Checking Our Dwindling Democratic Values


Since 1999, Nigeria’s democracy has had an unbroken chain, making it the longest ever in the nation’s political history. While 25 years may not be too short long a period for democracy to take a deep rooted position in the country, not a few stakeholders have taken a swipe, decrying it lack-luster in the nation’s contemporary history.

With this unprecedented history, there is every need to build n the blocks already laid despite the very many lapses. With the benefit of hindsight, no democracy is perfect but with time maturation sets in. America’s democracy with its global relevance is still evolving because of its very nature as a process that keeps espousing new and fresh ideas to sustain its own very dynamics.

We are worried that rather move ahead with our own peculiarities in our democratic practice, there appears to be a reverse order that does not make it ideal that we a making good progress in our democratic culture.

In a not too pleasant note, Senate President Godswill Akpabio who has been a long time beneficiary of the current democratic dispensation is seeking calling on the United Kingdom to assist Nigeria to sustain relevance in its democratic culture. Akpabio is not wrong in his submission if if was quoted rightly but we find his obtrusive is his failure to understand that even the UK is insulated from democratic flaws notwithstanding that they are not too exposed in the public domain. Besides that, the UK is primarily a government run on a parliamentary basis and Nigeria can not borrow much from that system. Our system is a Presidential one and if he would seek the support of such system as the UK’s he must first advocate that we return to that same system that existed before we transited to our current regime.

As one who has benefitted in this long reign of democracy and who has benefited from the ill-fated democratic dispensation, it would have been more responsible for him to seek for home-grown responses to our democratic challenges than call for UK assistance.

We have a bloated system where leadership is too expensive at the detriment of the people. The top is loaded and this comes with exorbitant cost and we are not addressing this enormous cost of governance. We are in a clime where people go to serve for self-serving reasons rather than the altruistic tendency to give back to society. If those Nigerians that have the country at heart can rethink their preferences, it should be in the benefit of the country that had pretentiously milked.

AljazirahNigeria has called before now that our democratic values are in our hands and not far-fetched as our leaders want us to believe. We are the cause of our long-drawn problems since independence till date. Our Republican experience was a fiasco, then came the Presidential system which is again takin a bashing from even high profile beneficiaries both systems. It then behoves on us a nation to check our excesses to ensure our version of democracy works without the futile attempt to seek external assistance.

We are well in tune and gratified by electoral fraud that produces leaders who come into the fray via other means that the electoral box. In that way, leadership has been corrupted and the process compromised. Our electoral system must be seen as impartial and upright to sustain the democratic relevance we desire. UK cannot teach us anything better than getting our acts together.


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