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After The Military Era-What Has Really Changed?

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After The Military Era-What Has Really Changed?

The military democrats left us to ourselves (officially, that is) on May 29 1999 and returned to the barracks. Therefore, we have been in civilian democracy for 19 years, five months and six days.
But, the military mentality is fully and truly with us! Phrases like “with immediate effect” and “no going back” are still alive, as is with the swagger to carry on as unelected.

You could still be plucked from the university campus, handed a political appointment without prior notice and ordered to resume work with “immediate effect”, as though you have been jobless all the while. Journalists are still regarded by politicians as “idle”, despite the “pen pushers” being mentally engaged all the time. They too are plucked from the newsrooms and even told to announce themselves in the media space as having been appointed to resume work “with immediate effect”.
                                                                                           Photo: Nigerian Past Leaders(Military &Civilian)

When state governors embark on White Elephant and people-unfriendly projects and are asked by the electorate to change course by, at least, paying workers and pensioners regularly as a matter of priority, the governors respond promptly: “No going back”. It is as if ALL policies and programmes are no longer subject to review or even outright quashing. One governor was reminded months ago that the cost of erecting a 50-feet human statue was enough to make long-suffering workers in his state forget their sorrow. He not only turned a deaf ear as if he had elected himself as governor, but he also said, arrogantly: “I owe no one any apology.”

                                                                                                   Photo: Ken Saro Wiwa
To be fair, there was benevolence and humanity during the long years of military democracy preceding May 29 1999. Rivers State people would recall the Col. Dauda Musa Komo era with nostalgia, notwithstanding that his giant strides were blighted by the unfortunate killing of human rights and environmental activist Ken Saro Wiwa. Likewise the Lagos State people won’t forget the eventful Col. Mohammed Buba Marwa era in a hurry, as well as Kwara State people have continued to enjoy the stadium built by the visionary Col. George Agbazika Innih.

So, what really is this civilian democracy worth in probity and accountability, despite its huge cost? Over to you, O ye civilian democrats with barracks mentality.

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