1368 views | Abdulkadir Salaudeen | May 29, 2021
Those in government have said so. We shall be awaiting a constitutional amendment or restructuring to make it official. For in principle, Nigeria is a democratic state. In reality however, only a few would disagree that it practices DEMONcracy. Recall that in my article last week, I defined it as “a system of government that is guided by democratic fetishism. It is a fetish democracy. Or in other words, fetishization of democracy where demons, witches and wizards hold sway in the general administration”. This is, for now, a working definition. Scholars, perhaps, will come up with authoritative definitions when we stop deceiving ourselves that we practice democracy. I will revisit this later.
What is the problem with Nigeria? Can we for once get it right and set things right? It is true that the problem with Nigeria is rooted in a long history. It is wrong to think it started with this current administration just as it is wrong to think it has not become exacerbated under this government compare with the previous ones. We are in fact sliding freely into an abyss—depth of which is only known to our Creator. We are inching towards a tipping point. It can even be argued that we have got to that point. What is holding us together, if I may say, is our faith in God and our unique resilience.
I began to think; why is it that everything put in place to make a positive change in Nigeria gives the opposite result? All attempts to fight corruption, bad governance, electoral fraud, and all other calamities that befall us as a nation proved abortive. Inform me of any government’s policies tailored in a fashion to set things right that has proven to be worthy of replication. Is it the Treasury Single Account (TSA) that did not fail or the Bank Verification Number (BVN)?Is it the ICPC or the EFCC that has not failed or the Whistleblowing Policy? Mahmud Jega, the Monday columnist with Daily Trust, gave a clearer and chronological account of policies and their failures in Nigeria. As an expression of serious fatigue about government’s failure by a concerned citizen, he writes; “Nigeria: Which Tactic Is There Left to Try”? What was apparently missing in Jega’s account is the role of evil spirits—witches and wizards. If that sounds too vulgar, it is what I have euphemistically referred to as DEMONcracy. It is absolutely weird to think that ‘Aiye’ (evil spirits) have taken hold of those at the helms of affairs. But since those in government continue to premise their failures on this alibi, may be it is wise to start seeing through their lens.
Where in the world would someone’s tenure in office be renewed six months before the actual expiration of the current one? This same person was strangely suspended before the expiration of the first tenure. I am still racking my brain to come to terms with this. That is Hajiya HadizaBala Usman—the Managing Director ofthe NigerianPortsAuthority (NPA). As many think evil spirits are at work,Kperogi insists it is dementia. Ordinarily, I don’t expect this brilliant scholar to condescend to the level of accepting the absurd explanation of voodooism as the cause of government’s failure.
What about the bill sponsored to criminalize payment of ransom to kidnappers in an ungoverned space where government shirks her primary responsibility to secure and protect the citizens? It is a criminal offence in which offender would be incarcerated for 15 years. That is, as if to say; ‘it is the fault of an abductee to be abducted; thus whoever pays ransom for their release is aiding and abetting criminality’.What sense does this make to you?
Perhaps, it will make sense if the 15 years imprisonment were meant for any elected political office holder, who, under their watch, allows innocent citizens to be kidnapped for ransom. It will bedifficult, really, to convince the masses that the lawmaker who introduced this bill is not under the influence of evil spirits. Let’s just pray that ‘Aiye’ do not have control over other lawmakers who will be debating the bill for onward passage into law. For your information, the Bill has passed second reading. This is ridiculous—for want of word.
If not in a DEMONcratic regime, why do you think Nigeria’s courts would be under locks for almost two months? Truly, demons hate justice, law and order. How would financial autonomy for judicial arm of government become an issue under a system of government which operational template is federalism? With this abuse on Federalism in Nigeria, I have started nursing a fear and becoming afraid to stand before my students—to teach them the differences between Federalism and Unitarianism. In case I am unable to make them see the differences, I will not hesitate to tell them that Nigeria is not yet a democracy. It is an anocracy, in addition, being operated using the template ofDEMONcratic Federalism.
It is a common knowledge, thanks to those who reacted to the previous article, that many (if not most) politicians in Nigeria came to power through juju. They allegedly practice jujuism. If that is true, and I cannot controvert it, the explanation that ‘Aiye’ is in control might not be farfetched. But there is more to this argument than meets the eye. This column is already space constrained to dissect this argument. I hope to do so next week; God willing.
One of the many unforgettable examples that shows the extent to which our politicians are deeply involved in juju-for-power was the Okija Shrine saga. One of the governors who was involved in that saga is a serving minister in the present regime despite his ugly antecedent. This explains why politicians with the most horrible performances in their first tenure would vow to win in future elections even when the electorate vow to vote them out.They strongly believe that the most powerful (magically speaking) among them will win election; not the most popular or the most credible. What a pity!
That is why it is foolhardiness for the masses to allow themselves to be manipulated in the name of religionby some of these uncouth politicians who are DEMONcrats.Save some selective exemptions, these politicians profess Islam or Christianity but in the real sense they are jujuists. So, if for the sake of argument we agree ‘Aiye’ exist in the corridor of power—in our various government houses— they are not any strange beings with metaphysical or extra terrestrial existence; they are the politicians themselves.
From the foregoing, it is hoped that what is meant by ‘Aiye’ in the words of the President’s aide on Media and Publicityis put in the right perspective. The politicians are the evil spirits subjecting Nigerians to nightmarish experience as if to squeeze lives out of us with their DEMONcratic jackboots and sledgehammers. Next week, God willing, I shall further discuss the concept of evil spirits vis-à-vis good governance and see if it has place in Islam. I should have done so this week as promised; but I think this solid foundation is important for any fruitful discussion. We ask Allah to protect us and free Nigeria from the shackles that hold it back on its trajectory to progress.