By Samuel Okon
Beyond all doubt, the beauty of democracy becomes proximate due to its design, allowing all citizens irrespective of their social status, religion, ethic or gender to have a voice in decision making thereby promoting good governance and enhancing socio-economic growths of the country. This is a system of government were the people decide who will represent them in all tiers of government. It is government of the people, by the people and for the people.
Be it as it may, researches have shown that the wave of democratization in Africa in l990 has brought about the emergence of democracy in the continent. In Nigeria (l999), Ghana (l992) etc. Certainly, this marked a shift in most African countries from militocracy to democracy with increasing transformative agenda by continental and regional inter-governmental body to promote and to strengthen democratic institutions in the continent. Among such, Nigeria embraced this and adopted the African Charter on Democracy, Election and Governance, ACDEG, in 2007 and ratified in January 20l2. This move was to give a clear consent to it as a valid official document and for which it shall implement and to adhere to its core principles by domesticating them in the country.
Automatically, this also means that the national laws have to be formulated, where it was not available and certain actions taken by the government to promote them in the country. But how far has this gone in the Nigeria system? Or is it like a brake of a car, and thus ultimately in the interest of the leaders? Little or no wonder, Hobbesian state of nature, where might is right and the heroes are strongmen who model banditry for the youths and invariably bequeath a culture of violence.
Infact, it is a sweet story that for about 20 years now, democracy has been a system of practice in Nigeria governance and has been generally accepted by all and sundry. On Thursday, 29, May, 20l9, making it 20 years of existence in the country, President, Muhammadu Buhari and the likes of Governor Emmanuel and other state governors in the country were sworn-in to take the mantle of leadership giving effective, people’s inclusion, accountable, transparent representation to the people, which is the cardinal for democracy to flourish.
This should not only be a partial reference to the potential of our leaders, as a framework for democratic institutions, there is need to strengthen our constitutional civil rule, reformation of electoral process, guarantee condition to security, free access to information, promotion of strong partnership, dialogue between the government and the people, as well as reformation of our justice system. This would foster an enabling growth for political, economic and social governance in the country. Our leaders should know that it is only the toad that gets up from its knees and falls back again on its knees. It is high time to get it right, let’s get it right.