Nigeria is currently on the brink, sitting on the keg of gunpowder. The political atmosphere is cloudy, not bright. The drums of war are sounding, and the dancers are warming up, fashioning their legs for the dance. There is apprehension. There is fear. There is anxiety. There is trepidation.
The fear is that the relative gains made in the past nineteen years in terms of democratic governance may likely to be reversed due to personal ambitions. The worry is that there are some people in the country who really do not believe in democracy, people who are hell bent on truncating or torpedoing the ship of state, and return Nigeria to the dark days. They clothe themselves in the garb of democracy, but inwardly they hate democracy. They are cogs in the wheel of progress.
The two major political parties in Nigeria, the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), and the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), are up in arms against each other. They are at daggers drawn, at each other’s throat. The leaders of these two political parties are threatening fire and brimstone. They are marshalling out their soldiers for war. And none of the two sides is prepared to shift ground.
There is the fear that Nigeria is fast descending into anarchy, into a state of lawlessness. There is the concern that what is happening now may be a pointer to what may likely happen in 2019.
If because of defections from one political party to the other (which we had all witnessed in 2014), Nigeria is now being set on fire, what will happen in 2019, when the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) begins to announce results of elections. It shows that some politicians may not likely going to concede defeat, if they lose, but will try to destroy the country.
The National Assembly is the theatre of the conflagration. The lawmakers are not left alone to do their job. Those who loathe democracy have divided them into two warring camps. Everybody is worried. As at now, nothing is happening in the country in terms of governance. Everything is at standstill. And the people are suffering.
The other day, a senior member of government had cried out, telling us that unless something very urgent was done by way of reconvening the National Assembly to consider some essential bills, the activities of government might, in no distant time, collapse. But nobody listened to him as the Old Headmaster, the Area Boy Chairman, continued to spit fire, threaning to pull down the roof unless the “stolen crown” was returned to them.
Unfortunately, the security agencies who ought to have been neutral, have been recruited and drawn into the conflict, to take side with one party against the other. But the other side is resisting. They are not wavering. They have vowed not to surrender. They are fighting back, using wits and intelligence.
The international community is watching. They are monitoring the situation. Already, the United Kingdom has issued a statement, saying that they were keenly watching the situation. Perhaps, the United States and the European Union, are equally watching. These are the bastions of western democracy.
Now, we begin to ask, where are our elders? Where are our statesmen, that is, if we can still find some of them that are neutral? Where are our religious leaders? Why are we not hearing from them? Why have them become silent? There is time when silence is not golden. They should speak up. They should come to the rescue of the sinking ship and not wait until it drowns.
We urgently need their intervention. We need prayers from our religious leaders, and we equally need their practical involvement. We want the religious leaders to join hands with our elders and our statesmen, to call the two warring sides to order. Like our people will say, an elder does not sit idly by and watch while the she goat delivers in tethers.
This is a perennial familiar scenario.