Full Name: Ezeifekwuaba. Tochukwu. Benedict
University: South America University
Degree: Oil and Gas Management (Msc)
Date: 29th September, 2018
Essay Title: The Essence of living in a Democracy World: Nigeria as a Case Study
Living in a democracy is so important so as to ensure that government follows the will of the masses and not the one that compel the citizens to follow it.
In November 1863, the former President of the United States of America (USA), Abraham Lincoln examined what has been referred to as the ideal definition and evaluation of democracy as “Government by the people, of the people and for the people”
In other words, democracy has to do with the way and manner of governing in which the people can control the affairs and the administration by involving in decision making process in respect to how they are been governed. This takes and entails various forms and ways such as a “Representative” and a “Direct” democracy
Representative democracy has to do with the system whereby the people involve indirectly in government by electing or choosing individuals to represent them.
The most significant and famous form of democracy in this present century is the representative type in which professionals and specialists believe is challenging to practice. The democracy of Nigeria can be seen as a representative one in nature
The reason why the system of democratic government is preferred worldwide and the essence of living in a democracy globally particularly in Nigeria is because of the opportunities and the advantages that are inherent in it. Such opportunities and the advantages such as decent housing, decent standard of living, quality education, healthcare, freedom of expression, equality of individuals, etc are terms connected with the concept. Also the important of dwelling in a democracy will guarantee certain fundamental and the basic rights as right to life and the pursuit of excitement or happiness
The type of democracy provided in Nigeria is also very important. However; it is believed that the democracy of Nigeria’s is representative, it is generally confirmed that democracy does not transpire in its normal and appropriated form. Since the return of Nigeria to the May 29, 1999 Constitutional Government, it has constantly put aside the date as well as the period as a day to commemorate and celebrate democracy. Some of the citizens of Nigeria have described the celebration as vanity and have also dismissed the celebration
This class of Nigerians attests that democracy is not applied in the Nation. For example, Justice Aniagolu Anthony once agreed with critics and antagonist of the democracy of Nigeria and emphasized that the concept and terms continues to be elusive because its significant element were still deficient
Since 2003, Nigerians have been ignored and deprived of an authentic involvement in selecting their leaders through election. The Economy is so weak and poor as a result of corruption, poor social infrastructure, insecurity, weak and poor institutions and visionless leadership which have amalgamated to make Nigerians hungry and poor.
The Nation has been attributed by the celebration of corrupt leaders, bad governance as well as impunity. The absence of transparency in governance has resulted to huge challenges to economic and social development. And therefore as a result of this, the democratic agencies and institutions of the country have been severely weakened
Although, not all attests that the last sixteen years of democratic governance in the Nation has not attained so much. Some Nigerians believe that the Nation has attained a remarkable as well as a landmark achievement since the beginning of democracy after several decades of military regime. Some said the Nation presently benefit from the rule of law, freedom of movement and speech as stipulated in the constitution of the Nation.
A Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) and a senate leader, Chief Ndoma Victor Egba is among those who attested that all was not bad about the country’s practice of democracy. While emphasizing on the democratic travail so far of the Nation during the time the Nation celebrates its democracy during an interview with journalists, the eminent lawyer emphasized that:
“When we are carrying out an evaluation of how the Nation has fared since 1991, I will prefer to categorize and analyze the evaluation into intangibles and tangible, the intangibles entails those invisible things that you cannot touch or see. Then the tangibles are those aspects or parts that individuals can construct with their senses either with the sense of touch or the sense of vision”
“Presently for the intangibles, I assume that the most significant is that the farther episode of the present democracy is in the history of Post Independence. We have had so many episodes of democracy in our long decades of military era. The unbroken sixteen years is the farthest that we have encountered and for Nigerians it is a significant achievement and now that we have attained this far without compromising any of the guaranteed freedom in the constitution of the country, it is also another significant achievement “.
Actually as the country continues to celebrate it's year of democratic governance, the questions various individuals ask is whether the average Nigerian has gained in any way? Has the living standard of individuals advanced? Are the aspirations of Nigerian towards the democracy dividends of the Nation been attained? These are the various and necessary questions that entail a quick and clear answer
Actually, the solutions to the above questions are in the negative. it still look as if the Nation is under military regime with challenging exhibition or portrayal of arrogance, corruption and lawlessness particularly by people and government officials in elective offices and positions at every levels. The apparent hangover of the mentality of the military results to leaders showcasing intolerance and high handedness
This vividly ensures the maximum level of unemployment, poverty and corruption which have been recognized as the major reasons of violent crimes and insecurity in the Nation. Actually, there is nothing or little to celebrate as a result of our hard earned democracy as good governance and leadership for the development of the Nation has been hampered. Since 1999 till present, it is unfortunate that the citizens of the country have never benefitted from the anticipated dividends of democracy. Solely little tends to have been altered. This is viewed in the very restricted provision of education, infrastructure, telecommunication, health and the other sectors of the Nation.
At the beginning of the fourth republic, the anticipation of Nigeria citizens was so high. This entailed constant power supply. They optimally envisaged a rehabilitation of roads, schools, the environment as well as hospitals. Actually, majority of Nigerians were gladdened by the civilian era reintroduction because they anticipated that it would provide employment opportunities as well as minimize poverty. Regrettably; not much has changed as they need to review and examine their conduct and roles in the present democratic dispensation so as to ensure real democracy for the citizens. The prevailing condition where some elected leaders dwell in affluence while nearly seventy percent of Nigerians dwelling in penury is no more acceptable
Only presently, the World Bank ranked the country as the third poorest Nation in the globe with seven Percent of the globe two billion abject poor masses. It is disturbing and alarming that this transpire while the governments as well as various agencies are showcasing a maximum level of financial recklessness and corruption
In spite of the exercises of the anti corruption organizations internationally and locally, Nigeria remains one of the most corrupt Nation worldwide as this has made it difficult for the citizens to live in a Democratic nation as a result of the impunity and the corruption of the government
There is the need for this present government, that is; the Buhari Administration to restructure the democracy of the Country in other to depict the world global practices. This entails that we apply global democratic norms and values into our National Psyche. Also; leaders and Government must ensure that democracy is attainable as well as acceptable by all in the Nation.
Also; Nigerian Democracy and the demand of the people is centered on voting. Therefore; the ideas of voting of an individual must depicts the general views of everyone. An individual vote confirms one’s rights as a free citizen to choose their representatives and partake in democracy. The truth of the matter is that one vote’s count and can also ensure a free democratic world by making a difference always particularly when one cast his vote. It is important to note that without vote there will actually be no democracy at all. Voting assist a country to ensure a new set of individuals representing them with fresh initiatives and also to correct the mistakes done by their predecessors and therefore ensure citizens to live in a democracy world
True democracy entails the participation of individual or else in non-existence of that there is no practice of democracy
- The Tide. (2015). Democracy and the Quality of Life of Nigerians, Retrieved From: http://www.thetidenewsonline.com/2015/05/29/democracy-and-quality-o...
- Adewale. T. Akande. (2011). The Importance of Voting in a Truly Democratic Society, Retrieved From: https://www.thenigerianvoice.com/news/45099/the-importance-of-votin...