Opinion

Political observation: Democracy in Nigeria’s perspective

“Some are traveling from London to Moscow in order to terrify Washington.”


As a Nigerian, I pay less attention to promises made by Nigerian politicians during electioneering campaigns because they hardly fulfill 20% of what they promised.

I don’t hate them, but I dislike the way and manner they coin and weave words to state things they’d never accomplish even if they’re to spend 10 decades in office.

Those lies are some of the news worthy headlines we see on newspapers, and television.

So each time they read their manifestos I smell lies. And that has changed the way I see democracy.

I thought I was alone, but I wasn’t.

Last week I intently listened to a political critic, a friend, who taught me and others who cared to listen the need to understand the concept of democracy in Nigeria’s perspective.

We’re arguing about the dividends of democracy in the country and why the poor masses are not really feeling the change democracy ought to bring, and he’s quick to define democracy in a more “refined” way than Abraham Lincon’s.

“Democracy in Nigeria is the system of government whereby greedy Nigerian politicians spend money during electioneering campaign to win the votes of hungry Nigerian people with the aim of getting 100,000,000% of what’s spent when they get to office,” he says.

No one around was surprised by this definition, but it portrays Nigeria as country struggling to get things done the right way.

The just concluded election in Ondo State is just how Nigeria’s democracy is.

The election was dramatic and ridiculously interesting; the Jimoh Ibrahim’s tactics to frustrate his party rival, which worked out, and the Olusola Oke’s political flirt.

Political flirt is a tradition in Nigerian politics, so Oke’s action to dump one party for the other could be justified, but his cries after the winner emerged were a “usual” allegation from losers.

Oke, a former National Legal Adviser of People’s Democratic Party (PDP) defected to the ruling party All Progressive Party (APC) when things fell apart in his former party.

His decision to join APC was hinged on the fact that the political sharing in the sunshine state would favour him, but he was wrong.

APC already had their plans. He had no choice than to jump from APC to a seemingly dead political party Alliance for Democracy.

He lost the election, and that was when we heard that the election was monetized “there was open and free use of money to purchase votes during the election by the ruling party remains a sad commentary on the nation’s electoral process.”

That’s how it’s in Nigeria, particularly when a party lost in an election.

It’s become a culture in Nigerian democracy for a loser to either call for election cancellation or challenge the victor at the tribunal.

Though Oke congratulated Aketi, but he’s quick to also point out that, “Offer of money for votes is worse than looting the government treasury. Apart from compromising the dignity of the people, it provides a fertile training ground for future looters of government treasury.

“The consequence of it is to render the anti- corruption fight a farce.”

Why the cry?

It’s a question of the highest bidder.

It pays to pay to voters during election.

It’s disheartening to see the voters suffer the consequences of their actions when winner of such election assume office.

For a people that aspire to gain the dividends of democracy, conscience must prevail and not bought.

If democracy goes on the way it is in Nigeria, then democracy may be the worst system of government today and years ahead for the country that boast as the giant of Africa.

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