Bring back our country – Vanguard

By The Citizen
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POLITICS is replacing the attention our country needs to make progress. The biggest casualty is the people. Politics should focus on the collective future of Nigeria.

The consistent and flagrant abuses of individual and group rights, with a veneer of official seal, muddle issues to resolve Nigeria's unworkable politics. These abuses have become features of our politics. They are dangerous and must be stopped.

When last June the military seized newspapers with spurious excuses, few attached any importance to the abridged freedom of the business to operate or the rights of individuals to information. No apologies were offered for the seizures that were explained away as security checks. When freedom of individuals is abbreviated, there are no explanations too.

We think the authorities should pay attention to running Nigeria well. Many issues deserve attention that the inconveniencing of some individuals should not be promoted to statecraft. Our people are suffering. Our country is at the fringes of global interests. We no longer elicit the type of importance we need to command relevance.

An increasing tendency to 'militarised' security increases tension, alienates the people from their governments, and creates the impressions of a country at war with itself. The quest for power, which is at the centre of these infringements, should have boundaries. The disruption of the constitutional rights of people over power contests is illegal and an embarrassment to democracy. Politics that excludes people or deny their rights to association, belief and sharing these rights with others should not be encouraged. Politicians should stop thinking their control of Nigerians is divine. These abuses have no room in a democracy. The deployment of the military to act in favour of one side in a contest has deeper implications the authorities must contemplate.

Our people are still clinging to promises politicians make each election season. The changes promised them have translated to more poverty, illiteracy, disease and deprivations. It is unimaginable that while politicians are unable to improve the lives of our people, they gloat all over the place without concerns about the dictates of democracy and the tenets of democratic governance.

President Goodluck Jonathan should halt the abuses the security agencies are introducing to political matters. Are they acting on their own? The abuses are mainly under the cover of his office.

Nigeria is more important than individuals' ambitions. The militarisation of politics and the harassments should stop. We deserve to live peacefully, without these abuses, and under governments that consider our welfare more important than seasonal electoral victories. The 2015 elections would deduct from the gains of civil rule, if they are all about breaching the rights of people, even to contest office.