As today commemorates the day the great hero of our democratic struggle, Chief MKO Abiola lost his life in the battle for the survival of entrenchment of tenets and principles of democracy, it is high time we told ourselves the bitter truth if truly, happenings around us truly reflect the commemoration.

June 12 will always be an unforgettable memory in Nigeria as it was a great loss to all. Chief M.K.O. Abiola, a great philanthropist contested under Social Democratic Party (SDP) along with his opponent Bashir Tofa under National Republican Convention (NRC) in June 12th 1993 elections that witnessed large turn-out of Nigerians who voted for their choice devoid of ethnicity and religious bigotry but the elections that were observed to be the freest and fairest in Nigeria were annulled by the then Military dictator, Gen. Ibrahim Babangida based on his own selfish interest being the pest that denied Nigerians from enjoying the ripe kolanut as a result of the nullification.

As the saying, past is gone; today is the present while we envisage tommorow. Nigeria has set today aside to commemorate democracy while envisaging a better tommorow, but what should perturb sensible minds is the question of rationale behind the declaration when all currently being witnessed in our system today negates the principles and tenets of democracy the late sage fought for while he was envisaging a future where generations after him would not be caged by tyranny.

Recently, the media space was awashed by wanton killings of citizens, and continuous stifling of voices of perceived enemies of the government of the day.

The stifling and gaging of media as a fourth realm of democracy could only be seen as an insult to our sensibilities seeing the same government known for serial clamping down on freedom of expression commemorating the day.

Is it not nonsensical for a government whose pilots are paranoid and could go at any length to stifle the voices of the people to declare today in commemoration of democracy day? The answer is not far-fetched, I am perplexed as you do.

A country where protests have been criminalized cannot be said to be operating on democratic norms; it is an eyesore seeing security operatives showing their gallantry and display of force on armless protesters while the killer herdsmen, bandits and kidnappers continue to unleash terror on innocent Nigerians.

I am baffled and utterly bewildered that today that should have been a day of sober reflection on where we were coming from, where we are going to as a nation could be a day the citizens would be in palpable fear and tension owing to the failure of government at all levels.

The demonstration of crazy by those who take delight in feeding fat on our common wealth by throwing millions of Nigeria into abject poverty questions the rationality of sensible minds on the commemoration of today as democracy day.

Country people, it saddens one’s heart that the democracy fought for by our heroes past can no longer be proud of in real practical sense but only to be used as a weapon of oppression in the theoretical books of our present crop of leaders.

We must as a nation have sober reflection and ask ourselves the bitter truth as Nigeria tethers on the brink of total collapse if drastic measures are not taken to redirect the pilots of the boat from demonstration of crazy while all signals pointing towards its capzise.

Ismael Taiwo, a Public Affairs Analyst
Writes from Ibadan.

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