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MUST READ: Long walk of democracy


It has been 23 years since the patriots, dedicated to the welfare of the country’s population, fought valiantly for the country’s democracy.


With the establishment of a civilian government in 1999, these patriots believed in a changed Nigeria. Prior to that, there had been military coups in which lives were lost, as well as widespread dread of imprisonment and public unrest. These factors prompted the need for a government transition that ended the military administration in the 1990s.


A former President of the United States of America, Abraham Lincoln, who is still recognised for his famous statements, defined democracy as “a government of the people, by the people, and for the people.” There should be equality, fairness, and justice in a democratic society. Unionism and oneness should be our watchwords as a country with three major ethnic groups. Looking at how things have gone, some factors have hampered Nigeria’s sole purpose of democracy.


Corruption is one of these factors. Bribery and corruption are prevalent in every sector of the country. Just recently, the Economic Financial Crimes Commission arrested the Accountant-General on charges of money laundering totaling 80 billion naira.


Corruption is accepted as normal in society, and even young people follow in the footsteps of the elders. The perception that practically everyone in government offices is corrupt, has led to an increase in cybercrime among the country’s youths as they don’t see anything wrong with it because their role models are doing it, and no one can stop them.

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The presidential jet and kitchen are rumoured to get billions of naira each year. How is this possible? How can billions of naira be used to fund the kitchen, among other things? This is completely unacceptable. It’s even gotten to the point where those we thought were battling corruption are now tolerating it. They are charlatans masquerading as corruption fighters.


Also, democracy, being a system of government itself, is very expensive. The allowances lawmakers receive monthly are ridiculous. Allowances are ranging from sitting, travel, health, and even security insurance. This is not even part of their salaries and we still hear some of them complaining that they are not enough. While unfinished projects lie in their constituencies and workers are not paid their salaries, they are unconcerned about it because it doesn’t affect them. Report shows past governors, presidents, and other top government officials are still on the government payroll. The money used in paying them from the nation’s treasury could put the country into debt and the economy at risk.


Furthermore, the process behind democracy, which is election has turned out to be “the most influential offers the highest bid.” Electoral malpractice has marred democracy to the extent that the electorates no longer want to participate in any electoral exercise. Politicians now buy votes and forge the numbers of voters in a particular region for their agenda. This wouldn’t have been possible without the help of electoral bodies, who have been bought in exchange for their silence. Most of the elections conducted in Nigeria have not been truly free and fair. These politicians, who go through fraudulent ways showcase their true identity when they assume office.

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Another disturbing factor is the misuse of power and disobedience to the rule of law. The 1999 constitution invested so much power in the Federal Government that its authority cannot be challenged unless by the Supreme Court. This, in return, has made government officials misuse their offices and grant unmerited contracts to their favorites. What has made this act continue is the immunity that covers whoever is caught against any kind of prosecution.



Three years ago, a High Court in Abuja acquitted the founder of Sahara Reporters, Omoyele Sowore, of money laundering, felony, and terrorism charges. The Department of State Security Services re-arrested him the following day, on the same charges, on the court premises. It showed the executive arm of government doesn’t give reference to the judiciary. So many instances where the judiciary or legislative propose and signs a bill to law, the executive disobeys such law. An instance is the just amended Electoral Act, which states anyone vying for any political offices should tender his or her resignation letter. Disappointedly, some ministers still disobeyed and said they’d consult their constituencies before resignation.


Moreover, the main reason for democracy is for the fundamental rights of citizens to be respected and should feel equal in society. The right of the citizens are not been respected but violated. With the several protests that have happened in various states, particularly the “EndSARS” protest of 2020, where people came out to express their displeasure against police brutality. The way the security agencies treated the peaceful protesters showed there was no respect for the life of citizens.

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Conclusively, as the presidential election moves nearer, to ensure a proper run of democracy, there should be checks and balances among government officials. The 1999 constitution should be amended. Similarly, immunity should be waived for offenders and anyone found guilty should be severely prosecuted.


An elder statesman and also a lawyer, Chief Afe Babalola, made a statement that an interim government should be formed before the general election comes up. This wouldn’t have been said if the state of democracy in Nigeria was good. Truly, should an interim government be formed so that there would be room for reformation?


Glory Okunade is an undergraduate student of Physics Energy at the Federal University of Technology Akure and writes from Ibadan, Oyo State. CONTINUE READING…….



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Akanji Philip is a full-time blogger, Copywriter and a content creator. He is also a specialist in community health.

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