Desmond Mgboh, Kano
In spite of over two decades of unbroken democratic governance, elder statesman and pre-independence politician, Alhaji Tanko Yakasai, says Nigeria is still not out of the clutches of military rule.
Yakasi lamented that the abortion of the dream envisioned by the nation’s founding fathers had stunted the growth of the country and prevented it from attaining the status of a true giant of Africa.
Yakassai, in a message to mark the 94th birthday of his friend and fellow member of the Zikist Movement, Chief Dara Mbazulike Ameachi, blamed the woes of the country on the intervention of the military and their involvement in politics.
“Things have been deteriorating with each passing day. From the time when the military decided to truncate our journey to true democracy in 1966, to this very moment, our country has since been practically under military rule, either in uniform or in mufti,” said Yakasai who recently clocked 92.
“Today, treasury looters are openly decorated with public offices, our judiciary is thoroughly intimidated, resulting in some judges becoming eager to do the bidding of those in power. Unlike in the olden days, love for country is no longer the criteria for national respect. People in power are in the forefront of disrespecting the judicial pronouncements.
“Our younger generations are not encouraged to imbibe the spirit of patriotism and sacrifice, rather they are made to believe that greatness lies in how quick they can get rich by whatever means. Unlike many other countries at the same level with our nation at the time of our independence, Nigeria is now left far behind in almost every aspect of human development. Patriotism which inspires people to make sacrifices in the interest of their country has been undermined. Political party system, which is meant to be the training ground for leadership cadres, as well as articulating policy for national development and progress, is turned into a mere debating society for individuals who aspire for leadership position out of selfishness and aggrandizement,” he said.
Reminiscing on the golden past, he held that during their days as members of the Zikist Movement, they had a dream of an “independent Nigeria free from foreign domination, an egalitarian nation in which all citizens will enjoy freedom and fundamental human right.”