Nigeria slipping into democratic autocracy, says varsity don

A political scientist has warned that Nigeria is gradually slipping into autocracy, a development which is threatening the gains of democratic ethos established by the founding fathers.

Giving this warning in Abuja over the weekend, the Director Institute for Legislative Studies University of Abuja, Professor Sheriff Ghali Ibrahim, also remarked that the excessive use of the armed security personnel against the people, which has become a common practice in Nigeria today, negates the principles of democracy and the rule of law.

The Professor of Political Science and International Relations told Blueprint that true democracy guarantees freedom of expression and association but regretted that the ruling APC has gradually curtailed basic freedoms and succeeded in putting fear in the minds of citizens.

“The celebration of democracy is something that humanity should do especially where democracy is fully practiced. In 62 years of independence, Nigerians have been subjected to military interregnum, dictatorship and democratic autocracy.

“The annulment of the June 12 election contradicted the choice of the people and also contradicted the effort and political struggles of the nation. The change of date for democracy day celebration was made to give legitimacy to the June 12 election.

“Despite this, democracy has failed in Nigeria. For example, the right to life has fizzled out and confiscated by the state in Nigeria. I say this because the government has failed to provide the particular environment that will ensure the right to life and citizens now live in fear of death which can come at any moment.

“We need to critically evaluate the way we practice democracy in this country and remove those corrupting influences that are anti-people and anti-development because democracy has failed in Nigeria.

“Also, the rule of law, which is guaranteed by democracy, has been relegated to the periphery in Nigeria while human development has been neglected, poverty has grown in beyond control,” Prof Ibrahim remarked.