The pain was etched on their face; losing their only child to a ghastly motor accident. The agony was forever there.
My one time neighbours, Mr and Mrs Gbade lighted up their face with joy when their only son, Lade, who has been studying in Australia for the past six years told them he was coming back home to establish himself and change the family from poverty to much opulence. Lade thought he was giving his parents a surprise by not informing them of his arrival. Little did he know that life had the most devastating surprise for him : his death. His car met with an accident and he died right on the spot. For the Gbade, not only did their mood turned sour, the atmosphere also became caliginous when his dead body was brought home.
Upon enquiries, the bad road which everyone has complained to the government about was the cause of the accident. This revealed that the incompetence of a government led to the endless woe of a happy family.
Just like Mr and Mrs Gbade, the aspirations of Nigerians died on June 12,1993. The election which would have been a landmark for a new beginning in the history of Nigeria was annulled and then our dream of a new beginning, a new era and a new democracy became nullified.
Ever since, the average Nigerians have been living a life of war and insecurity filled with the burning embers of a selfish democracy. Patiently, every four years, we await a new government for a silver lining behind the dark cloud. Rather than silver lining, we met with darker clouds. Life became hell all in the name of democracy with no assured daily bread and of course survival was owned by only the fittest.
We do not only suffer from lack of daily bread. We lose our aspirations and dreams to corrupt governance. There are many graduates on the street with no job to complement their years of undergraduate toils. To add to it, we have no adequate water supply to boast of. Even the power supply has been overpowered. Light becomes what we long and pray for till NEPA shines their mercy on us.
Armed robbers and terrorists all have us wrapped in their fingers controlling us with their rifles everyday. With trust in the Almighty, we drive on the street hoping not meet with accident. Our cherished sisters, fathers, brothers die in hospitals due to low medical personnels and inaccessibility to medical equipment.
Still sadly, the toil and pain of Nigerians are not paid off not even a bit. Instead, the struggle gets stronger day by day. The life of teenagers are not secured, seeing them on the streets and highways hawking and begging for alms made me doubt whether children are really the leaders of tomorrow. I pray we don’t remain the giant of Africa who is a weakling in technology. I wish we don’t stay as one of the highest producer of crude oil yet servant to refineries.
All I have been lamenting about point to our daily rhyme, ‘we are Nigerians, we suffer and smile’. For what? Democracy? A system that has for years belonged to the power holder. A system where we commoners hope to fit in one day. A system that promises us better but serves us worse day and night. A system we still trust in….
So, until we free ourselves from the clutch of capitalism in the name of democracy, the average Nigerian will live to only dream of peace and harmony. Until we fulfill the actual purpose of the June 12 government and not just the date, the dream of a better Nigeria for the unity of all remains floating.
Nigerians, the democracy of darkness can be filled with beams of light when we uplift and fulfil the dreams of those who laid their lives for a ‘one Nigeria’ in the June 12 struggle. Fulfilling Moshood Kashimawo Abiola’s dream for a better Nigeria should be the watch word of our democracy.
Lastly, every government must make an impact and leave a smile in the face of all Nigerians and not mock MKO’s dream by just celebrating June 12 while families suffer because of the government incompetence.
We all must be an agent of change for a true and great democracy…