…Says Monster Of Dictatorship Has Returned
By Augustine Akhilomen
Senator Shehu Sani said on Thursday that the country has gradually moved back to dictatorship, warning that citizens must rise up to defend democracy, rule of law and institutions that check the excesses of the executive.
Sani said unless people that fought for the enthronement of democracy in 1999 go back to the trenches to defend what he described as “our hard gained freedom, the current systemic abuse of rule of law”, will continue.
Speaking in Lagos as a guest speaker at the presentation of Testimony To Courage, a book in honour of the Editor in Chief Premium Times, Dapo Olorunyomi, Sani said Nigerians have become complacent and lazy over the years with the wrong perception that democracy will protect their freedom.
He further said: “All the institutions of democracy that were supposed to defend our freedom have been cowed. We have seen a systemic pattern of the abuse of rule of law. Court orders are no longer obeyed and we have developed culture of fear and silence. The monster of dictatorship is back.
“We have allowed the likes of Charley Boy to lead protests in defence of our freedom, thereby making joke of important voice of dissent. Political parties as they exist today can’t defend our rights. No institution of democracy that is as important as an awoken citizens. We have to continue to be vigilant to defend our democracy and our rights. Indeed, we have to go back to the trenches”.
Also speaking at the event, Richard Akinnola, a journalist and activist, said it has become embarrassing the way the executive has cowed the judiciary in the past two decades. He therefore advised that Nigerians should put more focus on the judiciary to force it to be independent and beyond control of outside authority.
Akinnola said: “It has become more embarrassing to most Nigerians that the judiciary was more independent during the military era than now. Even though the military rules with decrees, I can’t remember when court orders were disobeyed or when judges dance to the whim and caprices of military rulers. So we have to put the judiciary on the spot for it to be able to protect the rights of Nigerians.”