Dahiru Hassan Kera writes that the current over-bearing security misuse in Rivers State against the state government will have consequences
It’s apparent that the history of Nigerian’s democracy is coterminous with the history of the nation’s development. Democracy in Nigeria has its roots traced back to the post-independence era with military interregnum recorded within the long epochs.
In 1966, Sir Ahmadu Bello, Tafawa Balewa and several key politicians that included the ministers from all the regions were assassinated and Major General Aguiyi-Ironsi became the head of military government, being an Igbo extract, he was overthrown by a countercoup that was instigated and staged largely by northern-backed army officers that named Yakubu Gowon as the head of state.
Equally, the Second Republic elections gave politicians a surviving breath amidst distrust, fear, alleged marginalisation, apprehension, and discriminations. In 1979, there was first political merger between the National Party of Nigeria (NPN) and Azikiwe’s Nigerian’s People’s Party (NPP). Though the voting was done along ethnic lines, the Shagari NPN, which had enjoyed supports across the regions, won the presidential election.
Unfortunately, the military in 1983 gave Nigerians a ‘New Year’ gift by cutting short another chance for a sustainable civilian government to thrive by staging a bloodless coup led by Buhari, which overthrew the democratically elected government of Shehu Shagari.
The trend had continued from the Buhari, IBB, Abiola’s annulled June 12, Abacha, Abdulsalami and finally, Obasanjo’s second coming in 1999. The return of a sustainable democratic government in 1999 was a breakthrough in the history of Nigerian politics, where for the first time, the country witnessed an uninterrupted and sustainable democratic regimes spanning for over 16 years to date.
Therefore, the efforts of the famous G9, the heroes of democracy must be acknowledged. Dr Sule Lamido, Dr Iyorchia Ayu, Malam Adamu Chiroma, Prof. Gerry Gana, Dr Alex Ekwueme, the late Senator Francis Ellah, the late Bola Ige, the late Abubakar Rimi, and the late Solomon Lar, had fought their way to actualise the return of democracy. But, the unfortunate part of the journey is the way and manner the Nigerian democracy been regarded as nascent and budding with a serious threat to its sustainability from today’s power players at the villa.
The whole thing is centered on purposeful leadership as it’s ordained by God that leadership coexists both in the animal and human kingdoms. While in the jungle, leadership generally belongs to the strong, valiant and courageous animal and those that possess these attributes have the sole aim of protecting the weak of the clan, to feed and train the young while promoting discipline and well-being among the herds.
In the human and the most complex kingdom biologically known, the burden of leadership naturally falls upon a charismatic, selfless and vision-driven individuals, whose power is rooted in the transparent determination to use wisdom and Gods endowed knowledge to design viable policies and strategies geared towards entrenchment of good governance and socio-economic development for the benefits of human followers.
Therefore, leaders could have negative or positive impacts on their followers depending on the way and manner they applied their innate endowments to the ecology. It’s obvious that wicked and roguish disposition produce despots and tyrants while a sensible, compassionate, transparent and judicious inclination yields a charismatic type of leader and proportionately cultivates loyal and loving followers.
In Rivers State, another political hero has emerged. The citizens have tested and witnessed the two sides of the leadership from Rotimi Amaechi’s government to the present Nyesome Wike’s administration. While the former regime has used the his mandate in a manner that was encapsulated in alleged excesses, the latter has seen a reason to use his mandate to further better the living conditions of the Rivers people.
There have been attempts targeting Governor Wike’s administration and his reputation. The recent invasion of state by an intimidating security operatives to scuttle the scheduled PDP convention, who blocked the entrances of the proposed venue and the Rivers State Government House to an extent of damaging some government vehicles as well as the deployment of heavy and armed soldiers during the rerun elections in Rivers, have left the people in palpable fear, while undermining the relative peace in the state.
While many political pundits have raised eyebrows over the underlying motives and the abuse of power and laws by security operatives, such stunted political reasoning flies in the face of logic and the realities of the moment because Wike as the governor of the state is the chief security officer of the state and undisputedly, the political leader. It’s surprising that the state was under siege by security operatives without any legal and security demand not to talk about collaborating with the governor.
The present administration has within one year in office striven to achieve a balance in the siting of infrastructure across the state not tilted to favor any person, including himself, and is blind to the blandishments of ethnic, linguistic or political inclination as according to Wike, the whole of Rivers State is his constituency.
As far he is concerned, Rivers State is one united and indivisible entity that cannot be dismembered to satisfy the cravings of selfish, self-centered and self-seeking cabals bent on subjugating and enslaving the people for their own self-perpetuating and self-aggrandizing ends. Therefore, those behind the overbearing security interference in Rivers politics should know that their actions are detrimental to democratic sustainability and Wike is equal to the task.