By Abdulrahman A. Abdulrauf
A university don, Dr. Tunji Ogunyemi yesterday said majority tyranny in a democracy can only be halted through a system of proportional representation.
According to him, effective distribution of resources can only be achieved where various geographical locations and ethnic groupings are rewarded on the strength of their contribution to revenue generated.
Ogunyemi made the positions known at a roundtable organised by Konrad Adenauer Stiftung in Abuja.
Tracing the historical background of this pattern of democracy, Ogunyemi, who heads the Department of History, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, said “ it is a form of popular expression of the will of the people and indeed, the electorate during elections in the determination of not only who leads or represents them but how such leaders and representatives should be chosen.
“It is important to point out that elections do not just occur, they occur as a practical enforcement and manifestation of desire by all qualified electors to ensure that governance is directly anchored on the principle of consultation, legitimacy and inclusiveness.”
Providing further insight into PR, the speaker said “operates on a very simple arithmetic scale w here a winner in an election involving four electoral seats for instance in a constituency of 400 voters, the only beneficiary in such an election will be the party that secured greater number of votes than any of the other contestants.
“So, if in an election 400 votes involving 4 parties in which Party A gets 199 votes, Party B 100 votes, Party C 100 votes and Party D, 1 vote, the winner would be Party A, which will take all the electoral seats in the constituency notwithstanding the fact that she only secured just one quarter of the total votes cost.”
In her remarks, KAS Country Representative, Mrs. Hildegard Behrendt-Kigozi, described PR as good, but urged that it could be adopted in tandem with the nation’s peculiarities.
She also noted that it would engender proper power and revenue sharing among various entities that make up the nation.