I don’t like talking about Nigerian factor. It is some of the issues I mentioned at the beginning. But we allow politicians with questionable characters and sort of funding to fool us, as they will always want to cheat. Already in the colonial era, Nigeria proved unable to organize credible elections acceptable to all democratic players, particularly the opposition parties. The past three leaders of our electoral commission have not been doing badly. Former provisional president of the Movement for the Survival of Ogoni People (MOSOP), Professor Ben Naanen, told KELVIN EBIRI in Port Harcourt that Nigeria is still in transition to democracy. Login via your Governors have been pocketing the legislature, pocketing local government chairmen, pocketing everybody. Founded in December 1973 in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, the AAPS is open to individual "scholars" of African descent specialising in political science, public policy, and related disciplines. Take the issue of accountability. All Rights Reserved. You have selected an article from the AllAfrica archive, which requires a subscription. Our attitude has to change. There was a problem processing your submission. How do we break the state governors’ stranglehold on the legislature and judiciary? One African in four is a Nigerian; with a population of 80 million or more, Nigeria is larger than any country in Europe. Are the people in government accountable to anybody? That is the problem we are having. What we have in Nigeria are strong men with weak institutions. Then you will be able to address issues of poverty, social injustice, and the various ills we were accusing the military of. Jega, Soludo, Bakare, Yesufu, Aboyeji to x-ray Nigeria at #FixPolitics’ public launch, Igbo are known for industry, not destruction, says Umahi, When Wike, Igbo leaders closed ranks for peace. Definitely, I don’t take sides with the governors that have been fighting that. Can we truly describe Nigeria today as a democracy? The people’s voice still counts. How can a country develop with that kind of irresponsible kleptocracy? He can issue the cheque book anytime he wants and nobody is querying him. Does President Muhammadu Buhari need to sign an executive order for the autonomy of the judiciary and legislative arms? 3.4 Be careful of the intention and the ambition of those in the wings: Fourth, from the reactions to the elections, it is clear that we have a lot of work to do. African Journal of Political Science / Revue Africaine de Science Politique, Published By: African Association of Political Science, Read Online (Free) relies on page scans, which are not currently available to screen readers. No democracy can function effectively without a strong civil society. Is that possible? If we are restructuring, we have to ensure independence of the federating units, where all of them are working together in tandem. 4: Summary and Conclusion: Moving Forward: In this lecture, I have tried to address the issues of transition to Democracy. We have to have the sanity of elections for democracy to be so-called in our country. There is a need for reorientation of our people, a new cultural context, a new perception. It is a key foundation of democracy that the people have a voice and they must be able to express that voice in terms of deciding who governs them. They have to work otherwise our democracy is imperilled. If you look at constitutional developments after the Second World War that eventually culminated in independence or decolonisation in 1960, the essence was to build a federal system in which all the communities, all groups will have their own political space, but that system has been corrupted by military rule. Everybody accepts that and the people are not doing anything to undermine it. Nevertheless, the democracy story in Nigeria can be traced to the year 1960. Maybe we should look at our institutions for these changes. That is not right in a democracy. And that is an important component and foundation of democracy: free and fair election, at least in a modern sense. So, we have to be able to manage it. In so many countries that are democratic, you also have similar tendencies, but the perception of change is there. How Reformed Is Govt and Her Institutions After the #EndSARS Protests? The powers of the governors are exercised to the extent that we allow the abuse to continue. He stated that while all the infrastructure of democracy is in place, the operators of the system with authoritarian and kleptocratic tendencies are undermining evolution of democracy. Please try again later. I don’t like when people continue to talk about the Nigerian factor. Is Idea of 'Belonging' Behind The Conflict in Nigeria's Kaduna? If you look at the electoral system in America, it is not even the person who has the majority votes that becomes the president because of their electoral system. I am aware that people are complaining that the courts have replaced the voters in Nigeria and the individual voters alienated. The people’s voice is the actual democracy itself. With a personal account, you can read up to 100 articles each month for free. But are we prepared for that kind of autonomy? In fact, our nation building experiment has been based on false premises. How will the northern Governors deal with the issues of return of Schools and the funding of Education as a means of bridging the yawning gap in the northern states? Who are they going to be accountable to? This is why we are having the kind of kleptocracy we see. What this comes down to is the need to appreciate that free, fair, credible elections are not a guarantee that we will get the right outcomes. We should not tolerate this level of autocracy and authoritarianism. The references I made above illustrate this point. The Pen Drops As Renowned Nigerian Poet J.P. 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