I am in utter disbelief about the state of democracy in Nigeria today. It seems Buhari – a former military dictator and self-acclaimed democrat does not understand constitutional democracy, rule of law, human rights, freedom of speech, freedom of association, etc. – Author
I begin this year’s Lenten season with a sense of unbelief. It is not unbelief in the Lord Jesus Christ who enters the city of Jerusalem after his desert 40-day fasting and prayer to face suffering, excruciating pain and ultimately death at the hands of Roman Generals and ignorant Jewish political/religious leaders.
No, I begin this season of Lent like the father of a demon-possessed boy in the gospel of Mark, who cried out and said with tears, “Lord, I believe; help my unbelief” – Mark 9:24.
I begin this season of Lent with utter disbelief about what is happening in my country Nigeria under the watch of President Buhari/APC government.
I am in utter disbelief about the state of democracy in Nigeria today. It seems that President Buhari – a former military dictator and self-acclaimed democrat does not understand constitutional democracy, rule of law, human rights, freedom of speech, freedom of association, etc.
I’m in utter disbelief of the abuse of human rights, disregard for rule of law, crack down on freedom of speech, freedom of association, etc. The Nigerian State is turning into a military dictatorship where all freedoms are denied and punished wherever found.
I am in utter disbelief of the killings of unarmed and vulnerable pro-Biafra prayer warriors who were invaded by Nigerian Police and Army and shot at indiscriminately massacring ten of them while several others sustained gunshot-induced injuries all over their bodies and vital organs at their usually monthly prayer meetings at National High School Aba in Abia State. They were massacred while praying.
I’m in utter disbelief of the rampant shooting of defenseless young pro-Biafra protesters who are peacefully protesting against the unlawful detention of their leader: Mr. Nnamdi Kanu, who was arrested last October by the Department of State Security (DSS) for speaking out against SE marginalization.
I’m in utter disbelief of a young school girl who was gunned down in Aba while walking to school by a Nigerian soldier who was angry for loosing one of his personal items.
I’m in utter disbelief of the indiscriminate killings of Shia Muslims in Zaria by the army – accusing the group of assassination attempt against the Chief of Army Staff, Lt-Gen. Tukur Buratai.
I’m in utter disbelief of the continued detention of their leader, Sheikh Zakzaky and the brazen destruction of Shia Muslim headquarters in Zaria by soldiers directed by Lawal Musa Daura, the Director-General of the Department of the State Service [DSS] according to the report.
I’m in utter disbelief of the selective fight against corrupt political officials – the selective arrest and harassment of only PDP members and none from APC including the cronies around the president – even though most, if not all members of APC today were once members of PDP. Some APC member were in PDP until President Buhari won the presidential election last May and they started switching party.
I’m utterly in disbelief of the brazen cruelty of the military force against vulnerable youngsters, who are suffering due to yoke of ethnic hatred, religious bigotry, punitive policies and corrupt political leadership.
I’m in utter disbelief of the indifference that world leaders are showing to hurting and marginalized Biafra group, who are simply protesting against joblessness, lack of infrastructure, and marginalization of the region.
Now, we see the hypocrisy of world leaders – especially America, Britain, France, Germany, Russia and China. They are only interested in oil resources, contracts, and do not care about human lives – especially Black lives.
I’m in utter disbelief of the deafening silence of Nigerian media, civil societies, human rights organizations, the elders, the statesmen, the politicians, and off-course the religious leaders, who have not courageously spoken out against the rampant shootings and killings of innocent youths by the Army and Police. This is travesty and rape of democracy.
I’m in utter disbelief that all the institutions – courts, judiciary, and legislative body that suppose to protect, uphold, and balance power in democratic presidential system of government are all tamed by this president.
I’m in utter disbelief that Igbos are killed and forced to remain part of Nigeria even when basis of unity does not exist anymore. I’m in utter unbelief of such a forced adulterous marriage even when the Holy Books proscribed separation and divorce on certain conditions. Nigeria’s amalgamation expired in 2014 and the nation is fundamentally flawed and until real restructure occurs, Nigeria’s unity does not exist.
I’m in utter disbelief that while murderous sect like Boko haram has continued to massacre innocent Nigerians in the northeast and IDP centers across Nigeria despite the claim of the government that Boko haram is technically defeated, while the Nigerian Military and Police are busy shooting and killing innocent and unarmed Biafra youths in SE region of Nigeria.
I’m in utter disbelief of the resurgent kidnapping and killings of Royal Fathers, Kings, and Obas for ransom by the Fulani herdsmen in SW.
I’m in utter disbelief that President Buhari spoke recently at EU parliament asking for rights and self determination of the Palestine people but will kill the indigenous people of Biafra in SE of Nigeria for peacefully asking for the same rights. What a hypocrisy.
Ten months ago, Nigerians voted out PDP out of power because of massive corruption and chose APC party leadership to pilot the affairs of the nation. Nigerians wanted change – but the change we are seeing now is not what we voted for. Some democratic gains have been made since 1999 when Nigeria returned to constitutional democratic presidential system of government, but today, Nigeria’s fragile and fledging democracy at risk.
In a democracy, people have of freedom of speech to complain and protest against joblessness, poverty, oppression, injustice, and marginalization. There’s nothing wrong with that in a constitutional democracy. Nigeria is not practicing military system of government anymore and do not have plans to go back to the brutal time of military dictatorship. Nigeria’s fragile and fledging democracy at risk if President Buhari is not going to respect the laws of the Land. If he cannot obey the courts, than Nigeria’s democracy is risk. If the EFCC, INEC, DSS, Military personnel and other institutions of the Federal government cannot use the rule of engagement democratically and wisely, then Nigeria’s unity is stake. People will have no options than to defend themselves.
President Buhari/APC, DSS, EFCC, INEC and the Army – please be warned. Do not destroy Nigeria! Nigeria is a presidential democracy not military dictatorship.
I’m in utter disbelief of some many things, but I remain optimistic and hopeful that President Buhari/APC government will turn-around.
Let me conclude by saying my Lenten prayer: Lord, I believe; help my unbelief even when I just cannot believe the cruelties of men in power.
C. K. Ekeke, M.Div., Ph.D. – Theologian, Author, Activist and Leadership Lecturer
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