July 21, 2024

Nigeria Democracy: The Danger Posed by Incumbent President and Governors



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By Editorial Board

The defection of 27 Member of Rivers State House of Assembly is a reminder that the executive at all levels of Nigeria’s Democratic governance remains the draw back to growth of democracy in Nigeria.

Their interference in party primaries is the root problem of our democracy. Ordinarily, the presidents and governors should not determine who gets the party’s ticket to represent the people.

The general opinion is that the electoral Act should be amended to create room for independent candidates to resist the overbearing influence the executive arm, but some have argued that the country has enough clauses in the existing Electoral Act.

What is needed therefore, is for the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to take responsibility for a free, fair and transparent electoral process that will convince Nigerians that their votes will count.

Doing so, the scramble to contest on the platform of the party in government will reduce. Aspirants will be emboldened to go to any other political party and contest, and the parliament will have the color of the choice of the people not the present nominees of the state governors.

If INEC delivers on the statutory responsibility of conducting free and credible elections, a time will come when Nigerians will determine who represent them in the various parliaments, irrespective of the party platform.

It is only when we have an independent Parliament and independent Judiciary that the people will have democracy.

Today, democracy in Nigeria is a joke and the biggest nuisances of democracy in Nigeria are the legislators and INEC.

It is ultravirile for elected legislators to dedicate their mandate to any individual, be it president, governor or political leader, instead of parliamentary democracy.

It is the duty of the Legislative Arm of government to exercise oversight on the Executive Arm of government. Their ingratitude to the party that gave them tickets is neither parliamentary democracy nor a reflection of sense of responsibility.

This is the time for Nigerians to be vocal on the power of the people to determine government, not the governors or the president. To stop the executive interference, candidates should emerge on their strength rather than executive support such as the Rivers State case.

In the prevailing circumstance, Edo 2024 should not be restricted to the contest of All Progressives Congress (APC), People Democratic Party (PDP) or Labour Party (LP), it should be a contest of the candidates in all the parties and the choice should rest on the people on the basis of the candidate, not the political party.

See also: Dr Ernest Umakhihe, Quintessential Civil Servant Invested as Grand Patron of AFAN, Bags Edo Farmers Great Achievers’ Award

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