• Saturday, May 25, 2024
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Nigeria’s ‘hybrid regime’ ranked 104th in EIU’s democracy index

Nigeria: Democracy, ominous prophecies and service delivery

Nigeria has ranked 104th out of 167 countries in the latest democracy index report by the Economists Intelligence Unit.

EIU in its country report noted that Nigeria ranked 107th in 2021; 105th in 2022, but has improved in the rating by just one place, having 4.23 of 10 score.

It described the country as practising a “hybrid regime” like Liberia, Sierra Leone and Côte d’Ivoire because the 2023 general elections lacked fairness, with voter intimidation being a common feature.

“Nigeria’s overall ranking in EIU’s 2023 Democracy Index has improved by one place to 104th out of the 167 countries covered by the index, although the country’s score is unchanged at 4.23.

“Nigeria is categorised as a “hybrid regime”, alongside countries such as Liberia, Sierra Leone and Côte d’Ivoire,” EIU said.

According to the report, the last general election was marred with a lot of irregularities as alleged rigging, marginalisation and insecurity emerged as factors causing distrust, even as there was universal suffrage and a competitive electoral process.

Five indicators – electoral process and pluralism; civil liberties; functioning of government; political participation; and political culture – according to the report were used to measure the democracy index, with each on a 0 to 10 scale.

The London-based intelligence firm said Africa’s most populous nation scored highest with 5.17 in electoral process due to a highly contested presidential election in February last year though “chaotically conducted”, it produced a president who had 36.6 percent of the total votes with results challenged in court by the oppositions.

In terms of how the government functions, Nigeria had 3.93, and 3.89 in political participation as less than 27 percent of the total registered voters participated in the past election. The country also scored low in political culture and civil liberties with 3.75 and 4.41 respectively.

While the report concluded that there are no general consensus on how democracy can be measured, it noted that free and fair elections, political freedom and presence of a competitive electoral process are instrumental to a viable democracy.

“Our index is based on the view that measures of democracy that reflect the state of political freedom and civil liberties are not “thick” enough: they do not encompass sufficiently some crucial features that determine the quality and substance of democracy,” EIU said.