Democracy Day: Critical Reflections by Nigerian Youths

Democracy Day: Critical Reflections by Nigerian Youths
Today, Tuesday, May 29, 2012 is DEMOCRACY DAY and a public holiday in Nigeria!  An early morning national broadcast by Nigeria’s President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan (GEJ) highlighted the progress and results his administration has achieved in different sectors within the last twelve months.  
The highpoint of the address is the detailed listing of specific milestones across sectors: education, health, agriculture, road construction, job creation, foreign policy and so forth. Electoral reforms got the greatest attention in the entire broadcast, showing how the current administration has gone “to great lengths to strengthen our democratic institutions, particularly the Independent National Electoral Commission”.  Noting that the successful elections, last year, opened new vistas for Nigeria’s foreign policy more than ever before, GEJ reiterated that Nigeria’s achievements have generated a lot of international goodwill and recognition.
Nigeria’s mounting insecurity challenges got some light mention, with emphasis placed on the action taken to “investigate the causes and nature of 2011 electoral violence”. No allusion or reference was made to the Boko Haram insurgency and incessant bomb explosions that have resulted in massive civilian fatalities, job losses, displacement and economic downturn in northern Nigeria.
Through the broadcast, Nigerian youths also learned about the steps forward made with regard to the Youth Enterprise with Innovation in Nigeria Programme,(YOUWIN) designed to encourage entrepreneurship and provide grants for small and medium scale enterprises. Over 1, 200 Nigerian youths have benefitted from this initiative. To scale up that initiative, the government has also launched the Public Works Women and Youth Empowerment Programme, which is designed to employ 370, 000 youths per annum, with 30% of the jobs specially reserved for women.
How did Nigerians react to the national broadcast? Has GEJ as he is popularly called, fulfilled his election promises made prior to the 2011 presidential elections? Are there flashes of progress that inspire an optimistic view of the remainder of his tenure as Nigeria’s president?
SPACES FOR CHANGE presents the unedited reactions of Nigerian youth  from different ethnic groups and social backgrounds, as they express themselves in a no holds barred manner:
 Democracy Day: Critical Reflections by Nigerian Youths 19The benchmarks for measuring how democratic a country is include, in the main, strong, independent, effective and efficient institutions (including the judiciary, legislature, police etc); open and transparent social space; probity and accountability, popular participation, respect for human rights and rule of law,as all of which confer legitimacy on the government. As we celebrate ‘Democracy Day’ today, let us look at these indices to determine if we are, indeed, in a democracy or just on a journey to democracy. – Okechukwu Nwanguma
  Democracy Day: Critical Reflections by Nigerian Youths 20Nigeria now produces power at her highest level EVER at almost 4.500 MWs and with the completion of four turbines within the Papalanto-Sapele Power plant axis, this figure is set to increase by year’s end.

And they were not even ashamed to pen this? This is the amount Dubai uses to power its airport?! Whatever happened in the last 12 years with PDP at the helm all the way?? – Ndubuisi Victor Ogwuda

Democracy Day: Critical Reflections by Nigerian Youths 21It is thirteen years today since our famed return to democracy. Certainly, it has meant blessings for some, but to many, a curse. It has been years of anomie, of failed promises, of dashed hopes and of missed opportunities. It has been years of blood and regrets, of massive destruction and minimal improvement. Religiously, we have seen more churches and less Christians; more mosques and more terrorists. It has been years of flagrant looting and increased poverty. We have grown to a stage where more than 60% of Nigerians live on less than 1$ a day, while the leaders live like medieval kings – with enough to eat and waste. Politically, we have been so divided as never before, by our politicians. Thus, the same people who fought ‘away’ IBB and Abacha, can no longer agree on anything, including fighting the flagrant rape by their successors. We are daily been divided by tribe, religion etc: and we cannot fight the rot overtaking us.
Violence has long been enthroned and defended; while dialogue has taken a new toga, becoming a tool for empowering state known criminals. Corruption has been canonized that an individual could steal money enough for a country’s two year budget; and worse, there are many such individuals parading as leaders. The standard of our educations keeps declining, even as the cost of educating keeps skyrocketing: leaving most graduates unemployable, while making it difficult for the poor to be educated. Private universities mushroom, championed by religious men and women, while its extortionate fees show there is nothing religious about them. It has been thirteen years of pains and pangs, of blood and broodings, initiated by our politicians, spearheaded by the PDP and not unsupported by the political parties; against the country, against her people.
And so, let us not celebrate just the President’s one year of transformation – whatever that means – but our failed leaders at all levels – Federal, State,LG, family and individual levels- in this thirteen years: years eaten indeed ‘by the locust’. In all these though, let us NEVER lose hope, Nigeria go survive!       –    Chukwudumebi Nobert
Democracy Day: Critical Reflections by Nigerian Youths 221999-2012: Thirteen tragic years of unrestrained looting and abuse of power. Thirteen years of Chop-I-Chop politics, proudly powered by the Peoples Demonic Party,PDP. From Mr Do Or Die to Mr Go Slow, and now to Mr No Shoe. Thirteen wasted years of under-development and insecurity. Fellow Nigerians, welcome to National Lootocracy Day! A Celebration Of Looting!  – Chris Nwokocha
Democracy Day: Critical Reflections by Nigerian Youths 23
To continue to allude to a “rising” foreign reserve of 37.02 Billion Dollars, is not the progress Nigerians are yearning for.  – Mamefe David Wanogho
Democracy Day: Critical Reflections by Nigerian Youths 24AM I STILL IN NIGERIA? 9 New federal universities have been built since last year and i never knew. Mr president would have helped me by mentioning their names and the states. Four new International airport have been built since last year, in Lagos, Abuja and two other states. I stay in Lagos and i use use Abuja and lagos airport frequently but the only airport in know till Saturday last week was MM1,MM2 in Lagos and the Only existing international wing in Abuja with the Local wing which is being reconstructed. Everybody in Nigerian now buys local , cook local and eat locally made cassava bread and Abakiliki rice except me. Please how does it taste Nigerians? Nigeria has started assembling locomotives in every state, yet I have not used the train one day in Nigeria. Youth unemployment has been reduced by about 38% yet I have never been employed by anyone.  – Jasper Azuatalam
Democracy Day: Critical Reflections by Nigerian Youths 25Patrick Obahiagbon wrote: A celebration of democracy or a deprecable apotheosis of an hemorrhaging plutocracy,cascading into a mobocracy with all the ossifying proclivities of a kakistocracy?With our”democracy”enveloped in a paraplegic crinkum-crankum ,we must all rise up to bring to focal hiceps and biceps, Nigerias”Pluto-mobo-kak istocracy”….Certainly not democracy.
Mohammed HusainDemocracy day, but the custodians of democracy are locked up in their palatial mansions, after cancelling the formal parade, out of fear for their personal safety despite budgetting a trillion for defence.  –    Mohammed Husain
Democracy Day: Critical Reflections by Nigerian Youths 26Fellow Compatriots,i join you in the celebration of 13years of civil governance in the country as we are yet to witness Civil Democratic Governance. However i am very optimistic that very soon we shall get there & it shall remain permanent. Once again,i say happy Civil Governance in Nigeria.  –   Gideon Musa Gajere
 “After thirteen (13) years of our democratic governance, there is still no way forward. The speed of our nation towards backwardness is highly dissapointing. The government in power is short of positive initiatives and reasonable ideas to move this coutry forward.

Right from day 1, the present administration hasn’t been enjoying peoples’ confidence. The rate of corruption increases on daily basis and the government is watching. The EFCC does not have the power to prosecute the corrupt public officers without the approval of Mr. President. The state governors have converted local governments and state Houses of Assembly to an extension of their bedrooms, controlling them with their funds in an unhealthy manner.

We lack good roads, basic health care, portable water, employment opprtunities, food security and power. The present administration has failed woefully on their responsility to protect the lives and properties of Nigeria. Our stock market and the entire economy is less viable. Our education system is nothing to write home about.

Come June 1, the National Electricity Regulatory Commission would begin to implement the newly increased rate of power, thereby causing more hardship to Nigerians. This I guess is President Jonathan’s Democrazy Day gift to all Nigerians. Apart from the continous existence of Nigeria as one and payment of salaries to public servants, this government has nothing to mark or celebrate today except failure in all aspect of human endearvor. Is this how we would be for more 3 years to come? We really need urgent divine intervention”.    Abdullahi Abdullateef As-sudaisiy

Democracy Day: Critical Reflections by Nigerian Youths 27  Today is Democracy Day not “Goodluck Jonathan Day” and not “PDP Day;” and there are more than 10,000 Elected Representatives in this country today that were chosen from different Political Platforms; so Nigerians should challenge each one of them on what have been doing to enhance this Democracy. Nigerians should also remember how many lives and years we lost while seeking this Democracy, let us not end it ourselves by our utterances and actions that seem to portray each of us as “Enemies of the State” but continue to seek all legitimate and responsible ways to develop it – Favour Babatope Afolabi

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Favour Babatope Afolabi
Favour Babatope Afolabi
May 30, 2012 5:28 am

Victoria, all this your “50 year old Youths.”

Spaces for Change
Spaces for Change
May 31, 2012 11:35 am

Favour Afolabi….PDP has set a precedent: Youth starts at 60…Kini big deal? LOLssss