Elective offices should be made less attractive to strengthen Nigeria’s democracy ― Veteran Journalists
Association of Veteran Journalists, Osun State chapter has called on relevant stakeholders to make elective offices less attractive with a view to strengthening the nation’s democracy.
In a communique issued at the end of the one-day summit on 2019 elections, the veteran journalists maintained that “Nigeria’s democracy appears now to be antithetical to good governance and does not meet international best standard and practice.”
According to the communique signed by the chairman of Osun State chapter of the Association of Veteran Journalists, Prince Kayode Adedire and his secretary, Reverend Adeyeye Oyedokun, 2019 general election was characterised by violence and vote-buying despite huge resources committed by the government to the exercise.
The communique reads in parts “even though democracy is natured to guarantee the provision of the greatest good to the greatest number, the resolution of this summit is that the 2019 general election has painted a scenario in which we are having democracy without true democrats.”
“Undoubtedly the election was the most inclusive for having relatively attracted highest participation (having recorded highest number of contestants, including greatest population of female candidates, youths contesting across board and most inclusive participation of people living with disabilities )but has evidently got nothing to consolidate upon amidst the experience of the country’s twenty years of unbroken civil rule becoming mere objects of sterile experiment.”
“It is the view of this summit that the election, ironically one which has enjoyed the longest planning period and costliest in terms of humongous resources has been the most contentious while its three-phase of activities has negatively impaired on its entire credibility.”
“It is therefore resolved that there is an urgent need for a concerted democracy education programme that should reflect Nigeria’s peculiar context and social-political goals, implementable in both formal and informal setting towards empowering the citizens for effective participation and the political class for true democratic leadership.”
“Nigeria is long overdue for a people-friendly constitution that would guide honest and cooperative relationship between government and the people as well as among the organs of all levels of governance and it is the considered opinion of this summit that Nigeria should revisit the creation of a workable federal arrangement that would make election much less competitive and violent.”
“The summit has noted with disgust that the preelection, election, and postelection activities were befuddled with double standard while the election particularly was marred by inefficient groundwork in the areas of regulation of political parties amidst the violence of different proportion.”
“The summit condemns in strong term , the ” do-or-die” attitude of the the political class to election, noting also the ” I don’t-care” attitude of the elites to the exercise, even as these anomalies call for serious concern, especially in the realisation of the sad fact that the electoral process has been hijacked by mediocre amidst attendant implications to society,” the communique concluded.