Democracy is defined as government of the people, by the people and for the people. These three constituent parts make up what is known as democracy, a failure of any of these three therefore robs the practice of its true meaning and intent.
It is of the people in the sense that it belongs to the people, given to them by approved constitution with no form of coercion or imposition, hence, it is said to be by the people. The dividends and benefits of democracy is supposedly for the totality of the people; from the greatest to the least, for the majority groups and the minority groups likewise, for the leaders and the led, hence, it is said to be for the people.
Suffice it to say, the second constituent part of democracy (by the people) controls both the first part and the third. It is therefore the centre of focus. First, the people choose to accept the practice, and then the people also choose who their leaders will be, which in turn to a large extent determines if the dividends of democracy will be for the people or not, and this is done by a majority vote. Here therefore lies the beauty and burden of democracy as rightly explained in the American Rhetoric: Movie speech “the great Debaters” (2007). Election which is a core part of democracy can be seen as a law court where the electorate are the judge and their votes are their verdict. Politicians well understand this, which is the reason the corrupt ones scheme and kill to have the majority of the people to vote them at the polls. It is a simple logic: Win the gullible majority to your side, and the upright minority can only at best cry foul. They achieve this in two ways, Ideology and bribe.
This is; tell them what to believe, and if they resist, buy them over with money (cash or kind).
The Nigeria society is flooded with innumerable illiterates and gullible ones who are made to forgetting to ask themselves the reason politicians are therefore patronizing them. It should therefore be understood that obvious margins in elections are hardly rigged.
When manifestos, sugar coated words, and enticing party slogans begin to prove ineffective and obviously start spelling defeat for party candidates, they resolve to money bag politics. The people are given cash, vehicles, lame empowerment, and at worst, shameful sharing of food items.
Politicians, who lobby for votes, see democracy as a business venture. Whatever they spend in elections must be recovered and with great profit when they peradventure get elected. So, it is not just enough blaming the leaders and raining curses on them. The power lies with the majority who should therefore take a share of the blames, and can be likened to Esau who for a pot of porridge sold his birthright.
It then behoves on the people, and by this I mean majority of the people to decide whether to better their lives by their decision in the forthcoming general elections, or continue to stagnate themselves in the muddy water of abandonment and lack in the midst of plenty by voting in those who only wish to make a business of the peoples’ future.