Kukah marks Nigeria’s democracy pitiable, calls for reform

The Catholic Bishop of Sokoto diocese, Most Rev. Matthew Kukah, has lamented over anomalies in the nation’s democracy stating that Nigeria has not transitioned fully from military rule to democracy.

The clergy who is also a human rights activist and founder, The Kukah Centre (TKC), a Nigeria-based policy research institute spoke on Tuesday as a panelist during a citizens’ Town hall on electoral reforms, a programme organised by YIAGA Africa.

Kukah said Nigeria’s military background has continued to affect effective governance in the democratic dispensation, and said it is high time the country is restructured as there is urgent need for reforms.

“We are mistaken in assuming that we have had a transition from dictatorship to democracy. We still haven’t. This is why we are showing all kinds of systemic malfunctioning.

“When we talk about political parties, we have assumptions. But the truth of the matter is that in our own case in Nigeria, we have the greed and the political interest.

“Clearly what we have in Nigeria, as we have seen with the occasional malfunctioning of the system midway through the journey, manifested in the quarrelsome nature of the politics and the way the judiciary has now come to undermine the wishes of the people, suggests very clearly that we have very serious issues with party discipline largely because what we call political parties in Nigeria are mere contraptions purely constructed to help to ferry the ambitions of people — a good number of who are really and truly ill-prepared for the discipline that politics and political party formations require”, he said.

Bishop Kukah while calling for consistency in maintaining the governance structure proffered two measures to address challenges affecting the country’s political process.

“The first is for us to pay attention to the future. That is why this conversation is very important; that a new generation of Nigerians with a different view about our country, with a different set of skills and discipline, must begin to see politics in a much more noble form.

“The second point is for the judiciary itself to begin to think more in focusing on compelling politics and politicians to fine-tune their articles of discipline internally”, he said.”

Published By: EDITOR

CARL UMEGBORO is a prolific writer, public affairs analyst and an Associate, Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (United Kingdom). He holds a Bachelor of Laws degree (LLB Hons) and a renowned columnist in all national newspapers in Nigeria, Africa Press Reviews, TheWorldNEWS and numerous foreign media including Park Chester Times, New York, USA. Umegboro is a regular guest-analyst to many TV and radio programme on crucial national issues. To send your opinions, articles and reports to the Admin, contact: +234 (0) 802 318 4542, +234 (0) 705 710 1974, +234 (0) 817 318 4542. Email: carl@carlumegboro.com, umegborocarl@gmail.com

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