A group of prominent Nigerians on Wednesday in Lagos said the President Muhammadu Buhari-led government dismissed and disregarded the views of the National Assembly, Northern Elders Forum, the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar, and many other eminent persons on what to do about the service chiefs and the state of security in the country.
They lamented that Nigeria’s democracy was in deep crisis and the social contract between the people and those in government was shaky.
The prominent Nigerians, under the aegis of Concerned Professionals in a statement by Prof Ebere Onwudiwe, Olutola Mobolurin, Prof Pat Utomi, Dr Usman Bugaje, Femi Falana (SAN), Dr Muiz Banire (SAN), Prof Anthony Kila and Dr Isuwa Dogo, made this known.
In the statement, they said, “If one lesson comes clear from 2020, it is that democracy is in deep crisis in Nigeria where questions abound about the state of the social contract between the people and those who lead and personify the state.
“Impunity seems so rife; the youth mounted peaceful protests on police brutality and were greeted with bullets from the army; the people feel the benefits of good governance are eluding them, with poverty so pervasive and insecurity so threatening; and anxiety prevails as Nigeria enters a second recession in five years.
“How should we read the dismissal of views of the National Assembly, Northern Elders Forum, the Sultan of Sokoto and many other eminent persons on the service chiefs and the state of security in the country; or of disregard of invitation to the President to address the National Assembly on security; or the government’s failure to pay attention to the call for restructuring the federation from Pastor Enoch Adeboye, leaders of Ohaneze Ndigbo, Afenifere, Prof Atahiru Jega, Northern Elders Forum, etc.
“One view is that to understand the disposition of the government is to understand state capture. State capture which is the systemic and systematic political corruption in which the apparatus of government is deployed to orientate public choice to advance the personal material and power interest of those with a strangle hold on state apparatus, has crippled many societies.
“A perspective on state capture is that it blinds you to what may be the common good and results in contempt for the will of the people as exemplified by Nicolae Ceaușescu in Romania. The South Africans seeing its grave danger have set up the Zondo Commission to free their country from its evil even though it is hardly as entrenched there as in Nigeria.
“Economic development is usually very slow with this form of governmental system as the interests of the few beneficiaries tend to trump the common good objectives in government decision making.
“Understanding what our current realities are is critical if we are to resolve a myriad of existential crises facing Nigeria at this time.
“So why did government perennially ignore public opinion, snub the outcomes of rational public conversation and often unleash social media avatars to ridicule people who help to articulate the voice of the people, which traditional wisdom sees as the voice of God; vox populi, vox dei?”