Democratic Demarche in Nigeria
In modern diplomatic parlance, a demarche is an international writ or an order issued by a sovereign authority signifying an intention to commence action over a particular matter. If we extend this to the realm of local politics or national affairs, it could mean the commencement of a signal move on the political chessboard by one of the factions in contention which could significantly alter the existing balance of power or precipitate a realignment of existing forces at the very least.
History will not be denied its occasionally sadistic pleasure at the expense of foolhardy humanity. When a political class chooses to be delinquent in its collective responsibility to a nation, history has a way of returning the compliments by subjecting its tormentors to its own unique torture.
Just about when you thought the theatre of defection and desertion was about to reach the crescendo of absurdity, its highest decibel of political imbecility, the transfer market suffered a tragic hiatus. Arms were brought to bear on the medium of transaction. What began as a routine free leasing of political mercenaries ended up looking like an exchange of economic hostages.In the early hours of last Tuesday, democracy suffered its worst ambush in Nigeria since the Fourth Republic began. State arms and their bearers laid a siege to the legislative citadel of the nation in a hare-brained attempt to force changes on the leadership of the senate. In the aftermath, the nation became more politically polarized and bitterly divided with elite consensus on core national matters even farther away, making the prospects orderly elections quite a forlorn hope.
If this siege was a well-heeled plot to imperil democracy and civilian rule, then questions must be asked about the mental health of the conspirators, for the execution left much to be desired. It was carried out in the most risible and infantile manner, suggesting instead a casual overreach on the part of the anti-democratic but cerebrally challenged elements that swarm the innermost redoubts of General Buhari’s power sanctuary.