Nigeria’s Democracy, Our Benchmark, Says Benin Deputy President


The Republic of Benin has said Nigeria’s democratic governance is worthy of emulation, and the country’s next election is being planned to emulate Nigeria.

The Deputy President of the country, Prof. Octave Cossi Houdegbe, rising from a recent meeting with traditional rulers in Cotonou, Republic of Benin commended former Nigeria leader, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, for his exemplary leadership since returning the country to democratic rule in 1979. He said successive leaders have all played exemplary roles to nurture and sustain democracy.

The meeting deliberated on role of tradition in ensuring lasting peace in Africa. A foremost traditionalist from Nigeria, Aworo Oba Asa, Chief Jimoh Aliu (MFR), was at the parley. He said traditional education would entrench peace worldwide, if parents and guardian can impress it upon their children from the early stages of their lives that violence is evil.

Houdegbe, who doubles as Kokpon Awiyan of Dahe Kingdom, said Obasanjo had been a source of inspiration for African leaders as he always guides them towards the right path, seeking peace at all times, saying “We in the Republic of Benin are so proud of him”.

He added that through leaders like him, “Nigeria has taught Benin a great lesson, shown us something that people are respecting. And that is the mode of election. Nigeria is now seen as a rare model of democracy. Other countries are still fighting and contesting the result.

“Our next election is being planned towards emulating Nigeria. In the parliament, we considered approaching Nigeria to learn the ropes. In Benin today, it’s poverty everywhere, not because we stopped doing what we used to do, we are not lazy, but we need the relationship with Nigeria, without which Benin cannot survive.”

He added that the relationship between Nigeria and his country “is not cordial because of our political behaviour towards Nigeria.”
The Deputy President, a lawyer and former magistrate, also a former Co-President of the ACP-EU Parliamentary Association and erstwhile President of the International Association of French-Speaking Parliaments (AIPLF), said Africans are peaceful people.

“We need to uphold our tradition, Africans are peaceful people. We want peace everywhere. We are running to eat; we can’t be running to survive. Therefore, government everywhere should help traditionalists fight terrorists and ensure lasting peace in the world. We must stay together and fight terrorists”, he added.