Professor Solomon Ogbu of the department of Political Science at the University of Abuja has said that though the western liberal democracy has been fully entrenched in the country way back in 1999, the tenets of it have not been fully imbibed by both the rulers and the followership.
He stated this recently in his keynote address to the participants at the Second International Conference on “Enhancing Democracy, Security, Development and Foreign Relations of Nigeria in a Globalised World,” held in the parliamentary building of the department.
He stress that his view is evidenced by the fact that the polity has all along been overheated due to recurring electoral fraud, unending intra-party wrangling, retention and succession bids that have often times resulted in an orgy of violence. The all-crusading western liberal democracy, he added, has become a world-wide movement, sweeping across all nooks and crannies of the world; therefore, it behooves Nigeria to join the bandwagon in order to also reap the dividends of democracy with other members of the democratic family.
He further stated that the security situation in the country has remained an intractable problem over the years despite efforts of the federal government under President Goodluck Jonathan and President Muhammadu Buhari government to wipe out the menace of terrorism in the Northeast and militancy in the Niger Delta of the country
This situation, he argued, is compounded by the rising spate of kidnappings and the horror of herdsmen/farmers clashes across the country, besides the persistent calls and clamour for restructuring the country. The renewed agitation for actualisation of Biafra, which has, in recent times, elicited negative reactions from northern youths, is pointer to the fact that the nation is sitting on a keg of monumental calamity and eventual disintegration, he warned.
“All of these have far-reaching implication for the unity, stability and development of the country. Beyond this, Nigeria as a sub-regional and continental leader is expected to intervene in the political and security situations in Guinea Bissau, Somalia, South Sudan, Mali and Libya, to forestall a spillover effect of the situations as well as avert refugee crisis in the entire West African sub-region.
“Restructuring the country should not be done for restructuring sake, but a restructuring that will make Nigeria a much better place to live in. While balkanisation of the much cherished Nigerian federation in the name of restructuring would be ill wind that blows no one any good. It is only fair for government to evolve a deliberate policy that will ensure an equitable distribution of political powers and material resources among the diverse nationality groups that make up the federation. This will promote the unity, solidarity and harmonious existence among the different peoples of the country as it will allay the lingering minorities’ fear of domination by the majority ethnic groups,” he said.
He noted that development could only take place in a congenial atmosphere that guaranteed security of life and property, devoid of violent extremism, adding that development underscored the urgent need for Nigeria to strengthen and reposition her security apparatuses to cope with the incessant security challenges by silencing the guns.
“The abundant human and material resources in the country can only be harnessed and channelled into the productive sectors of the economy for sustainable development, if we all join hands with the political leadership to take the country to the next level of development. “Nigeria should strive to be a model of development in the African continent if only to tell the whole world that the country is the giant of Africa.
“Development will boost the country’s image and status in the international community which will in turn brighten her chances of getting a permanent seat in the UN Security Council as Africa’s representative.”