Nigeria is a democratic country who celebrates her 60th independence day today october 1, 2020. Doing justice to the nitty gritty of democracy, it will amount to injustice if we do not define what democracy is . Abraham Lincoln defined democracy as the government of the people by the people and for the people. The absolute power to choose credible leaders into political offices lies with the electorate. Democracy gives way to universal participation, political equality, transparency in government and rule of law. We will make no mistakes if we say democracy embrace equity and justice.
This takes us to the question! What is rule of law?. Rule of law can be defined as the absolute supremacy and dominance of the law over the government and the governed. The rule of law instil the sovereignty of the law, this is why the common saying goes thus ‘’No one is above the law’’.
The analyses in this review will lay emphasis on the section 29-32 of the Independence Speech of President Muhammadu buhari on October 1, 2020 which is cited below:
‘’ 29. The problems with our electoral process are mainly human induced as desperate desire for power leads to desperate attempts to gain power and office.
30. Democracy, the world over and as I am pursuing in Nigeria, recognizes the power of the people. However, if some constituencies choose to bargain off their power, they should be prepared for denial of their rights.
31. This call is made more urgent if we realise that even after a transparent, free, fair and credible election, desperation leads to compromising the judiciary to upturn legitimate decisions of the people.
32. It is necessary to, therefore support the enthronement of the rule of law by avoiding actions which compromise the judiciary’’.
Before we proceed to our analyses on the section 29 of president Buhari speech it is important we define the word power.
Power can be defined as the illegitimate capacity of an individual to influence peoples decision, ideas, belief, attitude, norms, conduct and behaviour. Power uses the weapon of force, coercion or trick to compel others to do ones wish or will. Power corrupt and absolute power corrupt absolutely. Some Nigerian politicians have always been accused of manipulating and influencing electorates in cash and kind. Media houses who are saddled with the responsibility of non partisan politics have some of them follow suit in favour of this politicians.
There is a saying in journalism that he who pays the piper dictates the tune. The proliferation of media houses which is reportedly owned by some of this politicians are instrumental to their getting into political offices through power and not by the mandate of the people.
Drawing from the section 30 of the aforementioned speech, electorates should be properly sensitized on how important it is to choose their leaders wisesly and not choose to bargain off the power.
The judiciary is the arm of government that is solely vested with the power to interprete law, the Nigerian judiciary should therefore be free from non-partisan politics. The law is a wise judge. Voting is the absolute right of the governed and elections must be credible, free and fair.
The rule of law which is the sovereignty of Nigerias constitution must the enthroned. The law is the master of all.
Desperate desire for power is unhealthy for true democracy and also the peace and development of our dear country Nigeria.
Long live Federal Republic Of Nigeria.
Kayode Adeshina Rhymes