With the establishment of a civilian government in 1999, these patriots believed in a changed Nigeria. Prior to that, there had been military coups in which lives were lost, as well as widespread dread of imprisonment and public unrest. These factors prompted the need for a government transition that ended the military administration in the 1990s.
It has been 23 years since the patriots, dedicated to the welfare of the country’s population, fought valiantly for the country’s democracy.
Corruption is accepted as normal in society, and even young people follow in the footsteps of the elders. The perception that practically everyone in government offices is corrupt, has led to an increase in cybercrime among the country’s youths as they don’t see anything wrong with it because their role models are doing it, and no one can stop them.
The presidential jet and kitchen are rumored to get billions of naira each year. How is this possible? How can billions of naira be used to fund the kitchen, among other things? This is completely unacceptable. It’s even gotten to the point where those we thought were battling corruption are now tolerating it. They are charlatans masquerading as corruption fighters.
Also, democracy, being a system of government itself, is very expensive. The allowances lawmakers receive monthly are ridiculous. Allowances are ranging from sitting, travel, health, and even security insurance. This is not even part of their salaries and we still hear some of them complaining that they are not enough. While unfinished projects lie in their constituencies and workers are not paid their salaries, they are unconcerned about it because it doesn’t affect them. Report shows past governors, presidents, and other top government officials are still on the government payroll. The money used in paying them from the nation’s treasury could put the country into debt and the economy at risk.
Furthermore, the process behind democracy, which is election has turned out to be “the most influential offers the highest bid.” Electoral malpractice has marred democracy to the extent that the electorates no longer want to participate in any electoral exercise. Politicians now buy votes and forge the numbers of voters in a particular region for their agenda. This wouldn’t have been possible without the help of electoral bodies, who have been bought in exchange for their silence. Most of the elections conducted in Nigeria have not been truly free and fair. These politicians, who go through fraudulent ways showcase their true identity when they assume office.
Another disturbing factor is the misuse of power and disobedience to the rule of law. The 1999 constitution invested so much power in the Federal Government that its authority cannot be challenged unless by the Supreme Court. This, in return, has made government officials misuse their offices and grant unmerited contracts to their favorites. What has made this act continue is the immunity that covers whoever is caught against any kind of prosecution.
A former President of the United States of America, Abraham Lincoln, who is still recognised for his famous statements, defined democracy as “a government of the people, by the people, and for the people.” There should be equality, fairness, and justice in a democratic society. Unionism and oneness should be our watchwords as a country with three major ethnic groups. Looking at how things have gone, some factors have hampered Nigeria’s sole purpose of democracy.
Corruption is one of these factors. Bribery and corruption are prevalent in every sector of the country. Just recently, the Economic Financial Crimes Commission arrested the Accountant-General on charges of money laundering totaling 80 billion naira.
Akinshola Akintelure is a Content Writer, a tech savvy and Social Media Manager.