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|The Meaning Of Democracy In Nigeria by KingsleyOnwuka1(m): 3:45am On Jun 15, 2022|
When I taught Government in tutorial centers in Port Harcourt, and when I taught ND 1 students Elements of Government here in the private polytechnic where I'm serving, aside from the scholarly definitions I gave them I also gave them my own variegated perspectives on the meaning of democracy, thus:
*Democracy is a form or system of government in which the right to govern is derived from the consent of the governed (the electorate) through the ballot box. It is a system of government in which emphasis is on the supremacy of the ballot box.
*Democracy is a way of governance in which the government is bound by social contract to yield and defer to the wishes and aspirations of the people in the process of governing them.
*Democracy as a principle in human interaction implies that the will/opinions of the majority prevail on a matter of common interest among a group of people.
I remember in one of the classes, after making the students understand the meaning of democracy from different perspectives, I asked them to individually express their views on the practice of democracy in Nigeria. And they were unanimous in thinking that democracy is far from true practice in Nigeria. Those students are young Nigerians to whom the future of Nigeria belongs. All in all, I encouraged them to know that they have a role to play in making our country a better place.
What is the meaning of democracy in Nigeria where the opportunity to vie for the top place in the governance space is sold and bought in the full glare of the world (in dollar and not even in our own currency)?
What is the meaning of democracy in Nigeria where the right to rule is derived from the role an individual played in installing the previous (or incumbent) president?
What is the meaning of democracy in Nigeria where a former president while in office would publicly tell the world that election in Nigeria is do or die!?
What is the meaning of democracy in Nigeria where a supposedly elected governor of a state would publicly tell his people (that elected him) to go and die if they don't like the sort of projects he is executing for them?
What is the meaning of democracy in Nigeria where the National Assembly of the country would pass a bill in deference to the wish of the President to have indirect primary and consensus options against the vigorously expressed wish of the people to have only the direct primary option in the new electoral law?
What is the meaning of democracy in Nigeria where a Muslim-Muslim presidential ticket is about to be foisted on the people of Nigeria by a political party whether the people like it or not?
The essence of this message is to inspire the elevation of true democracy in our country.
All of us citizens have a crucial role to play by getting involved one way or another especially by getting our PVCs to vote for the right candidates come 2023, candidates of our respective choices according to our conscience.
The best thing President Muhammadu Buhari will do to elevate democracy in Nigeria is to sincerely conduct free, fair and credible elections in the country come 2023; the kind of elections that will not only be free and fair but will also be clearly seen to be such by all and sundry.
May this message reach the President.
*B.Sc, Political and Administrative Studies,
University of Port Harcourt
*Admin and Teaching Assistant, Department of Public Administration, ACBMS Ibadan.
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