Connect with us

Published

on


An article presented by: Toyosi Awobajo and Damiliola Adeola (SS2 History students, Pathfinder College, Samonda, Ibadan). Supervised by Egbontan Funmilola Benjamine (History Teacher), to mark the 2020 Democracy day in Nigeria.



Today June 12, 2020

All protocol duely observed.

It is a great privilege on this special day to present our thoughts on Nigeria’s Democracy to you.

We shall start by explaining the word “Democracy”. Democracy according to Merriam Webster Dictionary, is government by the people especially: rule of the majority; a government in which the supreme power is vested in the people and exercised by them directly or indirectly through a system of representation usually involving periodically held free elections. Are you following?

According to Abraham Lincoln, the 16th United States President (who was assassinated on April 15, 1865 at the age of 56), Democracy is the government of the people, by the people and for the people.


In 1960, Nigeria got her independent from the great Britain. Nigeria started out with democratic rule until we had our first military coup ever on January 15, 1966 that brought our nascent Democracy to its kneel.


General Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida popularly known as IBB came into power on August 27, 1985 through a palace coup which ousted General Muhammadu Buhari(now president). Babangida and his Armed Forces Ruling Council (AFRC) initiated a transition process for the return to civilian rule, setting October, 1990 as the date for the return. He established the National Electoral Commission (NEC) with Humphrey Nwosu as the chairman.


Two political parties eventually emerged and were imposed on Nigerians by the Babangida military administration. The Social Democratic Party (SDP) with Chief MKO Abiola as the party’ s flag bearer and the National Republican Convention (NRC) with Alhaji Bashir Tofa as its flag bearer. Alhaji Bashir Tofa picked Sylvester Ugoh, a Christian from the South East thereby creating a regional and religious balance. Chief MKO Abiola also went for regional balance, picking an ex diplomat and former chairman of the party from the North East, Baba Gana Kingibe as his running mate.


The 1993 Nigerian presidential election was held on June 12, 1993 in the Nigerian Third Republic, the first since the 1983 military coup ended the country’s second republic . The elections were the outcome of a transitional process to civilian rule spearheaded by the military ruler, Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida (IBB). The unofficial result of the election, though not declared by the National Electoral Commission (NEC) , indicated a victory for Moshood Kashimawo Olawale Abiola of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) who defeated Alhaji Bashir Tofa of the National Republican Convention (NRC). The winner of the election was never thus declared as the elections were annulled by IBB, citing electoral irregularities. This led to protests and political unrest. There were a series of protests in July in the south west region following the annulment. It is estimated that security forces killed over 100 people while quelling riots. We hope you are still with us….


General Muhammadu Buhari’s decision to mark 12 June as Democracy Day should be viewed as an attempt to placate the South Western Nigerian State, which has always set aside the da cany to remember Abiola’s stolen mandate and an annulled election that many still view as the country’s freest and fairest in the history of Nigeria and democracy. We will primarily address one question: Was Abiola’s courageous insistence on the mandate given to him by Nigerian voters a benefit or a setback to political stability and to political development of Nigeria as one corporate nation? We will argue that Abiola’s position ultimately benefited Nigeria’s political development, although perhaps, not as he intended.


What then are some of the unintended benefits of Moshood Abiola’s presence in Nigerian politics? First, let ue state the obvious. Abiola was a courageous man. We think this quality is important because changes do not occur in countries where courage is in short supply. The unrelenting and unprecedented domestic and international hostility against the Sani Abacha regime that finally led to its expiration can be traced directly to Abiola’s decision never to surrender his June 12 mandate, at any price. He saw himself as a custodian of a sacred mandate that was freely given to him by Nigerians and one which “I cannot surrender unless the people so demand, and it is by virtue of this mandate that I say that the decision of the Federal Military Government to cancel the results [of the elections June 12, 1993] is unpatriotic and capable of causing undue and unnecessary confusion in the country.”


(2) That he never betrayed this promise is a tribute to more than his courage. It also points to many other admirable qualities that are in short supply among our ruling elites today: consistency, perseverance, honesty, sincerity of purpose and bravery. Consider that many Nigerian politicians who supported General Sani Abacha’s dictatorship are now paying glowing tributes to Abiola, and admitting without shame that their support was based on fear of Abacha.


Abiola was one of too small a class of the fearless. As a result, he has helped to put the army on notice that the country’s patience with military dictatorship is growing thinner and thinner. The denial of Abiola’s right to assume office encouraged the proliferation of pro-democracy groups and other organizations of civil society who, despite repression, bravely harassed the Abacha dictatorship. We say that the pressure against Abacha’s dictatorship was unprecedented because there has never been such a reaction to any military coups in the past. Indeed, the cowardly turning of the other cheek to coup makers by the Nigerian public is the most dangerous threat to the grounding of democracy in Nigeria. For a country simultaneously given to too much braggadocio and all manners of shakara, this cowardly disposition is tragically comical and is a paradox. But not everyone is laughing. A former Nigerian head of state, General Buhari berated this shameful national character at the eve of General Abacha’s demise. In his own words,


“Nigeria is full of paradoxes. While individual Nigerians may provide the best specimen of the most strongly willed persons around, we nonetheless display unbelievable passiveness in the face of injustice. Society displays little opposition against wrong policies. Why is this? What is the reason for this apparent docility? What has happened to the social and political conscience of the people of this country? What has happened to our people’s sense of justice and desire for choice?”


President Buhari finds the answer in the abject poverty that saps the attention of a majority of Nigerians, allowing them no time for the luxury of social change. We believe, however, that there is a character issue in addition. The inclination to reap where one does not sow can produce in a people the inability to die for principles. This accounts for the preeminence of pragmatism and the diminution of strongly held beliefs in the political behavior of many Nigerians. This is not to knock pragmatism which, in proper measure, is a highly valuable ideology. It is in an attempt to explain the country’s circumstances that Buhari justifiably decries Nigerians’ docility and their thick skin for injustice. Strongly held beliefs for which a good number of citizens are prepared to die are critical to political stability and for the protection of the ideology of democracy, in more ways than one. Indeed, the case can be made that they are also critical to the continued existence of Nigeria. On this all important score, Bashuron Moshood Abiola’s exemplary courage to die for something, is a lasting contribution to the future of one Nigeria. What he died for is more than the chance to become the president of Nigeria. He died for the voice of the ordinary Nigerian voter. In this sense, his struggle and death, symbolically shot the first bullet for Nigeria’s second struggle for independence and self determination from internal colonialism. Nigeria can only truly be one great country when this war for the right of individuals is permanently won.After declaring himself president he was accused of treason and arrested on the orders of then President General Sani Abacha, who sent 200 police vehicles to bring him into custody.

Chief MKO Abiola died in suspicious circumstances on the day that he was due to be released, 7 July 1998. Buhari’s decision to mark 12 June as Democracy Day should be viewed as an attempt to placate the South Western Nigerian State, which has always set aside the day to remember Abiola’s stolen mandate and an annulled election that many still view as the country’s freest and fairest in the history of Nigeria and democracy.

We believe that May 29 that we celebrated Nigerian Democracy Day in the past was an empty day when placed side by side June 12.

We wish you all happy Democracy Day Celebration.

Thank you for reading

Continue Reading
1 Comment

1 Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Business

Police launch manhunt for Sterling Bank staff for Stealing customers’ N300m

Published

on

The Delta State Police Command on Sunday says it has begun search for a female staff of Sterling Bank in Effurun Branch, Delta State for allegedly disappearing with customers’ money to the tune of N300 milion.

 

Police Public Relations Officer in the State, DSP Bright Edafe who confirmed this to our correspondent, said that the suspect, a female staff (name withheld) allegedly defrauded customers of the bank she works in the sum of N300million, adding that the police were seriously looking for her.

 

DSP Bright Edafe said that the female banker was said to have approached some account owners to grant her permission to be using their money for business while she would be giving the customers certain percentage every month, adding that this was not to be as it was discovered last week by one of the customers that the woman stopped coming to work and an attempt to reach her on phone was unsuccessful as her lines were switched off.

 

It was gathered that on getting to her house around Living Faith Church at Water Resources, Effurun where she lived, it was alleged that she had also absconded as one of her colleagues said that the female banker did business with customers’ money with their consent while it backfired when many people she gave money to refused to pay back, a situation that had kept her hiding from the people.

 

Edafe said that the police will do everything possible to arrest her, disclosing that her co-workers denied her whereabouts when the incident happened upon police investigation, adding that there has been palpable tension laced with threats to sack her co-workers who assisted her to ensure that she was allowed to be using the funds when they pleaded with the owners of the money.

 

He also revealed that her husband had been invited for questioning.

 

Kontongs Bello, Police Public Relations Officer, who confirmed this to journalists, said that the suspect is wanted for many cases that bothered on robbery, stealing among others, adding that the police will do everything possible to smoke him from his hideout.

Continue Reading

Business

Oriental Energy in 4m Dollar Debt Mess

Published

on

 

The Federal high court sitting in Lagos, south west Nigeria has adjourned till 28 of September,2022, when hearing will commence in a case of debt recovery of USD4,143,856.70 filed against Oriental Energy Resources Company by Borr International Operation drilling company,being an alleged outstanding approved and unpaid invoices for the drilling services rendered in accordance with Contract for the provision of Jack-Up Drilling Unit and Drilling Rig Services rendered in the Defendant’s Ebok Field in OML 67.

 

 

The drilling company in a suit filed by its lawyer, Barrister,Gabriel Uduafi is also praying the court for interest on US$ 4,143,856.70 million based on the current London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR), one month interest rate increased by 5 percent and calculated pro data on a daily basis from 6th October, 2021, till the date of liquidation of the judgement debt.

 

In its statement of claim, the Plaintiff stated that by the relevant provisions of the contract, the Drilling Operations, which the Plaintiff was engaged to carry out was required to be done within the Firm Term of 120 days.

 

It stated that going by the relevant provisions of the Contract, there was no fixed-or set target that the Plaintiff was obligated to achieve, as the Contract was not a turnkey but a day rate’ contract; and to this effect, Clauses and Schedule of the Contract explicitly set out the various rates to include Operating Rate, Standby Rate, Repair Rate, . Force Majeure Rate, Redrill Rate, Moving Rate and Zero Kate.

 

The plaintiff stated that the Lump Sum payments under the contract are the Mobilization cost of $450,000 and the

Demobilization cost of $250,000, a sum Which become due and payable upon the completion of the contract.

 

However,following the default in making payment as stipulated under the Contract, the plaintiff wrote to the Defendant both by mail and letters, demanding for the payment of the outstanding and approved invoices and that the Defendant wrote replies raising issues and points that are completely alien to the Contract as its reason for not making the payment.

 

The Plaintiff contended that in setting up a completely ridiculous claim, the Defendant claimed spread cost for nonproductive time (NPT) in the total sum of US$3,437,500.00 where there is no provision in the Contract to support such claim.

 

The Plaintiff added that following series of engagement , it was compelled to instruct its lawyers to issue a demand for the payment of the invoices, and by a letter dated 19th January, 2022 the Plaintiffs Solicitors delivered a formal demand for the payment of some of the outstanding invoices in the sum of US$2,533,749.12 net of taxes.

 

Rather than simply honour its payment obligation under the Contract and credit the Plaintiff with the value of the invoices, the Defendant caused its Solicitors to reply the Plaintiff’s formal demand by the letter dated 26th January, 2022 by which the Defendant now seeks to claim the sum of $10,511,754.00 as spread cost for non-productive time (NPT) and consequential loss, as against the sum of US$3,437,500.00 initially set up by the Defendant in its earlier engagement with the Plaintiff.

 

The plaintiff added that in accordance with the provisions of the Contract, the same came to completion on 10th October, 2021 when the Plaintiff’s Drilling Unit left the Defendant’s Ebok Field OML 67.

 

Plaintiff avers that by the Completion Date, the lump sum Demobilization Rate of US$250,000 became due and payable.

The reasons given by the Defendant in refusing to honour its payment obligation under the Contract are flimsy, frivolous, vexatious and ultra vires, the provisions of the Contract between the Parties, and having approved the invoices, the defendant is obligated to make the payment within the stipulated 30 days under the Contract.

Consequently,excuses given by the Defendant in failing to honour its contractual obligations to the Plaintiff are simply provocative, as same are not supported or derived from the Contract.

The Plaintiff is being denied of the payment due to it in respect of the services rendered to the Defendant

as a result of which the Defendant is indebted to the Plaintiff to the tune of US$4,143,856.70 as stipulated under Clause 11.2 of the Contract.

It will be in the interest of justice to grant all the reliefs claimed in this suit adding that except the Court intervenes and grant the reliefs sought, the Defendant will continue to default in the payment of the invoices which have been duly approved for payment by the Plaintiff.

In its defence, Oriental Energy Resources Limited stated that the company is not indebted to the Plaintiff in the manner alleged in it’s claim or in any manner whatsoever as the invoices upon which the alleged debt purportedly arose are disputed by the defendant.

 

The Defendant stated that the Plaintiff misled it into agreeing to the mobilisation of the drilling rig to commence the contract, by fraudulently misrepresenting to the Defendant that its drilling rig, Borr Natt, was suitable for the Defendant’s Drilling Programme.

 

In an affidavit deposed to by Abraham Faga, a Well Engineering Manager in the Defendant company, he stated that the Defendant is not indebted to the Plaintiff in the way and manner alleged in its claim or in any way and manner whatsoever as the Defendant is disputing the invoices upon which the purported debt arose.

 

He averred that without the Plaintiff’s fraudulent misrepresentations, the Defendant would never have commenced the contract and approved mobilisation of the drilling unit, hence the issue of Plaintiff’s invoices which were issued within the contract would never have arisen.

 

He added that the Defendant would, be claiming for a refund of all payments it has so far made to the Plaintiff as the payments were fraudulently obtained.

 

He claimed that due to the Plaintiff’s fraudulent misrepresentation, the purported execution of the contract was completely appalling with non-productive time of over 25 days attributed to rig related repairs which is unprecedented in the industry for drilling operations.

 

He stated that the Plaintiff hastily commenced this suit under undefended list to mislead the court into believing that the Defendant has no defence to its claims.

 

The deponent further stated that Justice will be better served if the Defendant is allowed to defend the suit.

 

He urged the court to transfer the suit to Ordinary Cause List for a complete and holistic determination of all issues in controversy.

Continue Reading

Trending News