The Platform

Women for Women International

As Nigerians mark Democracy Day on June 12, it should be a time for reflection about the future of our fragile democracy. If there ever were a time when Nigerians should rise to the challenge, now is the time.

The Owo church massacre is symbolic and significant in many ways. From a moral perspective, the massacre was inhumane, and gruesome, apparently politically motivated or perpetuated by antidemocratic forces. The massacre is a somber wake-up call for Nigerians who have been in a deliberate slumber.

Colonized by the British and practicing an American form of democracy, ours is a hybrid system of government, where our democratic processes are “neither here nor there,” and which arguably is the cause of our political stagnation, and international isolation.

As a first step towards achieving this people-centered democracy, we need to liberate ourselves from the crisis of consciousness and, with the help of experts, chart a feasible course for the nation. We need an operational and functional altar that’s suitable to our peculiar situation.

But where is the altar? The altar, which was destroyed many years ago, has now been symbolically desecrated (namely in the Owo church massacre), which should seriously stimulate and inspire our democratic reformation and transformation.

As we near a general election in 2023, when power will change hands, Nigerians should not be opportunistic.

Positions of political privilege are not avenues to line one’s pocket. They are not meant for incompetent people, with no political experience whatsoever. It’s not only during party conventions and congresses that we will be screening people in strict measures, especially during primary elections.

A lot of questions need to be answered by anyone seeking higher office. What is their vision for the future? Do they understand inclusive politics? How do they intend to confront identity politics?

Change is constant. Change is an essential and integral part of national growth, progress, and development. It surely leads to governmental and national cohesion. Serious changes need to be made to the constitution, the country, and national assembly.

With truth, honesty, and integrity slipping away every day, and insecurity and crime on the rise, Nigerians need to rise up so that peace and justice can reign.

Segun Ige is a Lagos-based journalist.