As Nigerians marked Democracy Day on June 12, residents of Kaduna State have lamented insecurity, hardship, and hike in prices of foodstuff in the market.
Most of them, who spoke to a imoloaded reporter, explained that the era of democracy has gone, and noted that what is being practiced is hypocrisy.
They expressed disappointment towards the APC led government of President Muhammad Buhari which remained helpless in the face of kidnapping, killings and joblessness.
According to the Chairman of Kakuri Market Union, Alhaji Saidu Murtala, most people in the state have died of poverty, even as some have sold all their properties paying ransom to bandits who have kidnapped their loved ones.
Murtala, who said he is not comfortable with the present government, explained that he has never witnessed insecurity in his life as it happens in the state today.
“Most people cannot express their feelings, or take decisive action because they are either hungry, or are afraid of being picked in the night by bandits who always demand huge amounts as ransom.
“Nobody in the state dare say anything bad about the government. You cannot go to the street to protest about bad governance, you cannot express yourself on the pages of newspapers. Even if you are so, you have to be careful of what you say,” he said.
Also speaking in an interview, Dr. Sunday Abdul, who is a lecturer in the Department of Languages, Kaduna State University, explained that the majority of the people are hungry and looking for means of survival which are not there.
“Before you start any agitation, or demanding for your right, your stomach must be properly fed. But when the means is not there, thinking alone will keep you idle. We are going through tough times in Kaduna State. But God will surely deliver us.” He said tearfully
A housewife, Mrs. Josephine Obodo, said she prefers military regime to the present government.
According to her, there is no freedom in Nigeria. If there is no freedom, what exactly is democracy?
“We talked about democracy as a government of the people, by the people and for the people. But today, it’s the government of the few. Majority are dying in abject poverty, languishing in hardship. Others are just like slaves to the few who are in control of the government.
However, the Speaker, Kaduna State House of Assembly, Yusuf Ibrahim Zailani, is of a different opinion.
“We should thank God that we have experienced uninterrupted 22 years of democracy.
“This is a time to rally round as a nation and take advantage of our diversity to preach peace and unity to guarantee the progress of our dear country, Nigeria.
“I therefore, appeal to all Nigerians and citizens of our dear state Kaduna, to avoid being used as instruments of retrogression to use the planned June 12 Nationwide protest to destabilise our hard earned democracy,” he said.
Though there are no protests in Kaduna State as seen in other places like Lagos and Abuja, the message on the faces of people rightly tell ordinary Nigerian that hardship is on the increase.