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Democracy In Peril Due To Enfeebled Institutions — Onigbinde

Nigeria’s democratic system is struggling to gain traction due to the weakness of its institutional framework, according to Seun Onigbinde, the co-founder and CEO of BudgIT, a civic-tech organization at the forefront of promoting transparency and accountability.

Addressing the audience at The Platform Nigeria’s 36th edition, a forum renowned for its candid discussions on Nigerian democracy, Onigbinde stressed the imperative need for institutions to place their allegiance to the people and the constitution above allegiance to the government.

Onigbinde highlighted the imperative need for the police, military, and electoral commission to maintain their autonomy, unfettered by governmental interference, to guarantee the robustness of democracy and the safeguarding of citizens’ rights.

“Our democracy has become weak because the police and military, who are supposed to be loyal to the constitution and the people, are being controlled by powerful individuals in government,” Onigbinde stated.

Onigbinde stressed that a democracy’s vitality hinges on the strength of its institutions, drawing inspiration from the United States, where a synergy of robust institutions and engaged citizens has yielded economic supremacy.

Read also: Uzodinma Hails Democracy As Ideal System Of Governance

Onigbinde decried the erosion of local governance in Nigeria’s democracy, where state governments have consolidated power, leaving local governments bereft of their rightful authority.

“Democracy is not local enough in Nigeria, but campaigns are local. Even where there’s no development, ballot boxes will get there. Systems are not built that way,” he remarked, stressing the need for more localized governance to enhance democratic effectiveness.

Onigbinde advocated for a democratic shift that prioritizes local ownership and inclusivity, recognizing that the current system’s failure to engage with grassroots realities hinders Nigeria’s progress.

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