21 Years On, Our Democracy Still Sick

After 20 years of uninterrupted democracy, Nigerians are yet to experience true liberty, transparency, economic opportunities and other dividends of pristine democracy. The indicators of democracy are hardly visible, and where visible they are mere travesties. According to American political scientist, Larry Diamond, democracy consists of four key elements: a political system for choosing and replacing the government through free and fair elections; the active participation of the people, as citizens, in politics and civic life; protection of the human rights of all citizens; a rule of law, in which the laws and procedures apply equally to all citizens.

Since 1999, Nigerians have gone to the polls on six occasions; none could be considered free and fair if compared to the globally accepted standard. Cases of vote-buying, ballot snatching, and stuffing, disenfranchisement, child voting, voting by proxy and other electoral malpractices trail elections in the country….

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