The past week has been greeted with discussions regarding the protests by the RevolutionNow movement over their non satisfaction with the happenings in the country and therefore calling for the resignation of the government. This here is the part I totally disagree with.
We are all in this country when elections come and present opportunity for people to queue behind their preferred candidates and vote and equally work to protect their votes considering realities associated with vote rigging and what have you. Such requires thorough awareness to achieve but what you see during elections by the electorates and those who should know better is brigandage and insults over who one supports as against love for country and national interests.
Some of us have shouted to the heavens that citizens must up their sense of reasoning and ensure criticality and participation in a democracy because once a choice has been made then you’ll have to learn to live with it for a constitutional term of four years because even the process of impeachment that has been provided is a near impossibility. People have voted, their choices have been announced and for anyone to stand up and ask for the resignation of a democratically elected government smacks of mischief and hypocrisy which leaves some of us to wonder what we really want as citizens or whether we could genuinely blame the government over the state of the nation.
The question to ask is where all these revolutionaries have been during electioneering campaign that they didn’t present a candidate for the election or at least create awareness to the citizens in the same manner over the need to vote a candidate they deemed would better fulfill all of the issues they are advancing in their current protests. Better still, they could infiltrate the political parties and influence their choice of candidates at primary elections levels. Protesting for resignation at such a time is nothing but an attempt to shift the goal post in the middle of a game and that is cheating.
Situations like these have made a lot of us to echo our concern over the viability of the Civil Society Organizations and a proper understanding of their roles in the advancement of democracy and development in our country. Have they looked at a need for Quality Control of their activities with a view to taking stock and identifying areas that need to be worked upon for enhancement. Where’s the place of research and development in line with the realities of the current times as well as the mentalities of the citizenry. Not to forget cultural and religious considerations too.
Democracy as a form of government is still a work in progress, there’s not any perfect model for it. Everyone works to perfect it in line with their realities and what works for them. We cannot be attempting to foist borrowed policies or expectations on ourselves, we have to learn to be realistic. To expect Nigeria’s democracy of just about 20 years to be as good as a 300 years American democracy is being very far away from objectivity.
Going forward, the Civil Society can channel more of their energies at trying to engage the various sectors of the government that are not functioning as expected e.g INEC, Security Apparatuses, Regulatory Agencies et al. This also has to be done with utmost professionalism and facts at hand coupled with alternative suggestions including providing human resource if necessary. Further to this has to be engagement of the citizenry over the need to pick more interest in the democracy and participate in it for the right reasons devoid of rent seeking and brigandage. If objective minds can flood the democratic system, there will be less possibilities for emergence of wrong people in all the various classes of political positions and such will guarantee a political space with less likelihood for meaningless and impossible calls that add up to nothing.
We everyday pray for a better and a more discerning nation.
Hashim Suleiman wrote in from Abuja, Nigeria. He can reached via: Twitter-@oneheartnaija.
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