Former Minister of State for Education, Professor Jerry Agada, in this short interview with JOHNSON BABAJIDE, noted that Nigeria is yet to get it right, despite 21 years of democracy.
OUR democracy is 21 years. As a political stakeholder and former minister of state, would you say Nigerians have fared better under democracy?
Ordinarily, between May 2019 and now, one would have said that democracy is maturing, because, at least, the military has not come to truncate it. We have succeeded in changing from one civilian administration to another. With this feat, we can give kudos to the operators of Nigeria’s democracy.
However, let me say that Nigerians have not felt the impact of democracy, because things are not getting better. A lot of things are going wrong as if we are not in democratic dispensation. The way Nigerian leaders handle situations clearly shows that we are still lagging behind in the practice of democracy in the country. If certain things happen to the ordinary people and other personalities, you would want to ask where the place of democracy is, to the extent that one would begin to ask whether Nigeria is operating democracy at all.
But I strongly believe that Nigerians are not happy with the current democratic settings in the country, because what is happening now in terms of our democratic experience is not the same as what operates in other places where democracy is being practised. Nigeria is operating a type of military-democracy rule that is to give order and say people must obey.
With what appears to be the failure of the political leadership in the provision of critical infrastructure, don’t you think military system is better than democracy?
No, military rule is an old fashion of rulership. If military takes over in Nigeria now, it cannot survive because no part of the world would recognise the government and that is why they are afraid of doing anything funny.
A section of Nigeria believes that the present administration does not respect human rights. What’s your assessment?
Look at the happenings presently. I’m talking about the lockdown as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The military took over almost all the streets of Nigeria, abusing people. You read on the paper how the military punish innocent citizens of this country in the guise of implementing the lockdown order. Look at the recent happenings where the frontrunners of the COVID-19, I mean those engaged in essential services like medical doctors, nurses etc. were being harassed by security men.
So, I look at it that there is no total democracy in Nigeria and it will be worse under military regime.
YOU SHOULD NOT MISS THESE HEADLINES FROM NIGERIAN TRIBUNE
Apple Music Appoints Florence Otedola (Aka) DJ Cuppy Its First Radio Show Host In Africa
The biggest company in the world, Apple Music, is launching its first radio show in Africa on Sunday and DJ Cuppy whose real name is Florence Ifeoluwa Otedola is its host. The streaming platform announced Thursday that “Africa Now Radio with Cuppy” will debut Sunday and will feature a mix of contemporary… Read full story
21 Years Of Civil Rule: Gains, Pains And Prospects
MOST Nigerians remain nostalgic about the epochal, extraordinary transformation that was heralded in the defunct Western Region of Nigeria in the First Republic under visionary and dynamic leadership. In just eight years of the pragmatic and purposeful leadership, imbued with vision, the region shocked the… Read full story
Economy: Many Miles Crossed, Many Miles Lie Ahead
Politics and economy are entangled. Politics determines the economic direction while the economy determines the strength of the polity. If the economy is ailing, so will be the polity and vice versa. But the interplay between politics and the economy is choreographed by politicians… Read full story
COVID-19: We’re Yet To Receive Promised Ventilators From US ― Minister
The Minister of Information, Culture and Tourism, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, has said the Federal Government is yet to receive the promised ventilators from the United States of America (USA). The minister said this at the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on Coronavirus (COVID-19) daily news conference… Read full story
Sokoto Bandit Attacks: Buhari Orders ‘Fierce’ Military Operation
President Muhammadu Buhari has directed the military to embark of a fierce operation to dislodge bandits terrorising people in Sokoto State. While condoling with families who lost loved ones in an attack by bandits in Sabon Birni Local Government it the state, he prayed for the quick recovery of those that sustained injuries… Read full story
COVID-19: Ogun Govt Lifts Lockdown
The Ogun State Government has lifted the lockdown order pronounced on the state, since the outbreak of coronavirus pandemic to combat the spread of the disease from Monday to Friday. This was contained in the address of the State Governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun, on Thursday, while updating the efforts… Read full story
Osinbajo Heads Use Of Toilet Campaign Committee
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo on Thursday inaugurated the Steering Committee of the “Clean Nigeria: Use the Toilet Campaign,” which he leads as chairman. Tribune Online reports that the committee comes as stakeholders continue to ramp up efforts to contain the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic in the country… Read full story
Doctors Refusing To Treat Patients Of Other Ailments Over Fear Of COVID-19, Says PTF
More deaths are being recorded in patients with other ailments because medical institutions in the country are refusing to handle cases because of fear of contracting coronavirus, the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on the pandemic has observed… Read full story
Malami Explains Why Buhari Signs Executive Orders
The Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN), on Thursday, said the Presidential Executive Orders are aimed at complementing existing legislation and ensure inter-agency coordination in the process of implementation… Read full story