Why Nigeria Still Needs Democracy


Since the nation returned to democratic rule in 1999, the yearning for good governance and true democracy has always been top in the expectations of Nigerians. But there is no sign that the 9th National Assembly will accomplish that for them

By Goddy Ikeh

IT is obvious to many discerning Nigerians that what we have today in Nigeria is not democracy and that we should look for the appropriate word to describe what has been foisted on us by our politicians in the name of democracy. In a matter of days, we shall be welcoming the new and some old lawmakers to both the National Assembly in Abuja and State Houses of Assembly for a four-year term.

Although all eyes are usually at the centre and very little attention is paid to what happens in the states. The reason is not far-fetched since we are still practicing the military styled federalism and Constitution bequeathed to us. We are always quick to let the world know that Nigeria has enjoyed over two decades of uninterrupted civilian rule, which is not of course democratic.

So as we await the change of guards in the various Houses of Assembly, Nigerians are full of expectations that the lawmakers will “bring back our democracy”.

There is no doubt that the task before the lawmakers is not an easy one, especially now that the nation is sliding into dictatorship, while the economy will soon return to its safe and comfortable recession zone.

But to avert this ominous doom, a lot will depend on who and who will emerge as leaders in the 9th National Assembly. However, the picture being painted already is that we shall be having leaders, who will be serving the interests of the executive and ensure a seamless slide to anarchy and eventual one-party state.

With the sustained drive to harass and intimidate the judiciary, the legislature and even the media, we should now be thankful to the 8th Assembly for putting up the unexpected fight to save this country from political trauma.

Although some Nigerians could not understand why the 8th Assembly fought and preserved the rule of Separation of Powers in a presidential system of government, we shall, however, be in a better position to assess the lawmakers when the 9th Assembly will come on board and with the majority which the ruling APC enjoys in the House, it will constitute itself into an agency in the Presidency.

Nigerians will, however, welcome a cordial working relationship between the executive and the legislature for good governance, but they will certainly not accept the type of relations between the governors and the local governments in the states.

Many Nigerians are hopeful that the lawmakers will resort to lobbying their colleagues and applying superior arguments rather allowing dictates from the party on issues that should normally be resolved on the floor of the House.

On the issue of confirmation of ministers from the Presidency, Nigerians will expect the lawmakers to be thorough and if possible request that the president should assign portfolios to the nominees, This will ensure that requisite knowledge and experience are used in clearing the candidates, This will save the nation of having lawyers as managers of the nation’s economy like we had in the last executive.

Undoubtedly, the lawmakers are expected to put the interest of the nation first before their welfare. Since the nation’s economy is still fragile, the issue of welfare packages for the lawmakers should not be contemplated soon.

Nigerians will expect quality legislations from the lawmakers and enough of promoting the establishment of Colleges and Universities in the zones in the name of legislative activity.

This period calls for serious legislative work to restore the nation from the numerous challenges of security and the near collapse of all the sectors and above all bring back the nation’s democracy.

– June 7, 2019 @ 19:09 GMT |

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