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Obasanjo disowns 'Western democracy', roots for 'Afro-democracy'

Obasanjo, however, warned the proponents of the parliamentary system of government that the project may not materialise now.

Olusegun Obasanjo [Getty Images]

He argued that Western democracy has not been effective in Africa and has failed to deliver the expected results.

Instead, Obasanjo proposed an Afro-democracy governance system that would align with Nigerians’ and Africans’ cultural and traditional values.

Obasanjo said, “Our problems started from the colonial masters. They gave us what they have. So, now you are taking the right step. (Rishi) Sunak is a Prime Minister (UK) who has not been voted for. Even for them, liberal democracy is failing.

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“Our constitution started on a faulty base. It’s a product of their culture and tradition. Western democracy has what is called opposition. They have loyal opposition because they are loyal to the monarchy. We had thriving Kingdoms. We rule ourselves with consensus. If you commit an abomination, you will be punished.

“Let us look at our lives. Our lives are characterised or symbolised by communalism. If we now come back home, we will get it right. You can call it Afro-democracy, not democracy of opposition. We can move and agree to the structure are we are going to put in place.”

His remarks came in response to a move by members of the House of Representatives to reintroduce the parliamentary system to reduce Nigeria’s high governance costs.

Obasanjo shared these views during a private meeting in Abuja with former President Goodluck Jonathan and some legislators led by Kingsley Chinda.

According to Arise TV, other lawmakers at the meeting include Abdussamad Dasuki, Olawale Raji, Kabir Ibrahim Tukura, Abdullahi El-Rasheed, Umar Yusuf Yabo, Abdulmaleek Danga, Esosa Iyawe, Aliyu Aminu Garu and Shehu Dalhatu.

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Others are Ibe Okwara Osonwa, Muhammed Bello Shehu, Maureen Gwacham, Joshua Audu Gana, Blessing Amadi, Engr M.B Jajere, Afam Victor Ogene and Kwamoti Laori.

The group led by Hon. Kingsley Chinda has repeatedly protested against Nigeria’s high cost of governance, attributing it to the presidential system of government.

They argue this is the main reason for their push to change the current system.

Former President Obasanjo, expressing dissatisfaction with Western democracy, suggested a return to traditional African ways and advocated for a government system founded on ideology.

Obasanjo, however, warned the proponents of the parliamentary system of government that the project may not materialise now.

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