In the heart of Northern Nigeria lies Kano State, a heterogeneous entity pulsating with vitality, culture, and dreams of over 15 million people. In 2023, the citizens of Kano State, like countless others across Nigeria, embraced the fundamental tenets of democracy, taking to the polls with hope in their hearts and voices in their ballots. The outcome was a powerful testament to the will of the people – a decisive vote for change, a brighter future, and a stronger democracy.
But, as the dust settled after the elections, a troubling and ominous cloud began to loom over Kano State. The ruling party, having tasted the bitter fruit of defeat, decided to manipulate the very institutions that are meant to uphold justice and the rule of law. The power of the judiciary, an institution entrusted with the sacred duty of safeguarding democracy and justice, was being misused to undermine the will of the people.
The story unfolds as some elected parliament seats, legitimately won by the opposition party, were seized under the cloak of baseless accusations and legal maneuvering. This blatant disregard for the people’s voice is not just an affront to democracy; it is an affront to the integrity of the nation, a threat to the very rich tapestry of peaceful existence of Kano State, and a stain on the democratic fabric of Nigeria.
One cannot overlook the governorship election, a triumph for democracy where the opposition secured victory with a margin close to 130,000 votes. Yet, ominous whispers in the corridors of power indicate a sinister plot to wrest this mandate from the people, using unscrupulous tactics and baseless accusations. Such actions not only undermine the democratic process but also erode the trust and confidence of the people in their government.
Preserving the integrity of democratic processes and upholding the rule of law is not merely a local issue; it is a matter of national concern. Nigeria, as the giant of Africa, stands as a beacon of democracy on the continent. When the foundations of democracy are shaken in one of its states, it sends ripples across the nation and the continent at large.
We call on to the Federal Government of Nigeria, pro-democracy entities, and the international community to heed this urgent call for action. The sanctity of democracy must be upheld, and the rule of law must prevail. The people of Kano State, and indeed all of Nigeria, deserve nothing less.
To those who seek to manipulate the democratic process, we say: history has shown that democracy is resilient, and the will of the people is indomitable. Attempts to subvert democracy not only violate the principles enshrined in the United Nations’ calls for peace but also challenge the progress and civilization we have collectively built.
In closing, we remind all stakeholders that democracy is not just about elections; it is about accountability, transparency, and respect for the will of the people. Kano State, Nigeria, and Africa as a whole deserve leaders who are committed to the principles of democracy and the rule of law.
Let this be a clarion call to all who believe in the power of democracy and the importance of preserving its integrity. The world is watching, and history will judge our actions. Together, we can ensure that the flame of democracy burns brightly in Kano State, illuminating the path to a brighter future for all of Nigeria and Africa.
Comrade Salman writes from Kano, Kano State, Nigeria (firstname.lastname@example.org)