• Thursday, July 25, 2024
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Weak government institutions crippling Nigeria’s democracy – Onigbinde

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Seun Onigbinde, the chief executive officer and co-founder of BudgIT, a civic-tech group, has said Nigeria’s democracy has remained crippled due to weak governmental institutions.

Onigbinde, on Wednesday, said the country’s institutions are expected to pay complete allegiance to the people, constitution and not the government in power.

Speaking at the 36th edition of The Platform Nigeria, a program designed to discuss the status of Nigeria’s democracy, he noted that the police, military and electoral commission are expected to be independent bodies devoid of government interference.

He added that it is through their independence can democracy thrive and rights protected in Nigeria, saying “the stronger the institutions of democracy, the better”.

“Our democracy has become weak because the police, military who are supposed to be loyal to the constitution and the people are being controlled by powerful people in government,” Onigbinde said.

Citing the development in the United States, the fiscal transparency advocate said the US economy has remained dominant due to its strong institutions and active participation in its process by the citizens.

“Democracy is built on participation. For our democracy to work, we must build ideal active citizens,” he said.

Speaking further, Onigbinde said Nigeria’s democracy is defective because it’s not local enough, stressing that the local governments have been stripped of their powers by the state governments.

“Democracy is not local enough in Nigeria, but campaigns are local. Even where there’s no development, ballot boxes will get there. Systems are not built that way,” he said.

Nigeria marks its over two decades of democratic governance at a time when many African countries like Guinea, Burkina Faso, Sudan and Chad had resorted to military rule due to poor leadership and political mistrust.

Democracy Day is celebrated in Nigeria to further give hope to citizens even as the reel of from the worst economic crisis occasioned by several government policies.