Stakeholders call for overhaul of democratic practice in Nigeria

President of the Nigerian Political Science Association (NPSA), Professor Aloysius-Michaels Okolie, has called for complete overhaul of the method of practicing democracy in Nigeria to ensure that the system of government develops in a manner where it will benefit the country.

Okolie remarked that Nigeria has been gradually guided into democratic reversals arising from government deficits, the proliferation of hopelessness and haplessness among its citizens.

The political scientist, made these remarks at the Second Annual Conference of the Nigerian Political Science Association in Abuja with the theme: ‘Democracy and Governance in Nigeria, 20 Years

After’, which was widely attended by political stakeholders from government establishments, the private sector and the academia.

Okolie also stated that “the existing governance architecture has assisted political leaders to introduce and perpetrate acts of alienation, exclusion of a helpless population from government, to promote banditry, unbiased criminality, fraud, corruption, unbridled suppression, and the eulogisation of mediocrity” in the place of industry and development.

He argued that the nation’s political actors and members of the ruling class have unduly benefited from the faulty aspects of democracy that was foisted on Nigerians and are ensuring that nothing will be done to

change the status quo so long as it remains gainful to the benefiting class.

The issues raised in the president’s keynote address were largely adopted by other speakers who brainstormed on the problems militating against the growth of the nation’s democracy in the past 20 years of uninterrupted civil rule and what practical measures can be introduced to remedy the challenges to move the nation forward.

Professor Okolie told journalists that efforts must be put in place by the National Assembly and political parties to reverse the downward sliding in the nation’s democratic

practice to ensure that the dividends of democracy are reaped by every Nigerian.

In an interview with newsmen, Head, Department of Political Sciences and International Relations, University of Abuja, Professor James Nda Jacob, aligned himself with the theme of the conference saying it was chosen to draw attention to the slide of the nation into autocracy and other debilitating factors holding the country captive in its tortuous journey to nationhood.

The conference was co-hosted by the North central zone branch and the Department of Political Sciences and International Relations, University of Abuja.

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