NIGERIA IN UNCERTAINTY @ 22 YEARS OF DEMOCRACY
BY DONS EZE
Twenty-two years of uninterrupted democracy in Nigeria is indeed a very big achievement. It is the longest period of democratic governance in the country. This is great. But it is however a mixed grill of fortune. Nigeria is currently witnessing the worst period of uncertainty in her historical existence.
The First Republic lasted for a little over six years, from October 1960 to January 1966. The Second Republic ended after only four years and three months, from October 1979 to December 1983. The so-called Third Republic was a diarchy, a joint rule of both the military and the civilians, and it lasted only three months, from August to November 1993.
The present Fourth Republic is 22 years old, from May 29, 1999 to date, and still counting. We thank God. It means that the country is gradually stabilizing, and has bade farewell to anarchic military rule, the rule of the jungle, to embrace democratic governance.
Ordinarily, we would have been pomping champagne, jubilating and celebrating for that landmark achievement. But we are not doing any of these. This is because we are in trepidation, we are in fear, in panic. We are in a confused state, in a difficult and uncertain period. We do not know what the future is holding in stock for us. It is a tensed situation.
Our country is sick, seriously sick. It is in coma, placed on life support. Whether it will come out of it, we do not know. The only thing is that we have been praying to God for His intervention, for miracle to happen.
Not even during the civil war was Nigeria in so such an awkward situation, paralyzed. From North to South, and from East to West, every place is in turmoil, on fire, burning. Many people have been doing all they could to quench the inferno, all to no avail. It is not abating.
The government has been doing all it could to salvage the situation, all to no avail. At first, when they came in 2015, they exuded a lot of confidence and optimism, claiming that they had all the solution to the country’s problems. They made us to become fearful, boasting that “a new Sheriff is in town”, and therefore, would deal with us severely, if we misbehave.
We obeyed them and began to wait for their miracle to happen. But they were not able to do anything meaningful. Now, everything has gone haywire, out of hand. Things are getting worse by the day. Many people are disgusted, tired.
The enemy is everywhere, firing ferociously, and at non-stop. It is no longer only the Boko Haram in the North East, terrorizing and overrunning territories, and taking students hostage, several other groups in different parts of the country have reared their ugly heads.
In the North West, bandits and kidnappers have taken the centre stage, killing and kidnapping people at random. In the North Central and the South West, it is the AK-47 wielding Fulani headsmen, shooting sporadically, destroying farmlands and farm crops, burning down houses, maiming and killing people, and raping women.
In the South East and some parts of the South South, the Unknown Gunmen have taken over, burning down police stations, INEC offices, and killing policemen anywhere they see them. Everywhere is in flames, burning.
Nigeria has not been so divided as it is presently. Different parts of the country are fighting to go their separate ways. The South East and some parts the South South want to break out, and form Biafra. The South West are agitating for Oduduwa Republic. The North are angling to have Arewa Republic. Speedily, everything is giving way, with the centre no longer holding.
In such a seemingly hopeless situation, when everything seems to have failed, there is no option than to turn to God in prayer, in supplication, to atone for our sins, and ask for forgiveness. God is the final bus stop. That is why we are in tune with some men of God who now are calling for prayers to save Nigeria from perdition, from its present predicament.
Dr. Dons Eze, KSJI