Nigerians differ on gains of 25 years of uninterrupted democracy

A cross section of Nigerians on Wednesday in Abuja expressed divergent opinions on the gains that had accrued to Nigerians in the 25 years of democracy.

Some Nigerians, who spoke in separate interviews with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja, said that democratic government had yielded much result for the country, while others thought otherwise.

Mr Benjamin Otu, a resident of Mararaba, Nasarawa State, said democracy had impacted positively on Nigerians and the Nigerian economy.

According to him, democracy is gradually taking its roots in every facet of national life.

‘Some of the rights and privileges enjoyed today resulted from a thriving democracy.

‘Nigeria’s democracy has come a long way since 1999; all hands must be on deck to reposition it.’

A civil servant, Mr Rotimi Adeyemi, said that there was no alternative to a democratic government.

‘Under democracy, we have freedom of expression and association, which was non-existent during the military regime.

‘For the past 25 years, the people of
Nigeria have imbibed and internalised the principles and culture of democracy.

‘Most of the bills coming from the National Assembly and the change of government periodically, without any interruption, have shown that democracy has come to stay,’ he said.

According to him, some of the problems faced by Nigerians can be traced to the military.

‘Now, people associate freely and walk freely, as power flows from the people. It is the people that decide who rules them,’ he said.

Mr James Edoh, a businessman, said that democracy had given Nigerians the power to choose their leaders and hold them accountable.

‘In contrast, the military rule we had was characterised by tyranny and oppression. It is often said that the worst democratic government is better than the best military government.

‘It is better that we stay with the democratic government and improve on it than the military regime.

‘A lot has been enjoyed by Nigerians in this democratic regime compared to the military regime. Like peace, job creation,
among others,’ he said.

Also, Mr Caleb Ezea, a trader, said that democracy allows for participatory governance.

‘Democracy is the government of the people, by the people, and for the people. It gives voice to the common man.

‘The voice of everyone is heard unlike military rule where tyranny reigns supreme,’ he said.

Mr Ezekiel Ogbu, a civil servant, on his part, called for more transparency and efficiency in Nigeria’s democracy.

Ogbu, who said that the country’s democracy was too expensive, urged the country to try another system of government.

Similarly, Mr Solomon Oladapo, a resident of Suleja, called for more progress at the level of development in the country.

He advised the government to close loopholes exploited to loot the nation’s wealth.

Miss Irene Nsiodo, a resident of Garki, said that democracy had brought stability in the political system.

‘I believe that democracy has given hope for a brighter future for the people of Nigeria.

‘Freedom of expression has been given a chance to thrive, le
ading to the exposure of corrupt practices in various sectors of the economy,’ she said.

Source: News Agency of Nigeria