Nigeria’s Democratic Doldrums By Sani Muhammad Uzairu

By Sani Muhammad Uzairu

The world has moved on and autocracy, despotism, communism, oligarchy, fascism and all other forms of government have been kicked against by many people in all nations across the world.

Democracy is now seen as the best form of government. This is because it is based on people’s power and the majority of the people decide who should be the leader. The citizens are sovereign and have the right to decide who to give their sovereignty to and reserve the right to change their government through free, fair and credible elections.

This form of government is seen as a threat to leaders and people who have despotic, autocratic and undemocratic tendencies. In Nigeria, there has been an institutionalization of a form of pseudo democracy which can best be termed as ‘rigocracy.’

Farouk Kperogi, (PhD)  defines institutionalized “rigocracy” as government by in-your-face rigging, not transparent elections, as its preferred system of government. In other words, rigocracy is defined as a form of government whereby the political office holders are selected through rigging of periodic elections. The periodic elections are therefore a farce!!! There is therefore no respect for your vote or your sovereignty.

In a rigocratic state (a state that practices rigocracy), you have no democratic rights but you have pseudo democratic rights.

The majority of the citizens have no right to change their government through periodic elections. Your vote does not matter. You are nothing in a rigocratic state. Your “leader “or “President / governor / parliamentarian” is not accountable to you because you never elected him or her.

He knows that in a free, fair and transparent election, he will lose. He and the people around him have therefore established a rigocratic system with the connivance of many prominent and influential people in the state.

This is exactly what obtains in our country, today.In such situations you are not governed by the best but the worst, the most hypocritical, the most evil, the most deceptive, the most tyrannical!!!

They lack the competence, and are only interested in pillaging the wealth of the state. They institute policies that lead to the increase in poverty in the state. Policies that will improve the health of the people are shunned.

People are therefore not interested in agitating for change because they are too weak and feeble due to lack of good health and peace of mind. Unemployment is always at an all time high.

Creation of jobs and employment opportunities are not of primary importance. The people are thus preoccupied with concentrating on how to get their daily bread and the day to day expenses which would not have been a bother if the economy was managed well to benefit all.

In a rigocratic state, high illiteracy rate is secretly seen as a blessing by the rigocrats ( people who practice rigocracy). They institute policies that lead to high illiteracy rates. They know that when many people are able to read and write and they become better informed, it would be very difficult to control them with vile propaganda. The people will see through it and their system will be destroyed.

The tactics employed in rigocratic states including vile propaganda, inconclusive and rigged elections can never be employed in countries such as the United States, England or France. This is because the literacy rates are high in these countries. Knowledge therefore is a threat to sustaining this deprave system of government (pseudo democratic system of government).

Due to institutionalized poverty, the rigocrats can easily bribe or use money to induce people to vote for them. At the same time they buy the conscience of the educated and influential class in the society and keep their conscience under lock and key.

They therefore see wrong as right and right as wrong. Most Civil Society Actors, Islamic Scholars,  Men of God and Human Rights Activists do not pursue an agenda that is based on their conscience. Impartiality and any sense of justice are missing in their advocacy. They have been bought and compromised!!! The few genuine ones are mistreated and evil machinations are hatched to deny them their daily bread. This is to force them to succumb to the system.

There is widespread poverty, disease, illiteracy and suffering not because these countries are poor but the riches of these countries are in the hands of a few. It has been designed that way so that meaningful opposition can be prevented or crushed as soon as it becomes noticeable.

The poverty, disease, suffering and illiteracy are by design and the life-class of the rulers and all those who are part of the rigocratic system are testament to this truth. They live in luxury and their luxurious life-class can only be dreamt of by millionaires in the West. They live the life class of multi millionaires and billionaires.

The sad truth is that most of these people were like paupers , they had no money before they became part of the system. They were born poor without a silver spoon in their mouth. Their wealth and riches are not through hard work but by looting and pillaging the wealth of the state.

They know how hard, sad and hell poverty is as they have experienced it before. However, in their selfishness and greed they leave the rest of the people to weep, suffer and prevent them from enjoying their fair share of the national cake.

Granted, Nigeria has since the advent of civil rule in 1999 not been what one would call a quintessential democratic state. Nearly all elections, save probably the 2015 general elections, were marred by electoral mishaps that dented the credibility of those elections.

And the political leaders (Presidents, governors and parliamentarians) had been selected through those pseudo-democratic inconclusive elections. But many have averted that the rigocracy witnessed in  this year’s governorship election is beyond compare, and will etched its place in the annals of history.

It was, in all modesty, the bastardization of the gains of the electoral reforms orchestrated by the immediate past government. And of which the biggest beneficiary was this government in 2015. But alas, it has decided to take us back to the Maurice Iwu’s era.

Under the present system of inconclusive elections, Nigerians vote, voice and fundamental human rights are never respected. The truth is that there is fear, murder and the institutionalization of the reign of terror.

There is also victimization while on the other hand there is a culture of impunity for all those who accept and praise this evil system. They are above the law. This is the sad and undeniable story unfolding before our very eyes in Nigeria.

Sani Muhammad Uzairu is a freelance writer, broadcaster and promoter of public service journalism.



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