June 12: Peter Obi Speaks on Nigeria's Democracy, "We're Not Truly Democratic"

June 12: Peter Obi Speaks on Nigeria's Democracy, "We're Not Truly Democratic"

  • Peter Obi, Labour Party's presidential candidate for 2023, has criticised Nigeria's current state of democracy
  • Obi highlighted Nigeria's poor performance on international democracy indices, including a low score on the global democracy index
  • Obi emphasised that true democracy should be people-oriented, respectful of citizens' rights and mindful of the rule of law

FCT, Abuja - In a bold statement marking Democracy Day, Peter Obi, the Labour Party's presidential candidate in the 2023 elections, has voiced his concerns over Nigeria's democratic integrity, claiming that the nation is far from achieving true democracy.

Obi noted that Nigeria's democracy started on the right footing in 1999. However, current realities explain that the country has deteriorated.

Peter Obi speaks on Nigeria's democracy
Peter Obi speaks on Nigeria's democracy Photo credit: NurPhoto
Source: Getty Images

Obi stated that the repercussions of not being a genuine democracy have caused leadership failures, which have led to rampant systemic corruption, severe insecurity, rising poverty rates, and unprecedented levels of hunger and hardship, Punch reported.

Read also

June 12: Jonathan sends key message to Tinubu: "Build a Nigeria where every citizen has a voice"

He said:

"While we may say that in 1999 we started in earnest in the right direction, today we have deteriorated into what can be classified as classical state capture. Instead of benefiting all, it has become a deprivation to all.
"The consequences of not being a true democracy have led to leadership failures that have resulted in uncontrolled systemic corruption, high levels of insecurity, lack of freedom of speech, increasing poverty rates, and unprecedented levels of hunger and hardship, which remain unsolved and are growing geometrically."

Poor international democracy indices

This was as Obi made demands that the country should as a matter of urgency return to true democracy, adding that indices from certain quarters tell that Nigeria is democratically performing poorly, TheCable reported.

Read also

June 12: Seven key takeaways from Tinubu’s Democracy Day address

He said:

"In the measurement of democracy, we have a democracy index score of 4.23, which ranks us low on the Global Democracy Index. In the Corruption Perception Index, we are ranked 145th among the 180 countries measured, showing a high level of corruption in Nigeria.
"In the Rule of Law Measurement, we are ranked 120th out of 142 countries measured in the World Justice Project (WJP) Rule of Law Index, indicating that Nigeria suffers from gross disobedience to the rule of law.
"The 2024 World Press Freedom Index by Reporters Without Borders (RSF) describes Nigeria as one of West Africa's most dangerous and difficult countries for journalists.
"Nigeria ranks 112th out of 180 countries where journalists are regularly monitored, attacked, and arbitrarily arrested. We are ranked 109th out of 125 countries measured on the Global Hunger Index."

Obi on what democracy should be

Advising on what democracy should be, Peter Obi pointed out that:

Read also

Breaking: Jonathan speaks on wordings of national anthem, sends key message to Tinubu

"True democracy should be people-oriented, where the rights of citizens are respected, the laws are obeyed, the leaders remain accountable to the people, and people's welfare and care, especially for the poor, become paramount and high priorities. Unfortunately, the opposite is the case in our situation."

2027: Ex-Jigawa gov Lamido hints on Obi's possible return to PDP

In another report, a former governor of Jigawa state, Sule Lamido, had said there was nothing wrong with the Labour Party (LP) presidential candidate in the 2023 election, Peter Obi returning to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

Lamido reminded people Obi was the running mate to the PDP presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar in the 2029 election.

Proofread by Kola Muhammed, journalist and copyeditor at Legit.ng

Source: Legit.ng

Ezra Ukanwa avatar

Ezra Ukanwa (Editor) Ezra Ukanwa is a first-class graduate of Anchor University, Lagos. He holds a master's degree in mass communication. Ezra currently serves as the Current Affairs and Politics Editor for Legit.ng, where he covers events and provides insightful analysis and reportage on national issues. He was named best Campus Journalist (Anchor University Communications Award, 2019). Kindly contact him at: ezra.ukanwa@corp.legit.ng or +2349036989944