‘Nigeria must restructure to strengthen democracy’ – Sen Ohuabunwa
By Steve Oko
Senator Mao Ohuabunwa has said that restructuring Nigeria has become inevitable for democracy to take roots in the country.
The former Speaker, ECOWAS Parliament who stated this in his Democracy Day message, regretted that “Nigeria’s democracy is still under threat.”
He decried what he called some dictatorial tendencies and excesses of those in power , and called on the state actors not to derail Nigeria’s fledgling democracy.
Ohuabunwa who represented Abia North in the 8th Senate noted that although Nigeria had recorded some gains since the beginning of the current democratic dispensation 21 years years ago, “the country’s version of democracy is still a far cry in practice.”
He therefore, urged leaders of the country to listen to the growing clamour to restructure Nigeria as that is the only way to guarantee the deepning of democracy in the country.
Ohuabunwa submitted that democracy would remain an illusion in Nigeria unless the country is restructured according to the yearnings and aspirations of the people ,and the intentions of the founding fathers.
He also stressed the need for devolution of power to states in line with true federalism to lessen the unnecessary friction between states and the federal government as well as quell the various agitations for self-rule by some sections of the country.
Ohuabunwa further called for more actions towards building stronger institutions which he said, “are the pillars that carry democracy, and the fulcrum upon which it rotates.”
He regretted that “weak institutions have remained the bane of our current democracy as a nation because the ruling class has always manipulated them to serve their selfish interests at the detriment of the people “.
Ohuabunwa, however, appealed to Nigerians especially the good people of Abia North not to despair but keep hope alive, believing that the country “will get it right some day”.
According to him, the worst form of democracy is far better than full autocracy or dictatorship.
Ohuabunwa said the the highest democracy dividend that the APC -led administration could bequeath to Nigeria is to restructure the country before 2023.
He also appealed to the President to assent to the amended electoral bill which he had rejected four times in the eight National Assembly, “as the bill when signed into law would take care of many electoral anomalies challenging our democracy.”