In truly democratic nations, it is so uncommon to see presidential office or parliamentary building heavily guarded by military personnel as it is the case in Africa whereby such places are highly protected by hundreds of security personnel. The democratic nations believe that it is not important to put heavily armed forces around the administration buildings because they are elected by the public in competitive, free, democratic and fair elections and they are not at all afraid of their people. They democratically come to power and democratically leave office.
In Africa this is not the case. They come to power through military action or by rigging elections results. Thus, they are always afraid of the public and that is why we see them fencing the president or prime minister’s office buildings and deploying tens of hundreds of police officers and security people in and surrounding those buildings. Because people don’t trust them and they don’t trust the public either, they know very well that they are not safe unless they protect themselves by doing so.
Now, the challenge to the democratic countries is extremist individuals or groups who are using the loose security situation around the parliamentary building in those countries and are causing a lot of troubles thereby challenging their democracy. What happened in Canada and the United States in these two days shows that the presidential office and the parliamentary buildings are no more safe and they need to be guarded by heavy military people not because they are afraid of their people, but to avoid threats posed by radicalized persons and terrorists.
As we watched on big international media such as the BBC and CNN on Thursday a man ran into parliamentary building in Ottawa, Canada and caused a lot of troubles and of course he killed a soldier before he moved into the parliament. On the same day, a young man easily entered the white house, but challenged by a dog and finally came under the police control. It is not the first time that people tried to enter the white house. On many occasions, people easily got past the security personnel though they didn’t cause any problem so far. Now, it is the right time for these nations to bring in more police officers and more guards to ensure the safety of their political leaders and their democratic institutions from extremist attacks.