For the avoidance of doubt, fascism is a form of government, which is a type of one-party dictatorship. Fascists are against democracy and multi-party system. They deploy jackboot autocracy to muzzle out of the way all voices of reason and opposition. Fascism brooks no opposition or dissention. Therefore, a democracy without dissention and opposition, as remorselessly propagated by the APC-led administration belongs in phantasmagoria.
As the Irish lawyer and politician, John Philpot Curran, said, “The condition upon which God hath given liberty to man is eternal vigilance.” All patriotic elements have to be alive to their individual and corporate responsibilities to Nigeria and Nigerians at this trying moment.
Fact is: the nation is dangerously adrift and the patriotic elements are not rising to the occasion. All the Progressives, Civil societies, Labour, Public Intellectuals, men and women of good conscience are still cowering and not standing firm to be seen and counted, as they did in fighting and fending off the despotic military regimes. Yet, something worse than a military regime is here – fascism! For how long then shall they hide behind their tiny finger?
It is clear to all that all democratic institutions and arms of government are being emasculated and destroyed by the APC Government as it is becoming farcical by the day. Even if the physical siege is lifted, the National Assembly remains under psychological siege and despotic encumbrances as I write. Legislative decisions on executive appointees are discarded, their resolutions are scorned, and parliamentary invitations are snubbed. The presiding officers of the Senate are now hounded and distracted from their constitutional duties.
The judiciary is being assailed on all fronts and reduced to a toothless bulldog. So many critical orders of the courts have all been rubbished and repudiated by the Presidency. Courts and homes of judges, including Supreme Court judges have been overran by security agencies and state-backed “hoodlums”.
Basic tenets and cannons of democracy have all been desecrated. The principle of separation of powers has been brazenly trampled upon with so much impunity by the Presidency. If it is not democracy, it is not democracy. Democracy is predicated on rule of law, due process, and majority rule and, like already said, on the quintessence of the principle of separation of powers among the arms of government. The judiciary cannot adjudicate under fear, nor should the legislature legislate under duress.
Nigeria is, therefore, once more, at crossroads and the path the nation takes shall make all the difference. Indeed, it is now a make or mar situation, as the country is again on a cliff, even more so today than it was during full-blown military regimes. It is a patriotic duty for well-meaning Nigerians to rise and salvage the country and her democracy before it tips over the cliff.
One of the greatest American Presidents, Theodore Roosevelt, informed the world that patriotism means to stand by the country, not mean to stand by the president or any other public official, save exactly to the degree to which he himself stands by the country. It is patriotic to support him insofar as he efficiently serves the country.
Those still standing and defending the Federal government divisive policies and tyrannical actions are not only unpatriotic, but also are enemies of the country because such policies, actions and inactions have also brought greater hardships and avoidable deaths to many hapless citizens. Patriotism or national pride is the ideology of love and devotion to country, and a sense of alliance with other citizens who share the same values.
So, progressives, who at the moment ignore the massacres of innocent Nigerians, the incompetent and wrongheaded handling of the economy, misuse of fight against corruption as a political weapon and vendetta, and blocking of desire of well-meaning Nigerians to have the country restructured to accommodate all Nigerians, will all live to regret when the nation becomes much worse for it.
Therefore, patriotic elements in the country have to rouse themselves into a coalition and raise their nationalistic fervour as our founding fathers and their immediate successors did with colonialism and repressive military regimes. There is now the urgent need to rise to the similar challenges confronting the nation under the APC. There is urgent need to snatch the country from the ruthless teeth fascism enveloping it and restore true democracy.
For the avoidance of doubt, realignment of forces has gained all tenacity on the side of the fascist forces, which have long been amassing and coalescing against the nation and its glorious future. They have bent the security forces away from the nationalist duty into the propagation and perpetuation of sectional and farcical interests. Without a shred of doubt, the APC-led administration has abandoned democracy, fighting it on all fronts, using the coercive and corrosive instruments of the state in a determined bid to enthrone one-party and fascist state.
Evidence of this abound, but mostly demonstrated in the just concluded Ekiti governorship election where the pocketed INEC supervised the brazen rigging of the gubernatorial election to favour its appointers, the APC Government. Even the concocted figures announced by the INEC do not add up arithmetically.
Democracy may be a word familiar to most, but it is a concept still misunderstood and misused in a time when totalitarian regimes and military dictatorships alike are attempting to claim popular support by pinning democratic labels upon themselves. This is what the APC has done to Nigeria. All canons of good governance and civilized existence have all been repudiated by this government, and has to stop. So, beyond any doubt, the battle ahead is summed: progressivism versus fascism.
Yet, it is indeed unfortunate that while the APC rode to power on emotions and mantra of change mantra, what we have in the country today are chains, embarrassment, and sorrow.
Mefor, a forensic/social psychologist, writes from Abuja.