By- Ismael Taiwo

As we celebrate 25 years of democratic rule, many citizens and residents have begun airing their opinions on the state of the nation.

June 12 has been a historic moment in Nigeria, a day where the late icon of democracy, Chief MKO Abiola sacrificed his life for the civilian rule we are currently enjoying. Although, larger percentage of Nigerians believe that Nigeria has not gotten it right as some of the challenges that confronted us as a nation 25 years back are still living with us even at a very egregious state.

Ironically, those who benefitted from the struggle fought for by the late sage and those who kicked against obnoxious and autocratic policies of the then military junta are currently holding sway at the helms of affairs, the academicians who made sure the institutions of higher learning stood firmly for the return of democracy and the business moguls who financed the struggle, the journalists who were at the forefront and other pro-NADECO frontiers who were incarcerated by the then military rulers seem to have forgotten the egregious pains suffered by many Nigerians throughout the struggle and have since lost their voracious voices to condemn the pseudo-democracy people in Babariga and Agbadas have continuously lorded on us.

It is so sad, that at this point in time, we are still confronted with some of the ills brought to us by military junta and even getting worst everyday. The same set of people who celebrated the significance of today have continued to stifle the freedom of expression, gag the press and crack down on protesters.

A country where protests have been criminalized cannot be said to be operating on democratic norms; it is an eyesore seeing security operatives showing their gallantry and display of force on armless protesters while the killer herdsmen, bandits and kidnappers continue to unleash terror on innocent Nigerians.

I am baffled and utterly bewildered that today that should have been a day of sober reflection on where we were coming from, where we are going to as a nation could be a day the citizens would be in palpable fear of who is next to be swallowed by the monstrous killer bandits, a time where average Nigerians have been encapsulated by extreme hunger and hardship owing to the failure of government at all levels.

Indeed, we are far from getting it right when we look at the trajectory and gains recorded aftermath the struggle seem to be overridden by the excruciating pains Nigerians have been subjected to. We must as a nation have sober reflection and ask ourselves the bitter truth, are we on the right path to a Nigeria of our dream? If the answer is NO, we need to retrace our steps and make the country work for all.

Ismael Taiwo,

Writes from Ibadan

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