How free are Nigerians to choose whom they will to serve them? The question is indubitably not, how free are Nigerians to vote? Nigerians are free to vote, made obvious time and again. On the contrary, how keen we are to choose who would serve us, deferred us. Freedom to vote equals freedom to choose if and only if the vote counts. Recent elections put on view patent facts that votes don’t count. Democracy- “government by the people” eluded Nigerians. I beg your pardon, what else?
Our breed of democracy was a militarily conditioned, controlled and directed project, more of a function of contagion effect of global and African process and conditionality than a product of popular consent with internalised democratic norms and value-orientations. The militarisation posed a big obstacle of the institutionalisation and conceptualisation of this democracy. These are the implications of prolonged military rule and its damaging legacies are a major source of concern for sustainable democratisation in Nigeria. Since May 29, 1999, till date, Nigeria has been under one Milivian or Civiltary government. I felt so bad!
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Democracy, for the distressed Nigerians and as foretold by the struggles of the pro-democracy groups, was not about continued existence and muddling-through under intense deprivation of the state, to a certain extent, and hankered after virtuous ascendancy to convalesce our living order. Hence, we look up to democracy for a better deal. The people coveted change and democracy was no more than pleasing. On May 29, 1999, to a large extent there were ecstasy and respite in the land.