S Ovwata Onojieruo

African democracy under attack!

While the world turns its lens to sanctions placed on Iran, and Jews grapple with the fallout from the nation-state law, a seldom oppurtunity to enshire the tenats of democracy in nearby Africa has again presented itself, this time on a golden platter,

this time in support of the oppressed over the oppressor,

this time in defence of the freely gifted freedom which certain tyrants now seek to steal.

The foundations upon which democracy itself was built has now been shaken to its root in certain parts of Africa, but most evidently and recently in Zimbabwe (southern Africa), and Nigeria (western Africa).

A quick look at the ongoing trend will help in understanding what role we’ve got:

Zimbabwe : Just last year the world was greeted with the suprise resignation of Robert Mugabe (which was forced on him by a psuedo millitary junta), and which in turn heralded the rise of Mnangagwa as president. However the ears of world democrats have again been botched by the just concluded Zimbabwe election which witnessed a height of malpractice, voter intimidation and governmental suppressionism with the E.U observer mission stating that the election “Was characterised by media bias, voter intimidation and mistrust in the electoral commission… an unlevel playing ground and lack of trust.”
Futhermore the current regime has now returned to its repressive style politics of Robert Mugabe as about six persons were killed during a peaceful protest just few days ago, while opposition officials are currently been hunted. Yet still while the current regime progresses with its presidential inauguration, opposition leader Nelson Chimasa has continued to raise an outcry which seemingly has gone unheard by the western custodians of democracy.

Nigeria: The Nigerian millieu which beamed great hopes of light after the then incumbent president Jonathan was defeated in an election in 2015, have again been crowded by a dark cloud of contentions and seeming tyranny as most recent actions of the current President Buhari in marshalling an all out war with the legislature has gotten to a peak intolerable by lovers of global democracy.

Just yesterday, members of the nation’s national assembly where shut out of their chambers by the country’s security forces, allowing only the members of the president’s own political party into the chambers, whose plan as had been rumoured was hinged on impeaching the current Senate President because he defected to the opposition party, while the President spends his time on a vacation abroad, not only refusing to make a direct comment rather than a mere denial of his involvement in the face of glaring refutals and proofs. Major analysts pinpoint the large scale defections within the ruling party which included even the third most influential politician the Senate President Bukola Saraki, as been the cause for the lattest outburst of the presidential ire and the stylistic tyranny in trying to rupture the still fragile fragments of the young democratic state, as well as emplacing a massive crackdown on her legislative arm both by members of the security forces and thugs with his consistent denial of knowledge about any such acts.

As free people, it is our moral duty to entrench freedom around nations within the globe, it is our responsibility to extend a hand of friendship, and solidiarity with the oppressed, not seeking their gratitude, but in view of preserving our own identity, knowing that a world in turmoil not only sets a flame of immigration crises but presents a brooding hole for terrorist preparation and recruitment, a strain on the economic capacities of certain allies, and a rise in humanitarian crises. It is much better to treat these high rising crises in the African political spectrum more squarely than addressing its fruits of which immigration is one.

An international outcry isn’t just needed, drastic measures are of grave neccessity, and sanctions if neccessary needs been emplaced on these anti-democratic elements within Africa.

Definately, we can’t police the world, but we mustn’t ever stop seeking to make this world a little better for our children.

African democracy lies again in danger, and this time we’ve got a choice to either backdown and continue treating it’s fruits or stand upright and address its roots.

About the Author
S Ovwata Onojieruo is a Theologian, Political Scientist and Philosopher, whose Research interest spans across the areas of Legal theory, Political Philosophy, Social Epistemology, International Politics and International Relations theory. He currently functions as a Post-graduate Researcher, and Tutorial assistant with the University of Ibadan, Nigeria, and can be reached on twitter @OvwataS