AFRIPOL EXPERTS ON TEN YEARS OF DEMOCRARCY IN NIGERIA
Mr. Vincent Ogboi, Senior fellow, economic and financial analyst on African affairs at Afripol organization is optimistic on the benefits of democracy emphasizing that democracy belongs to the people not a chosen few. Ogboi said, "Democracy in Nigeria @ ten although not a complete failure is still not out of the ICU-Intensive Care Unit. All the major and critical indicators of political transitions to a true democracy are still missing in the political landscape of Nigeria. Nigeria is like a sick child that has the attention and care of a specialist doctor but continuously and stubbornly refuses to take the prescribed medications that will see her out of the intensive care unit.
It is disheartening that Nigeria with so much capital and human resources knows the right things to do but for some personal and selfish reasons of a few elites (bigmen) have refused to implement any positive recommendations that will move her into the league of democratic nations. This elitist few for some selfish reasons and personal gains continue to refuse to carry the masses with them. That is the reason that majority of Nigerians if asked today will judge this democracy after ten years as a failed experiment because there has been virtually no positive impact in the lives of most Nigerians as only the few Elites continue to live in opulence due to corrupt practices while leaving many in abject poverty in the land of so much wealth." http://www.afripol.org/Ogboi.htm
Mr. Sunny Oputa, Senior fellow and political analyst at Afripol, the publisher/CEO of Energy & Corporate Africa reacted positively on the state of democracy in Nigeria. Mr. Oputa said," Democracy is for the living and as a vital organic part of a social system; it should only be quantified through growth as it relates to the involvement of the people of a nation in making policy decisions or in electing their representatives in a free and fair electoral system. Democracy as a government of the masses could be a mere usage of word to fulfill political righteousness by the ruling class or a practical application of socio-political philosophy that promotes fairness in a civil society.
Therefore, democracy can only be alive when it is practiced with the involvement of the masses, respect of the power of the people, and with due recognition of their desire. Democracy is silenced and killed when the people's wishes are forsaken or their consent never sought in the governing of their nation. However, a people on a start to grasp and put democracy in motion could be said to be on a match. Nigeria's democracy is still at a juvenile stage as this most populous African nation, and OPEC 6th top producer of oil thrives in her 10th year as a democratic nation. At the age of ten, a child is undergoing growth and developmental processes. The child is not mature enough to be judged strictly on the strength and content of his decisions. Likewise, Nigeria's democracy at this stage is on a developmental phase and a work in progress." http://www.afripol.org/Oputa.htm
Mr. Emeka Chiakwelu, the Principal policy strategist at Afripol emphasized stronly on the enhancement of separation of powers with freedom and liberty as the building blocks of democrcy. Chiakwelu said, "A democratic process is a marathon race that takes a long time to be evaluated. It will be premature to postulate the failure of democracy in Nigeria for ten years is such a limited time to quantify the well being of democratic life in the country. In this journey there are pitfalls on the way but I am an eternal optimist and greatly bullish on democracy. The democratic system of government have served so many countries well and there will be no reason while Nigeria will be an exception. One thing must be made perfectly clear; democracy is about the people not only about the political leaders, the people must be allowed to fully participate in process for a gainful and meaning result.
Nigeria is lacking the civil infrastructure and architecture for the implementation of the process. But lately our civil society and the courts are rising to the occasion. There is hope and there is a light at the end of the tunnel. It might appears hopeless because the leaders and political parties are obsessed about winning elections. But democracy is not only about election although it is an integral part of the process; election is a means to an end and not the end itself." http://www.afripol.org/Founder.htm
Mr.Emeka Chiakwelu is the Principal policy strategist at Afripol Organization.
Africa Political and EconomicStrategicCenter (Afripol) is foremost a public policy center whose fundamental objective is to broaden the parameters of public policy debates in Africa. To advocate, promote and encourage free enterprise, democracy, human rights, conflict resolutions, transparency and probity in Africa.