Nigeria #DemocracyDay is now celebrated every June 12
As Africa’s most populous country celebrates 21 years of democracy, Nigeria Today’s reporter Mazeedah Olutosin asked 10 young Nigerians what they think of the Nigerian democracy. There answers mirror the frustrations well understood by older Nigerians.
I don’t think we’re practising democracy. We are still practising an autocratic system of government.
Because the mantle of leadership has always been in a circle which demand great dexterity to be able to break into.
Looking at it from the time of independence, the time of Nnamdi Azikiwe, Obafemi Awolowo, and the likes, they all fought for democracy which we enjoy today. But what do the later leaders do? They prefer to follow the instructions of the so-called “Godfathers” rather than hear the cries of the common people who voted them in.
Personally for me, this is not the kind of democracy we expected.
We should keep praying for God’s intervention and good leadership to steer the affairs of a country like Nigeria. A man once said in an interview in Saudi Arabia that Nigeria has all the resources any country could have, even more than Saudi Arabia or Dubai, but we lack one thing which is the only thing they have and has kept them afloat, and that is ” good leadership.”
Actually, Nigerian democracy hasn’t met my expectations because I really can’t fathom or see a nation that has issues with freedom of speech and continuous infringement on human rights as a country whose democratic setting is good enough.
But all I can say of a fact is that I think the citizens are trying their possible best in fighting for what I call “half-baked democracy…”
Personally, I don’t expect anything from the government. It’s obvious that human government cannot solve our problems. Nigeria just makes it too hard compared to other countries.
I don’t participate in politics. I don’t even listen to news about it. No matter how hard we try, we can’t solve the problems. Even as an inividual we make mistakes, we make wrong decisions. How much more deciding for millions of people.
So I can’t waste my precious time hoping that humans will solve problems. As foretold in the bible, things will go from bad to worse. So it’s just a waste of time to hope for better until God intervenes. So things happening now are signs that the intervention is very near. Let’s just do all we can to be part of those that will be saved.
ADEYEMI SHUKURAT FERANMI
Nigeria’s democracy is about 50 percentage of what democracy entails. It aligns with democracy in half and it is “crazydemo” for the other.
This is because the ingredients and checklist that make democracy a democracy is not effective in Nigeria. Citizens are suffering, the constitution is not effective in Nigeria, there is no rule of law, amongst many others.
Democracy is a government where the leaders serve and work for the people. In Nigeria, however, the leaders work for themselves and neglect the people. That’s the true picture of democracy in Nigeria.
Nigeria’s democracy has not met my expectations at all. But what I will say, basically, is that it is improving yearly.
I’m not comparing the personalities of the leaders but the democracy as a whole. Comparing this present administration with that of 1999. I will say we have improved.
Now we are having the political drive, the spirit of leadership, etc. The only thing we need is property handing over with well documented blueprints. I mean urgently.
ADEROUNMU AYOMIKUN WURAOLA ZAINAB
Well, I would say that Nigerian democracy has utterly disappointed and frustrated me. I mean, we merely recycle old leaders, put them in new political parties and make them seem new.
Also, we have little control over the primary elections that happen in these parties, so, even if a credible leader is in the party, we can’t vote for such a person since he won’t win the primary elections.
It doesn’t seem to me like democracy is the right system of government for our motherland. However, I am hopeful for what the future generations promise. They might believe it or not, but there is some youth who are qualified to change the game.
Though there is never a perfect system, at least there needs to be something we can call a system before we talk of its perfection.
Nigeria’s democracy has been another form far from perfection. I should even say there is no democracy at all or it is not implemented in part and those are the parts that go in line with their own motives of godfatherism.
We have democracy de jure and de facto. The one we use here in Nigeria is de jure. I mean in book or in codification. But the practice is not there as codified and that’s de facto. Our constitutions are codified based on democracy (de jure). But we are being ruled in other ways, negating the de facto.
OLUGBAJO JUBRIL ADEOLA
Nigerian democracy has been below my expectations.
With the kind of resources we have and the human capital (population) that we have, we shouldn’t be asking for constant electricity in 2020 and our economy has been based solely on oil productivity and we have vast land mass and other miberal resources we have to be a developed country. but we still struggle with good roads, no hosptal and our education system is nothing to write home about.
We are way behind schedule to be honest.
LANRE SODIQ IBRAHIM
Now let me ask you, has this democracy met your own expectation? Let us look at election process, some people are deprived of their freedom to vote because some touts will come to destry everything and at the end of the day, we hear that 10,000 people voted, whereas, only 5,000 people voted.
So, the issue of democracy now is something which we just need to work on seriously, it’s something we must desperately try to change.
To me, Nigeria’s democracy is not efficient and it’s because of the few things that we all know.
The major point is corruption. Corruption is the major defect to Nigeria’s democracy and it is actually hindring the processs. Now in a system where we have democracy and a term is 4 years, there is no time to fulfill all the mandate anybody in power is bringing.
Another thing is, Nigeria’s democracy is wasteful, very, very wasteful. They just spend anyhow. Imagine the amount that ministers, commissioners, senators, honourables of the House of Representatives are receiving. This money, if split into two and distributed to the masses, would actually get somewhere and reduce poverty rate in the country to some extent.