Protecting our Hard Earned Democracy

Jan 25, 2019

Gen Olusegun Obasanjo: The ruling party should prove him wrong by overseeing free and fair conduct of the general elections in order to save the country from anarchy

Former president of Nigeria, Gen Olusegun Obasanjo has written yet another letter addressed to President Muhammadu Buhari. It would be his third letter to Buhari since January 2018 when he wrote the first one.

In his first letter to Buhari dated January 2018, he advised him not to bother seeking for re-election.

In April last year, he had written another letter to Buhari where he not only described him as a failure, but also advised him to stop giving Nigerians excuses and attributed Buhari's habit of giving excuses to his inability to achieve results.

Presently, Obasanjo has accused Buhari of plotting to rig the forthcoming election, making copious references to Buhari's attacks on the private sector, the National Assembly and presently, the Judiciary, with particular reference to the case of the Chief Judge of Nigeria, Walter Onnoghen, who is currently battling to retain his position.

Democracy is a great gift to this country as the former president Goodluck Jonathan proved when he conceded defeat three years ago to Buhari. The present government of Buhari has used security institutions, like the EFCC; Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) and the Police to fight his opponents, critics and perceived enemies.

This can only put a clog in the wheel of our democratic process in the country. It can never do us any good as a country, save causing anarchy in our already heated up polity.

As Obasanjo rightly noted, this is a reminder of the Abacha era when security institutions were used to fight opponents and critics of his government, a situation that led the international community to keep a close eye on the country during the electioneering period.

Nigerians should understand the need for prayers at this stage, regardless of our denominations. Nigeria needs our prayers more than ever before. It is also important for every citizen to make use of their franchise and furthermore, ensure that their votes are protected on Election Day. Again, the election should not be a do or die affair. Our youths should also refuse to be used by desperate politicians.

Whether the elections are free and fair, transparent or not, it is pertinent for Nigerians to understand that the recurring decimal in this whole affair is the common man on the streets.

If our democracy is truncated, the hardest hit will definitely be Nigerians.

The greatest gain made in our democracy so far was former President Goodluck Jonathan's concession of defeat to Buhari in 2015. If he had seen winning his re-election bid as a do or die affair, he would have let ''dogs and baboons to soak in blood'' as Buhari had threatened.

That was a great lesson for posterity and also, a true test of sportsmanship and sacrifice.
It's time to give democracy a chance to thrive in our dear country against all odds. Nigeria is definitely bigger than all these problems. Let's not throw democracy out of the window all in the name of politics.



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