Nigeria Is Not Yet A Democracy – Sam Amadi Declares
A former chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), Sam Amadi, has said Nigeria is not yet a democratic nation.
Naija News gathered that the political analyst was reacting to the outcome of the 2023 presidential and national assembly elections.
He said the outcome of the 2023 general elections was not entirely a reflection of the people’s choice, while noting that the conduct of the elections has further destroyed the public trust and participation of Nigerians in subsequent elections.
Amadi, who is the director of the Abuja School of Social and Political Thoughts, made these assertions when he spoke at the 2nd Ariyo Dare-Atoye Memorial Election Management and Governance Dialogue series held in Abuja.
The analyst also alleged that there were obvious indicators that the elections were overtly flawed, adding that the fundamental principles of democracy were omitted during the conduct of the elections.
He stated that “Nigeria is not yet a democracy because the fundamental features of democracy, the three of them coming to these elections, fair institutions that should provide equality for everybody, and guarantee basic freedoms have been denied largely in this election.
“We’ve seen the innovation; the most recent innovation which is the electronic transmission of results was truncated by INEC in a very reckless and lamentable manner. We’ve also seen that in many countries and in many parts of the states, even with different parties, PDP APC, or whatever they are, we’ve seen governance incumbents use security to distort elections, drive away voters and rewrite results.
“We’ve also seen the high point of it for us is what happened in Lagos where Nigeria citizens of a particular ethnic group were disenfranchised on a large scale; structurally, institutionally, with leaders saying that the reason for that is that they are going to interfere with the electoral act. Now, interference is when they make their preference.
“So, we are saying that if you look at the rating from rating agencies, the rate of democracy by the University of Guttenberg says Nigeria is an electoral autocracy. It means that we have to focus not much on INEC but we should be focused on how we ensure that the state institutions are neutral because as long as they’re not neutral, politicized, as long as they are within the control of politicians and incumbent, you can’t have fair and free elections.
“So, the fact that Nigeria holds elections every year, doesn’t mean we’re a democracy. Russia holds this kind of election where the outcomes are predictable. How can you form a government based on clear suppression?
“To give an example, look at Nasarawa. Women came out naked. What will make a woman, these are not porn stars, we are talking about mothers of any help of 70, or 80 years, coming stalk naked, and crying to God, that their mandates have been stolen.
“Why do we have to have those kinds of sins? This suggests even something more autocratic than the colonial rule when colonial masters forcefully hijacked your land and hijacked your state and brutalized you. What the Abuja school is saying is that we are drifting now to real autocracy. We are no longer a democracy. We are not saying that alone, international rating agencies are saying that Nigeria first is a hybrid democracy; meaning that we are functional or formally democratic but the logic of why democrats is authoritarian.”