Today is May 29th and in Nigeria where I'm resident, it is a public holiday set aside to mark democracy day or rather the day power was handed over to the civilian by the military government.
Shortly after, General Abdulsalam was made the new head of state and Buba Marwa the military administrator of Lagos state and things changed slightly.
Suddenly, rumor was rife of an imminent transition to a democratically elected government, since that was the hallmark of civilised societies and the world was moving towards achieving democracy and not military dictatorship anyway so it was with happiness that Nigerians went to the poll and voted massively for the PDP'S candidate and on May 29th 1999, power changed hands.
I was 9 years old and fresh out of primary school but I remember I had expectations even though I'm not sure I understood what democracy meant but looking back now, 16 years down the line, it has gone from bad to worse! Honestly this is not the Nigeria our founding fathers envisaged and truly, their labour seem to be in vain if you ask me.
I'm not going to dwell on the rant I have in mind but the truth is I was anti GMB (I'm not a GEJ apologist either) because I feel if we really want to move this nation forward, we need not recycle old hands that have tasted power once upon a time after all these people were in power when my parents were told as kids that they are the future leaders.... If I may ask, when will this future be?
I was shocked the other day when I found myself chanting "chanza" ie change... While I'm not saying GMB is the messiah because the truth is that this rot did not start 8 years ago, it started a long time ago, I just hope it won't be business as usual. Let those who plundered our commonwealth be made to face the music.
To all of us Nigerians, I'd say congratulations for holding on this long... We've been through a whole lot and even though there have been threats to our democracy, the ties that bind have not snapped or been severed even with the many constraints.
Remember, change begins with you! Happy democracy day Nigeria.