B y Charles Nwaoguji
Change in strategy has become a necessary tool to salvaging Nigeria’s democracy so as to have a rebirth of the country.
This is the position of a group of panel discussants which included: Development Economist Nigeria Labour Congress, Mrs. Hauwa Mustapha; Former Executive Director, Civil Liberties Organisation, CLO, Mr. Osaze Nosaze; Lecturer, Department of Political Science, Veritas University, Mr Adagbo Onoja; among others at a Webinar on “Conversation on Democracy in Nigeria” organised by Maroon Square Discourse 2020.
They pointed out that military intervention is a cradle for what is obtained in today’s Nigeria politics, for instance: most of the people in politics today are from the military.
Also, they called for a rebirth of the country’s democracy which they said lacked framework. According to Mustapha, “The factor that affected our politics from parties is the economy. With the crop of political parties we had in the ’60’s, it was the economy that governed the society. Greed, accumulation of resources was not as we have it today, people were not consumed as we have today. Insecurity and fear of tomorrow’s basic necessities also impacted on Nigeria.
We cannot get it right in political parties except we rearrange the economy. “Neo-liberalism affected the economy,
people saw political parties as a vehicle for survival not service. Politics and economy are linked and we must ensure a workable strategy to get both right.
“The danger neo-liberalism has brought is democratizing the liberal states. We need to think deeply on what works and what did not work. We need to reinvent ourselves on how neo-colonialism is changing. We need to organize, go back and be positively critical about what is wrong. We need to change our strategy to fit into the new stride. We can’t go on with old strategy,” she said.
In his remark, Nosaze said that the state of Nigeria cannot be divorced from the ruling party, adding that ruling party in Nigeria has not developed intellect because education is going down, saying “There should be a rebirth of this country, what we have is civil rule not democracy, it has been so since first republic. “Nigeria mistake is to dissociate politics from economy,
in the early 70’s the political ruling class parties had vision but in the late 70’s they lost the vision and today what we have is political parties which are used as vehicle for fight for power,” he said.
Earlier, Onoja said that India, Brazil, Mexico and China are comparatively, categories were Nigeria democracy should be categorized, stating: “our democracy lacks discourse, they conceptualize democracy. We do not have framework of democracy in Nigeria like others.”
He added that there are political parties with no concept due to collapse in consensus after independence. “Military intervention is a cradle for what we have today in politics; most of the people in politics today are from the military. The ruling classes have diversity of imagination.”