For years, we have been claiming the status of the largest democracy in Africa, a claim that measures up to falsehood, in all material particular. Of course, we wrongly assume that casting the ballot, after four years, completes the democratic circle. Democracy is not how many times you go to the polls in a year. More important, it is the validity and the credibility of the ballot that counts.
Here, until recently, Nigeria was the most shameless democracy in Africa always scandalizing it. The more we kept on trying its practices, the less we understood it and the more shameless we become, without, of course, feeling any pang of shame.
Nothing has disgraced Nigeria more than democracy but especially its practices given the crudeness we have been conducting it.
We talk thoughtlessly of long years of dictatorship as the main cause of our backwardness in its practice. Pretty nonsense. Fore years, South Africa has never practiced democracy that we know of, but now, we have more to learn from it. What of nearby Ghana? In its practices, we were down its ladder. Countries like Sierra Leone, had more to teach us.
Thank God. The Buhari remarkable and historic victory wiped out our tears. We made a bold statement that democracy remained our choice. We showed it and on this one occasion, at least, we practiced it, it was the card reader that did the job, as many claim, glory be to it.
The election of 2015 moved us from disgrace to democratic limelight. It was historic in its outcome. Jega has done it. That’s a credit plus. Until this time we were no more than street cleaners of democracy. This is pleasantly no longer so. We hailed Jega for this spectacular show of grace.
However, we are not there yet. In fact, we are still miles away from the democratic heaven. Nevertheless, 2015, was a great stride needing more perfection. Still, we can beat our chest. It was a great outing that demands collective patience and prayers for the new regime to stabilize. Nigeria; we pray!