On Saturday, 29th May (1999), new democratically elected governments were inaugurated in Abuja as well as the established 36 states of the federation. This marked an end to the well over 15 years of continuous military rule from 1985-1999. The structure was a presidential system comprising of an executive president and 36 state governors.
Also in the build up were elections into the then 768 LGAs and 6 FCT area councils, state assemblies and National assembly (House of representatives and Senate). All elections were held between December 9, 1998 and February 27, 1999.
This memorable step has laid antecedence for continuous democratic processes till date. Therefore, on this day, May 29, 2018, we celebrate the nation’s DEMOCRACY DAY. Indeed! We have the course to celebrate. If for nothing but for a sustained democratic process.
The 1999 elections brought to power a former Military Head of State, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo as President; Alhaji Atiku Abubakar as his Vice, Adolphos Wabara and Ghali Umar Na’aba as the Senate President and Speaker of the House of Representative respectively.
After three different terminations to our democracy through coup de tat, as the 4th Republic, the 1999 inaugurations had 36 states governors, 109 Senators, 360 House of Rep members, 1012 State house of assembly members across the 36 states, and 774 local legislators.
Below is a comprehensive information of the elected state government and the structure of the legislative arm as at 1999.
Read also: List of Inaugurated Governors And the Legislative Structures as at 2003.
20 years later, Nigeria is boasting of a sustained democratic process spanning 4 republics. This means that Nigerians have, within the space, gone to the polls 4 times electing 4 different presidents:
Chief Olusegun Obasanjo again in 2003.
Alhaji Umar Musa Yar’adua in 2007.
Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan in 2011.
Muhammadu Buhari in 2015.
Fast forward 2018; the stage is gradually getting set and we are preparing to another round of elections come 2019
. The political tensions are swelling and electorates are also getting ready to use their franchise as usual.
However, mixed reactions still trail this celebration of democracy. According to beliefs and existing factors, majority believes that Nigeria is far behind the expected level of accomplishments within the years. The draw backs have been blamed on the fruitless ethnic rivalry and political demonstrations in administration.
Corruption is equally the bane of the day and our political players are been blamed for it. Even the security and intelligence agencies are not left out. This further throws a question of whether the current scope of our democracy is helping or failing us.
Thus; the incessant cries for restructuring and even secession by some section of the country. Recall that this time last year witnessed a loud sit-at-home campaign by the people in the Eastern divide of the country in solidarity for the detained Nnamdi Kanu and the Biafran movement. Worthy of note is the fact the 30th May is a very special day for them as declared by Lt. Col. Ojukwu in 1967 to trigger the 30months Biafran/civil war.
Apparently, elections are drawing near. And there are no obvious indications that our political players both in the ruling APC or the oppositions (PDP, SDP, ADC and what have you) have clear cut agendas towards the needed transformation this country needs. Our prayer here @muzzammilwrites is that all conflict be tackled and resolved sooner for the betterment of the nation at large.
By and large, this leaves behind a question of whether or not there is a ‘NIGERIAN DREAM’. So as we celebrate our Democracy today, let’s take time to reflect on solutions. In your own candid opinion, DO YOU BELIEVE THERE IS A NIGERIAN DREAM? If yes, what does it CONTAIN?
From us here @muzzammilwrites, we wish you (Nigerian readers) a ‘green and white’ Democracy Day. Follow us on: