Bayo Onanuga, Special Advisor on Information and Strategy to Bola Ahmed Tinubu, has laid blame on former President Olusegun Obasanjo for the existing state of Nigeria’s democracy.
Onanuga highlighted that Obasanjo’s impact on the nation’s democratic practices is significant, encompassing both his civilian presidency from 1999 to 2007 and his earlier role as a military head of state from 1976 to 1979.
“Obasanjo ought to know that he brought this thing into Nigeria. He was the one who made us adopt it in 1979. He must have seen it as expensive and unsuitable when he governed us for eight years and even wanted an extension for another four years.
“So, the way he is sounding, it is like the man is getting wiser after leaving office,” Onanuga said, reacting to Obasanjo’s post-presidential stance.
Onanuga’s remarks come in response to the former President’s comments during a high-level consultation on reimagining Western liberal democracy in Africa which took place at the Green Resort Legacy of the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library in Abeokuta.
Obasanjo, in his critique of Western democracy, argued that it has not contributed to African development and effective governance.
He emphasized the Western model’s disregard for the history and intricacies of Africa, advocating for a reassessment and adaptation of democracy tailored to the specific needs of African nations – what he termed as “Afro democracy.”
The former president highlighted that one of the shortcomings of liberal democracy is its lack of indigenous roots, failing to consider the nuances of multiculturalism and African history.
The Nigerian leader pointed out a key weakness, describing liberal democracy as a system where a few individuals govern the entire population, representing only a portion of the people and not fully encompassing the diversity of the population.
According to him, the majority of people are consistently excluded, intentionally or unintentionally.