IS NIGERIA A DEMOCRATIC NATION?
Democracy is defined in many different ways but all it definitions have the same or similar meaning.
Democracy is leadership by people’s consent or a representative government. Also it is a government in which the supreme power is vested in the people and exercised by them directly or indirectly through a system of representation usually involving periodically held free elections.
Abraham Alincoln defined democracy as the government of the people, by the people and for the people.
In democracy there is a good leadership and the rule of law is supreme. In a democracy, elections are credible, free and fair and represent the wish of the people as was the situation in USA where the Democrats, the ruling party lost the Senate to the Republicans.
In a democracy, there is fairness and strict distributive justice, transparency and accountability, peace and tranquility, security of life and property among other dividends. This is the belief of everybody and that is what is practiced in other climes under Democratic dispensation.
In Nigeria, democracy is practiced in theory, in reality Nigeria is not a democratic state. I am sorry to say all these but it has become necessary for me to say it because all the attributes of democracy are missing or lacking in what we claim to be democracy. Nigeria in essence is practising “kleptocracy” or what Uker Benjamin described as “criminal democracy” if there must be a democracy in our system of government.
A system of government where leaders are more of crooks, they steal from the State Treasury to enrich themselves and their families unborn. When their tenure expires they manoeuvre or coerce lawmakers to pass questionable laws to favor them or they move from one elective post or political appointment to another without any meaningful impact on the State and the people.
I’m not the only one that thinks Nigeria is not a democratic state, Arthur Nwankwo some years ago also thought in this direction when he said; Nigeria is, at present, neither a democratic nor a great country. “It is one of the most disorderly nations in the world. It is one of the most corrupt, insensitive, inefficient places under the sun. It is one among the most expensive countries and one of those that give least value for money. It is dirty, callous, noisy, ostentatious, dishonest and vulgar. In short, it is one of the most unpleasant places on Earth.”
He went further to say that “the performance appraisal of Nigeria’s military and civilian regimes revieals that democracy in our context is nothing but a nickname that has been legitimized only by use. In the process of acquiring that legitimacy, Nigerian leaders have not successfully given their democratic temper the utmost visibility.” (Nwankwo,1987).
The attributes of democracy mentioned above are lacking in Nigeria Nigerian so called democracy is rather characterized by corruption attributes such as Nepotism, Religious/Political Bigotry, Rigged Elections, Favoritism, Sectionalism, Impunity and Immunity clauses that shield corrupt people from facing the law of the land. Rule of law has no place in Nigerian so called democracy. A democracy where the ruling party must win at all cost even if they
present a mediocre candidate, imposition of candidates by godfathers at the detriment of people’s wishes is what Nigerians are referring to as democracy.
In America where democracy is practiced, Democrats are Democrats, Republicans yesterday, today and
Republicans are tomorrow but in Nigeria one is a PDP member yesterday, today he is APC, tomorrow he is either back to PDP or he or she defect to either SDP or APGA or some aggrieved members come together to form another political party after all INEC is ready to register them any time any day and on and on and on. Politicians are jumping from one political party to another for selfish interest not because they have the interest of the people at heart or not based on political
ideologies. These and so many other ills are the reasons why I said Nigeria is not a democratic State But a Kieptocratic state. Nigerian so called democracy have Succeeded in grooming a cabal of kleptocrats that have hijacked the leadership and resources of this country, our
Former leaders dead and alive did not enrich themselves but these days, a common councilor after four (4) years tenure is richer than a professor who served for more than thirty (30) years! And until this cabal is crushed, Nigeria will continue to be a laughing stock before the international community.
Singapore as a nation do not have resources at
their disposal as Nigeria but their former Prime Minister Lee Quan Yew used his intellectual property to transform Singapore from a Third World Country to a First World Country. Nigeria has a lot of intellectuals and abundant natural resources to be a great country but this cabal has hijacked the democratic, development and industrialization
of this country that is why we are where we are after sixty (60) years of independence.
Nigeria is travelling on a sinking ship anchored by this bunch of kleptocrats who call themselves leaders. Nigerian politicians of nowadays lack ideas, vision and political zeal to pioneer the affairs of this great country most especially the old folks who continue recycling themselves in leadership positions. What they know is to loot state
resources for personal enrichment while majority Iive in abject poverty.
Murtala Mohammed was a nonchalant officer who was determined to fight corruption, they simply
killed him! Muhammadu Buhari was another Army General who was keen on fighting corruption; he was disposed to pave way for corruption to continue. The fact that he has been denied opportunity to lead this country thereafter on flimsy excuses that he disposed a democratic government is because those who have stolen state resources in the past were afraid of being probed and prosecuted if Buhari became President.
They should not be afraid about how much they have stolen, nobody will prosecute them neither are we
interested for refund of stolen wealth for we have forgiven them but we are begging them in the name of God as a matter of urgency to give way for the younger generation With innovative ideas to come in and fix this country. We the younger generation of this country are so much interested in the development and industrialization of our dear country.
We want to practice real democracy but not criminal
democracy our fathers are practicing currently; we want the Type of democracy practiced by the United States of America and other advanced nations under democratic dispensation. I wish to use this opportunity to advice any
leader who would recognize corruption as our problem and would want to fight it to forget about those who have stolen our commonwealth in the past and allow God to Judge them, let that person focus on fighting fresh cases that may
God bless Nigeria