In Meeting With Lawmakers, Obasanjo Says Western-style Democracy Not Working, Proposes Afro-cracy

Kingsley Nwezeh in Abuja

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo, Tuesday, hosted members of the House of Representatives pushing for the reintroduction of the parliamentary system of government in Nigeria

House Minority Leader,  Hon Kingsley Chinda, who led the group of lawmakers had projected the high cost of governance associated with the presidential system of government, need for an accountable and responsive government as the rationale behind the drive to change the system of government.

Backing the lawmakers, Obasanjo agreed to the need for a system of government that works, and advocated Afro-cracy, a system of government that takes into cognisance the culture,  tradition and way of life of Nigerians and Africans.

He further declared that western democracy had not delivered the goods.

“Our problems started from the colonial masters. They gave us what they have.

“So now you are taking the right step. Sunak is a prime minister (UK), who is not voted for. Even for them, liberal democracy is failing”, he said.

“Our constitution started on a faulty base. It’s a product of their culture and tradition. Western democracy has what is called opposition. They have loyal opposition because they are loyal to the monarchy.

“We had thriving kingdoms. We rule ourselves with concensus. If you commit an abomination you will be punished”, he said.

The former Nigerian leader called for a return to the African way of  governance.

“Let us look at our lives. Our lives are characterised or symbolised by communalism.

“If we now come back home, we will get it right. You can call it Afro-democracy not democracy of opposition. We can move and agree to the structure we are going to put in place”, he said.

Obasanjo called for a system of government that is based on ideology.

“There is the need for ideology. They change parties as women change wrappers.

“What are you going to do and it can be done and it must be done and that is what you are doing

If you do it well, we will have that critical mass.

“Something that encompasses our culture, our tradition, our way of life. You can call it Afro-democracy or whatever you call it.

“Let’s resource, let’s see debate, let’s dialogue. Don’t let them pervert our own culture and tradition”, he said.

He, however warned the proponents of parliamentary system of government to note that the project may not materialise immediately.

“What you are doing, don’t expect result tomorrow. If you expect results tomorrow. You may be disappointed. It may or may not happen in our life time but we need something authentically African.

“The same thing we are saying  that western democracy is not working for us. It has not delivered. They are also taking a second look at it”, he said.

Earlier in his remarks, Hon Kingsley Chinda said the group was concerned about the high cost of governance associated with the presidential system of government hence the decision to tap from wealth of knowledge of the former leader.

“We seek a home grown parliamentary system of government because we believe that the system we practice  can get better. 

“We are concerned about the high cost of governance in our country today. We talk about how to reduce the cost of governance.

“We want to tap from your wealth of knowledge and your  support”, he said.

Other lawmakers at the meeting include Abdussamad Dasuki, Olawale Raji, Kabir Ibrahim Tukura, Abdullahi El-Rasheed,Umar Yusuf Yabo, Abdulmaleek Danga,  and Esosa Iyawe.

Others are Aliyu Aminu Garu, Shehu Dalhatu, Ibe Okwara Osonwa, Muhammed Bello Shehu, Gwacham Maureen, Joshua Audu Gana, Blessing Amadi, Engr M.B Jajere, Afam Victor Ogene and Kwamoti Laori.

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