Democracy yet to take roots in Nigeria – Fayemi

Ekiti state governor, Kayode Fayemi, has said democracy is yet to take deep roots in Nigeria as it means more than regular elections.

Fayemi spoke in his capacity as the chairman of the Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF) during a visit to Czech Republic Ambassador to Nigeria, Marek Skolil, in Abuja on Tuesday.

According to him, the democratic system is yet to take deep root in the country despite 20 years of uninterrupted practice.

“The notion that once you have elections, all else will follow is no doubt a pipe dream that is now obvious to all and even now, there is nothing irreversible about democracy in Nigeria.”

According to a statement signed by the NGF spokesperson, Abdulrazaque Barkindo, Fayemi also emphasised that “there is no democracy without rule of law.”

The governor, who was enumerating what governance at the sub-national levels entails, said, “We need to increase economic opportunity at the sub-national level for the safety and security of our people because security and welfare is the first job of the government.”

He added that “In the minds of the people we need more than governance for the goodwill of the people.”

“At the end of the day there are no ‘Federal Nigerians but state citizens’, so those who are friends of Nigeria must understand the two-level strata of our government and aid the one that best touches the heart of the problem as it were.”

He said for good governance to be possible in the country, there is a need to pull more people out of illiteracy.

According to him, the more educated the people, the more they would be able to hold people in power accountable.

“You cannot extricate violence from poverty. Someone who is less educated is a lot more risk-averse than someone who is educated and can read the future and therefore the thrust is to get more people out of poverty and illiteracy, as quickly as possible for good governance to germinate on an even level in the country.”

In his remarks, Mr Skolil described Nigeria’s democracy as a transitioning process.

The Czech Ambassador said during his stay in the last general election in Nigeria, he witnessed an environment that was very vibrant, an atmosphere he said his country could learn from.

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