during that period was sufficient sign that unless he moved fast enough there could be a major crisis in the country.
The annulment per se sounded not to sweet in the ears of most Nigerians, particulary when results from 14 states had been released and Nigerians were eagerly waiting for the final release of the results from the remaining states.
Nigeria undoubtedly had become a plaything for soldiers in and out of uniform. The likes of IBB, Abacha, Obasanjo and Buhari are taking their turns to rule both as civilians and soldiers with different impacts and consequences.
From the look of thngs, the soldiers seem to have a greater stake in the survival of the country as one entity and anytime they come around in different robes –Agbada or khaki attires -their permanent interet had always been to dominate and move the country in a particular direction.Strange things happen under soldiers and today stranger things are happening under civilian watch because a soldier now transformed from soldiery to democratic principles, is now piloting affairs of the country in Muahmmadu Buahari.
We could recall the tragic crating of a popular politician Alhaji Umaru Dikko from London under the watch of a military ruler in Buhari. He was to flown into Nigeria like a crated item from London when something happened and they were uncovered by ever eagle- eyed London policemen; It was aborted.
Today trying tom rifght the wrongs against many Nigerians, a man whose election was annulled by IBB has predictably been restored as the rightful winner of the that election, ostensibly to gain accolades from the South West of Nigeria.
We know the old time feud between IBB and Buhari for the unceremonial overthrow of his government in August 1985.The mistrust of the duo runs deep.
After many years many still feel there is no love lost between the two.
Another victim of Buhari’s emergence is Baba Olusegun Obasanjo who has come out claiming the President is planning to arrest and clamp him into jail permanaently for having the guts to criticize his second term bid in 2019.
If Obasanjo’s wolf cry is true and could be carried out soon, then this will make the second time he would be slammed into jail by a northern soldier turned President in the country. Nigerians still remember when Gen. Sani Abacha threw Obasanjo into jail along with Musa Yar’ Adua, who did not survive the harsh detention years.
If any Nigerian likes his freedom, he should stay clear of the ravenous path of Buhari who hardly forgives or forgets past wrongs done against him.
Could we say he is an unforgiving spirit? Or he likes giving his punch-line at the most tender spot on his victims or perceived enemies?
For a leader who has proclaimed he is for everybody and nobody, he ought to show enough neutrality in his actions towards those he wants to wound or maltreat.
President Buhari seems to enjoy an air of ‘integrity’ about him, despite the vsarious excavated tales of $2.8 billion allegedly missing from the NNPC vaults when he was the Minister of Petroleum many years back under Obasanjo as Head of State after the death of Murtala Mohammed in 1976 during his assassination by Col Bukar Suka Musa Dimka.
Nigeria has been in circles of soldiers and whether we like it or not, we shall permanently be under their shadows for a long, long time to come.
Which ever date that suits you pick it up and celebrate it. The South Westerners alreday had adopted JUNE 12 while the rest of the non- aligned Nigerians could celebrate May 29. How divided can a country get with two democracy dates-JUNE 12 OR MAY 29.