Nigerians differ on gains of 25 years of uninterrupted democracy


A cross section of Nigerians, on Wednesday in Abuja expressed divergent opinions on the state of affairs as the country marks its 25-year of uninterrupted democracy.

Some Nigerians, who stated this in separate interviews with the News Agency of Nigeria said that democratic government had yielded much result for the country, while others think otherwise.

Benjamin Otu, a resident in Mararaba, Nasarawa State, said democracy had over the years impacted positively on Nigerians and the Nigerian economy.

According to him, democracy is gradually taking its roots in every facet of “our national life,” arguing that some of the rights and privileges enjoyed today resulted from a thriving democracy.

Otu said that Nigeria’s democracy had come a long way since 1999, adding that all hands must be on desk to reposition it.

A civil servant, Rotimi Adeyemi, said that there was no alternative to a democratic government.

According to him, “under democracy, we have freedom of expression and association, which was nonexistent during the military regime.

”For the past 25 years, the people of Nigeria have imbibed and internalised the principles and culture of democracy.

“Most of the bills coming from the National Assembly and the change of government periodically without any interruption have shown that democracy has come to stay,” he said.

According to him, some of the problems faced by Nigerians can be traced back to the military regime, so we are better with the democratic government.

“Now people associate freely and walk freely, and power flows from people. It is the people that decide who rules them,” he said.

James Edoh, a businessman, said that democracy had given Nigerians the power to choose their leaders and hold them accountable.

“In contrast, the military rule we had, was characterised by tyranny and oppression. It is often said that the worst democratic government is better than the best military government.

“It is best that we stay with the democratic government and improve on it than the military regime.

“We have benefited from the democratic government because the government from the beginning of this regime till now has tried.

“A lot has been enjoyed by Nigerians in this democratic regime compared to the military regime. Like peace, job creation, among others,” he said.

Also, Caleb Ezea, a trader said that democracy allowed for participatory governance.

“Democracy is the government of the people, by the people, and for the people. It gives voice to the common man.

“The voice of everyone is heard unlike military rule, whereby it is the government of the strongest, tyranny is the order of the day.

“This is because the president or head of states has the highest power and can do whatever suits him.

”Although we are not doing fantastic with the democratic government, I am sure it is better than the military,” he said.

Ezekiel Ogbu, a civil servant, called for more transparency and effectiveness in Nigeria’s democracy.

Ogbu, who said that the country’s democracy was too expensive at the expense of the country and the masses, urged the country to try another system of government.

Similarly, Solomon Oladapo, a resident of Suleja, called for more progress at the level of development in the country.

He advised the government to close any loopholes that enable some individuals to loot the nation’s wealth.

However, Irene Nsiodo, a resident of Garki, said that democracy had brought about stability in the political system of the country.

“I believe that democracy has given hope for a brighter future for the people of Nigeria.”

“Freedom of expression has been given a chance to thrive, leading to the exposure of corrupt practices in various sectors of the economy,” she said.