Posts Tagged ‘democracy’

Voting, votes and honest election results are not enough to prevent elected officials from misbehaving or misgoverning once they get into office. Constitutional checks and balances are not usually sufficient enough to check and balance the activities of those in power abuses of power in the from of malfeasance, misfeasance and nonfeasance. Such abuses are hard to detect by the everyday citizens and those in government have no incentive to report them. Those who independently report such incidences quickly become “enemies of the state”. Therefore, other strong pressures and institutions are required to subject the those in power to govern well, but they must emerge from the citizens themselves or a significant number of them. Nigeria is no exception. (more…)

The complete metamorphosis of the butterfly is a thoroughly adequate analogy for civilisation: the gradual progression from egg to slug to pupa to imago [the beautiful butterfly]. In the Nigerian context, it starts with the colonised state to inexperienced independent nation-state to transitional nation-state to strong state. The furthest stage Nigeria ever go to was the ugly butterfly that never blossomed. However, after the initial euphoria of the return to democracy it is now evident that Nigerian politicians and clergy are busy reversing the progress of the nation back into the stage of a slug as a consequence of their thefts and misrule; it suits them well. But does it suit the everyday citizens? (more…)

Numerous factors are acutely responsible for the persistence and worsening of the phenomenon of corruption in many so-called democracies. These factors include regulatory capture, lack of transparency, inappropriate political systems, vertical policy transplantations, weak rule of law, harsh economic conditions, the absence of political legitimacy etc. All these factors tend to be invisible to the general public and require scandal to known. Another important factor in the growth of corruption is the much less talked about “guilty accuser syndrome”. The guilty accuser syndrome is a sophisticated political selection strategy that ensures that only politicians with “dirty hands” can get into positions of power that are both strategic and lucrative. Such a syndrome is more associated with new and transition democracies than mature liberal version. The guilty accuser syndrome is a major weapon of corrupt political patrons since it can ruin strong institutions and render institutional reform useless. (more…)

There has been too much optimism invested in what is widely touted in Nigeria as the ‘dividends of democracy’ i.e. the benign and enabling outcomes of democracy. After 18 years of a return to democracy in Nigeria, the dividends of democracy on offer has only meant the military are no longer in government. The dividends have neither been delivered in the form of better leadership nor better governance. Unsurprisingly, the crisis of leadership in Nigeria cannot be solved by democracy as a system all by itself. In fact, democracy can fail societies terribly. (more…)