• Wednesday, May 29, 2024
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Obasanjo says western democracy has failed Africa, advocates for ‘Afro-Democracy’

Mambilla, Obasanjo and the scapegoat mentality

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo said Western liberal democracy has failed Africa. He advocated for a local solution, which he called ‘Afro-democracy.

The former president also warned the proponents of a parliamentary system that immediate results may not be feasible.

Obasanjo said these on Tuesday at a closed-door meeting in Abuja with former President Goodluck Jonathan and legislators led by Kingsley Chinda.

He expressed dissatisfaction with the performance of Western democracy in Africa and proposed an alternative system, termed Afro-democracy, which would incorporate Nigerian and African cultural, traditional, and lifestyle elements.

This stance followed a push by House of Representatives members to reintroduce a parliamentary system to decrease Nigeria’s governance costs.

Chinda’s group has repeatedly voiced opposition to the presidential system’s governance costs, advocating for a change.

Obasanjo recommended a return to African governance traditions and called for an ideology-based system.

He criticised the colonial legacy and the opposition inherent in Western democracy, contrasting it with African communal consensus and self-rule.

The former president urged consideration of a system reflecting African communal values, which he referred to as Afro-democracy, emphasising dialogue and debate.

He tempered expectations for rapid change, suggesting the project might not come to fruition soon but stressed the need for an authentically African solution.

He said, “Our problems started from the colonial masters. They gave us what they had. So, now you are taking the right step. (Rishi) Sunak is a Prime Minister (UK), who is not voted for. Even for them, liberal democracy is failing.

“Our constitution started on a faulty base. It’s a product of their culture and tradition. Western democracy has what is called opposition. They have loyal opposition because they are loyal to the monarchy. We had thriving Kingdoms. We rule ourselves with consensus. If you commit an abomination you will be punished.

“Let us look at our lives. Our lives are characterised or symbolised by communalism. If we now come back home, we will get it right. You can call it Afro-democracy not democracy of opposition. We can move and agree to the structure we are going to put in place.

“There is the need for ideology. They change parties as women change wrappers. What are you going to do it can be done and it must be done and that is what you are doing. If you do it well, we will have that critical mass.

“Something that encompasses our culture, our tradition our ways of life. You can call it Afro-democracy or whatever you call it. Let’s resource, let’s see debate, let’s dialogue. Don’t let them pervert our own culture and tradition.”

Chinda highlighted the legislators’ concerns about the presidential system’s governance costs and expressed a desire to benefit from Obasanjo’s insights for a homegrown parliamentary system.

The meeting was also attended by several lawmakers including, Abdussamad Dasuki, Olawale Raji, Kabir Ibrahim Tukura, Abdullahi El-Rasheed, Umar Yusuf Yabo, Abdulmaleek Danga, Esosa Iyawe, Aliyu Aminu Garu, Shehu Dalhatu, Ibe Okwara Osonwa, Muhammed Bello Shehu, Maureen Gwacham, Joshua Audu Gana, Blessing Amadi, Engr M.B Jajere, Afam Victor Ogene, and Kwamoti Laori.