“Millions of people all over the world will be watching this”, announced Senator Roy Blunt, anchor man for Donald Trump’s Inauguration on January 20,2017. “They will be watching something miraculous and commonplace”.
“Miraculous, because we’ve done it every four years since 1789 and the example it sets for democracies everywhere,” Blunt said.
“So we come to this place again, commonplace and miraculous. A national moment of celebration, but not a moment of victory. A celebration of democracy.”
As a non- American Trump fan, I was watching with an I-told -you -so sorta swag. Victorious ,in a way ,having won a bet with virtually everyone that I know. After hearing the senator’s remarks, I ,all at once ,began to wonder why and how America has been able to pull off this simple and yet profound tradition.
And I realised that the feat is possible because of the respect for the rule of law which in itself guarantees the law’s respect for the people.
In Nigeria, the opposite is now exactly the case. Its 20-year old democracy is about to get to a brutal end . And it seems ironic, if oddly coincidental, that Mohammadu Buhari, its current president and who many say doesn’t to give up power( even through the law) ,has once overthrown a democracy.December 31,1983.
The nation’s general elections of 2019 is pulling the fractured country in fringes and law and order have all but disappeared. Especially in high places.
Atiku Abubakar, PDP, and main challenger, is in court. He says that INEC,the elections commission, gave the victory to Mr Buhari unfairly. And Mr Buhari and his party, the APC, are not ready to let the tribunal do its work.They are very afraid that the near-impossible might just happen. Namely, that the tribunal might just sack the president.
This has thrown the troubled nation into further chaos. The APC gave a jaw-dropping defence last week at the tribunal. Mr Abubakar who was Nigeria’s president for 8 years is now somehow a Cameroonian. Thus, he’s not “qualified to run for the office of president “. It does very little when the APC is reminded that Mr Abubakar’s ancestry is not the matter before the tribunal.
And the PDP has understandably rejoiced in the faux pas to the effect that if that’s all the APC can come up with, that the case is won. .Not done, one of Mr Buhari’s spokesmen, Festus Keyamo, a lawyer, told AIT,a TV station ,that Mr Buhari doesn’t need the constitutional minimum educational requirement to be president. That will be a high school certificate. Mr Buhari told Nigerians the army held his when he took the presidential forms in 2014. 4 years later, what looks like a clear forgery was presented. And Mr Atiku’s lawyers are mining these anomalies to the fullest.
Just yesterday, a group, and are there groups here, “gave Atiku 21 days to return to Cameroon and apologise to Nigeria “. Yes, things are that bad.
Are Mr Buhari and the interests he serves afraid? They should be. Mr Atiku has maintained that he has “credible and verifiable evidence that I won the elections “. And why would Mr Buhari endorse total disregard for dignity of man and institutions if he won? If he is sure he won? How much longer can the society endure these myriad assaults on reason? How long before it goes beyond today’s tipping point , snaps and collapses most hopelessly?
The first casualty in these missteps is law and order. Even its branch of police,FSARS, shoots people even as they watch TV. Some on their way to work, church or Just in the streets.
Herdsmen have somewhat renewed their licence to kill across the country. Boko Haram kills more than at any other time.
Criminal gangs driven by poverty and hopelessness are all over the towns and cities. They steal,rape, kidnap and kill. Fear is all-pervading.
Its airforce now try in vain to patrol the skies of Abuja and Kaduna because of intractable kidnapping and robbery on that road. What’s more, the government is completely at a loss by way of an answer. Its hit -and- mostly -miss ideas don’t work
Next thing to suffer the maze of confusion is the economy. Even the wealthy now say that times are very hard. Its CBN has no answer nor has it been able to attract back the investors that fled. The IMF has told the government to increase taxes and remove fuel subsidy. That is a prospect that Nigerians dread like death .
The president himself has too many conflicting statements attributed to him by his sea of “advisers and spokespersons ” in a manner that shows an incompetent captain of a sinking ship.
In normal times, in traditionally normal societies, another captain will take the helms. There will be a smooth transfer of power where there will be neither victories nor losses but a celebration of democracy. Those who say that that whites are superior to blacks, without using IQs, use the transition of power as a yardstick. That blacks don’t give up power.
It is sad that the once giant of Africa is dying. Sadder too, because it cannot experience the “commonplace and the miraculous “.