By Chief Eze Chukwuemeka Eze

We join all well meaning Nigerians in celebration of 11 years of Democracy in the country. Although we acknowledge that this year's celebration is especially remarkable considering that a few short months ago, the Nation was on the brink of chaos even as the threat of a major setback in our democracy loomed, it is with mixed feelings that we make bold to state that in over a decade it is still “NOT YET DEMOCRACY FOR US”.

We recall that May 29th 1999 dawned as a day of promise, a day majority of Nigerians thought they had entered the Promised Land. But sadly 11 years later what we have is a fledgling democracy in a Nation that is plagued by worse malaise than it experienced during the military era. Citizens are disillusioned and morale is at an all time low with the lack of equitable access to the dividends of democracy; majority of elected officials have come to see democracy as a means to achieving affluence, hence the blatant perpetuation of electoral fraud; infrastructural decay in various sectors of the economy and a plethora of woes that plague the Nation.

We use the opportunity of this year's celebration to once again task the President Dr. Goodluck Jonathan to make sterling leadership his prerogative. He should eschew distractions from all those clamouring for him to contest come 2011, even as we call on him to explore interventionist and immediate solutions were appropriate for tackling challenges in the moribund Power Sector, the implementation of Electoral Reforms, the Niger Delta Issue and a host of other issues.

As we enter the second year of the second decade of our Nations democracy which incidentally is the eve of another election year 2011, we use this opportunity to urge all Nigerians to take a more active role in building a more responsive and effective democracy, which we hope will be guided by the words of the venerable American statesman Daniel Webster: “Let us develop the resources of our land, call forth its powers, build up its institutions, promote all its great interests, and see whether we also in our day and generation, may not perform something worthy to be remembered.”

Chief Eze Chukwuemeka Eze,
Media Consultant to
Prince Tonye Princewill