‘Unless Nigerians press for true democracy, it might never evolve’

Sat Nov 23rd, 2019 - Bayelsa

Elder statesman and former governor of Kaduna State, Alhaji Abdukadir Balarabe Musa, in this interview, speaks on the leadership style of President Muhammadu Buhari, the recently conducted governorship elections in Bayelsa and Kogi states, the threats to free, fair and credible polls and other issues of national significance.

As elder statesman and political leader in the country who has participated and observed Nigeria’s democratic journey since 1999 to date, how will you describe the state governance in the country today?
First of all, I will say that I don’t know the relevance of 1999 with regards to the state of the nation. Secondly, I don’t know your understanding of democracy. But I can tell you that my understanding of democracy is the supremacy of the will of the people as demonstrated in a free, fair and transparent election leading to a legitimate government at every level, particularly the power of the electorate, the voters, to decide the fate of a political party, election candidate and the government in power. That is democracy.

But I have problems with you and others, particularly in the media, who simply regard democracy as change from military to civilian
leadership. Well, it is a progress. But that doesn’t amount to democracy. It is just transfer of power from military to civilian.

Another point is that you talked about 1999. What is the relevance of 1999 in the state of Nigeria? In 1999, the military leaders surrendered power to Obasanjo, that is to civilians. But in real terms, does that amount to democracy? I think this is understatement of the real definition of democracy. Democracy is the supremacy of the will of the people.




source: Guardian