Sunday, August 10, 2014

Nigeria Democracy and the Risks of One Party State: A Dangerous Ground

We watched the just concluded gubernatorial election in Osun State with keen interest.  We are amazed at the intensity of the political spat between the contestants especially at the party levels.  We are apprehensive at the level of violence to say the least. While our democracy is at its infancy and we expect some levels of maturity as time goes on, we shall be quick to condemn the non-civility by both parties.

We strongly condemn the militarization of elections and the political thuggery.  We will like to see more civilized campaigns and elections in Nigeria where the rule of law is upheld and the safety of all is paramount. Elections can not be a do-or-die business. A desperation to capture all the votes in all the states election by any means amount to insanity.  We must take cues and learn from older democracies.  The dividend of a successful and mature democratic system is the vibrant socioeconomic developments of the nation.
A multiparty system in a democracy offers the citizen a choice and it promotes healthy competition among the contestants.  The ruling party will be creating a dangerous antecedent in our political ecosystem in the quest to turn our democracy into one party system.  A two party system creates a progressive and a modern society that benefits the masses.  A one party system is authoritarian and it breads complacency and dictatorship.  A one party system does not truly represent the interest of the diverse population.  A political diversity brings richness to our political cultures, economies and societies and it teaches us how to relate and co-exist with people with different political views from ourselves. The viability of our young democracy depends on this political diversity. Efforts by one political party to dominate the political system and create a one party system will surely be counterproductive to the tenets of a truly democratic society.

As we conclude this gubernatorial election in Osun State, we welcome any challenge to the results; just as the Ekiti results are being challenged.  The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) will have to make the final decision.  Any further litigation to challenge the election outcome may be a waste of resources and an evidence of political immaturity.

At Center for Modern Nigeria, we embrace a strong and a credible political opposition. The evolution of All Progressive Congress (APC) into a strong and a credible opposition is important and should not be stifled. 

When the elections are over, all political parties must embrace the winners and join hands together in the development of Nigeria.

Creating a one Party System in Nigeria is dangerous and will not augur well for our democracy and for the nation.

We must all embrace our political diversity.

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