July 23, 2024

June 12: Nigeria’s democracy fragile – APC chieftain, Eze

A chieftain of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Eze Chukwuemeka Eze, has said that the 25 years of Nigeria’s democracy rule have been fragile and marked by fluctuations at all levels of government.

Eze said it is necessary that learners consciously reminisce on the rough path the country has trodden and the genuine sacrifices of citizens over the decades in the quest to rebuild the nation.

He stated that as a democratically stable and economically viable state, Nigeria should rededicate itself to genuine service to help the nation take up the proud role of the giant she truly is in the black world, not just Africa.

This was contained in a statement he issued on Wednesday to mark this year’s unbroken democratic experience in the country.

According to Eze, the foundation for democracy was laid in the 6th century B.C. in the ancient Greek city-state of Athens and became extremely influential in the Mediterranean region and the ancient Roman Republic, as well as other parts of the world.

“After decades of colonial rule followed by authoritarian regimes and military dictatorships, the wave of democratic transition swept through Africa, marking a turning point in the political landscape of many African nations like Zambia, Tanzania, and Kenya where the jinx of single-party dominance was broken, allowing for deeper political pluralism and more conscious citizens’ participation across the continent.

“This was after her enlightened public, led by notable elites, launched the campaign for independence, which became a precursor to her successful detachment from the apron strings of Great Britain. To the pride of her citizens, the British flag was lowered and the green flag hoisted with the new but old national anthem – ‘Nigeria we hail thee’, ringing through the air.

“Nigeria’s democracy has been fragile and fluctuating at all levels of government. The trend of instability is triggered by understandable factors such as political competition and communal, ethnic, religious, or resource allocation rivalries, all of which pose a major threat to democracy.

“Corruption pervades the daily lives of Nigerians. Many government institutions do not adequately engage with citizens or the private sector and lack the capacity to carry out their mandates.

“Although successive governments have made efforts (whether real or cosmetic) to create a sense of national unity in a complex country whose borders were drawn by the same British colonialists who lassoed together more than 200 ethnic groups, there appears to be no end in sight for the laborious search for rebirth.

“Nigeria’s democracy has had a long and troubled relationship with its military, as almost half of its existence as an independent state has been under the dictatorial regime of her military class, which has overthrown three republics through coups since 1960. Two of the five democratically-elected presidents of Nigeria’s fourth republic headed those military dictatorships – Olusegun Obasanjo (1999–2007) and Muhammadu Buhari (2015–2023).

“Leadership, that vital ingredient for the effective running of every society, has failed Nigeria. After a series of laboratory tests and diagnoses to ascertain the depth of damage that has stagnated every forward movement, resulting in multi-sectoral barrenness and a pauperized populace to a marked degree, the results have defied all known mechanisms of interpretation. It is alarming that the problem of leadership in the context of Nigeria’s democracy is dangerously complex, microscopic, infectious, and legion.”

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