By: Shehu Bashir Esq.
Nigeria’s Democracy (of 1999 till date) did not come on a platter of gold, it was a “spoil of war”, fought for by democratic adherents. They won the “war” with so much personal losses to these patriots – some lost their assets, some their human rights and many paid the supreme price.
You cannot labour for something, achieve that in fulfilment and try to wish it away again through the unconventional means. You can attempt to discard what is not yours or what you did not labour for because you have gotten nothing to lose. When there was a maternity claim on a child between two women, the judgement to cut the child into two by King Solomon was supported by the woman who was not the biological mother of the child while the biological mother begged the King not to do that. The judgement on the claim of ownership was settled in favour of the biological mother who opposed the slicing of the baby. This is the best way to know who loves this country or not.
Those who fought for, risked their lives and put in everything to birth the 4th Republic as we have it now, commencing since 1999, just like those who fought the colonialsts to gain our national independence will not attempt to risk it’s fragility by way of mob incitement. It is curious to imagine if Peter Obi even cares about this country at all? It is as if he is acting the true script of what people have been insinuating that his aim at the Nigeria’s presidency is to have the dagger to slice the country into half. Actions are speaking louder than voice here.
A true democrat does not speak evil of the doctrine of democracy just because the outcome of a political contest does not favour him/her. In Rwanda, the 1994 genocide did not come through external aggression, it came from internal combustible utterances. When those who should know better are the ones making bigoted, overbloated out of proportion body mass index threat to others, they should be reminded that BMI is not what is used to fight war. Provocative statements are often empty threats which do not win a war, anyways.
In any case, those who choose to keep quiet when such statement is made, or refuse to call the maker out to retract are only worsening their already lost credibility of patriotism. You can’t be unpatriotic to a nation and expect to have a sip of it’s palm wine. Elections are won through consensus and not confrontations and denigration.
It is incontrovertible that all the proponents of this democracy are fighting hard to keep it, just as we have it on records that the ones calling for national unrest to reclaim a mandate they never lost were the antagonists of democracy even before its birth. It is not a surprise that they want to discard it now for their selfish interest. This is even more worrisome with the revelation coming out that Peter Obi was allegedly part of the ABN rogue boys, led by late Nzeribe, who promoted and championed the annulment of June 12 1993 presidential election. Is it that Obi is an incurable ready-made tool to rebel against democracy or what?
It is an irony how Nigeria is giving some people too much leverage to rebel against her values, code-naming their antics as “protests” but in truth, sowing the seeds of disintegration. There have been too much diplomatic countering to those who are pointing “weapons of mass destruction” to our face and threatening our common existence. It is disgusting, irreconcilable and incomprehensible how some people would be making witless and infantile call for interim national government for no lawful reason. On many occasions, I often think democracy is too lenient. Otherwise, such call alone, should be regarded as treason and ofcourse, it is treason. It is the worst way to love a nation and everything we have achieved in this democracy.
Because I was one of those who contributed in my teenage days to the birth of this democracy, voicing out against the annulment of June 12 presidential election of 1993, I will stand up against anybody or any so-called movement who want to drift us away from the comfort of this liberal form of government – democracy. I am here to participate in the defence of democracy, emphasising that should anyone have any issue about this election, the transition process or anything at all, the Court is the only constitutionally charged forum to hear your grievances.
Rallying to support democracy is not just about the defence of the winner of an election but also the defence of the rule of law which include the respect for constitutional authority, among which is the court to channel any grievance.
It is noteworthy to say that the APC’s voice against those calling for the abrogation of the election is not just defending the candidates elected from the party, but also saving everyone who was just elected in the last elections regardless of which party they represent. It is important to note that what Peter Obi and his uncontrollable mob are calling for is a big threat to our democracy which, if succeeds, God forbids, will also affect even those who were elected on the platform of his labour party. Only the ignorant will see any sense in the senselessness Obi is agitating for.
I must say that it is disgraceful, shocking and unbelievable how some social media platforms, including TV stations and print media houses are wittingly and unwittingly re-echoing the chant of war by those who lost the election without cautioning them. It is ridiculous how they are enabling rabble-rousers to disable the system as if they have special armour to shield off the consequences of the incitements.
As much as Peter Obi and his lackeys have the right to appear on national TV and the host giving them the platform, the questions the interviewers are failing to ask Obi are – what do you want from this struggle? If he is angry and claiming that “the election was rigged” and he has filed a petition in court to reclaim his “stolen mandate”, what exactly does he want to achieve again with the call for protest that he can’t achieve in court?. I am also wondering why all the TV stations have not asked him if he knows that street protest is not one of the means through which anyone can access political position unless he is aiming to topple the government through unlawful means? If he stutters to answer that question, we should then ask him if his aim is to topple the government by inciting the mob against the government?. Unless everyone takes it upon ourselves to do what is lawful, we will be promoting and indulging what is not lawful.
It is high time Peter Gregory Obi, the defeated Labour Party presidential candidate talked to himself and tone down his inciteful rhetorics about street protests, there is no such dictate in our statutes for anyone to gain power through that means. I doubt if Obi knows that the foreign nations he and his mob are “calling for rescue” to dabble into our democracy do not often do so to help anyone’s cause, they do so to orchestrate their imperialistic selfish interest, by way of taking over our resources, diverting our national assets and selling weapons of war where necessary. Go and ask the people of Iraq and Syria, they will tell the bitter story of their miscalculations. Libyans were incited against their government, and their country was turned into a shooting range for weapon manufacturers to test their weapons, making billions of dollars in the process. It is always all about making money at the expense of innocent people’s lives.
Therefore, let’s all who believe in democratic principles come out to stand against those who want to use our country as battle ground for anarchy, we cannot afford to allow manufacturers of war weapons to test the efficacy of their new weapons in our country. Nigeria is not a shooting range for gun test.