The Former NBA General Secretary and the Chairman of the Governing Council of the Abuja Chamber of Commerce and Industry Dispute Resolution Centre as well as the Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the ACCI, Chief Akajiugo Emeka Obegolu has said that Democracy is known to be the moral and legitimate way by which a society can be ruled and it has become the most fashionable and enduring form of government in modern times.
Chief Akajiugo made this statement while delivering his keynote address at NBA,Eket Branch Lecture In Honour Of The Speaker Of The Akwa Ibom State House Of Assembly – Rt. Hon Barr. Onufiok Luke.
According to him, democracy provides the template for a ‘free’ and egalitarian society built around strong institution rather than men or group of men.
He noted that in Nigeria, there are too many wrong things going on in the country and there are critical challenges militating against the achievement of a model democratic rule in Nigeria, which demand urgent attention.
Speaking further, he said that abuse of political powers used in total disregard for the due process of the law should not exist in a democratic society.
“The weakest link of the sort of distorted democracy that is practiced in Nigeria is the lack of obedience and compliance with court judgments and orders, perhaps due to the absence of strong institutional mechanisms for compelling the Executive arm of government to play by the rule of the democratic game.
“Supremacy of the Constitution is not merely uttered by words of mouth but applies in all aspects of their national lives.
“The Rule of Law is a fundamental condition for a Democratic society and where the rule of law is threatened democracy as a whole is threatened.
“It is unfortunate that Nigeria’s democracy is a government of contracts and contractors by the few and for the few while the people wallow in abject poverty and mystery in the midst of plenty. There is poor development in the country because the nation’s political leadership has failed to work for social and economic transformation of the society,” he added.
He also said building a true democratic system requires the application of the principles of separation of powers and respect for different arms of government. If democracy must grow and become consolidated in Nigeria, the legislature must be allowed to exercise its constitutional responsibilities and maintain its parliamentary supremacy and legislative autonomy.
“Our democratic experience is littered with high level of hypocrisy, insincerity and lack of integrity in the practice of our politics. Since the return to democratic rule in 1999, the country has either ranked first or second in the global corruption rating by Transparency International.”
He also said there is need to frontally confront corruption by ensuring good governance.
“Our politicians and society in general should work for and ensure the enthronement of obedience to the law, respect for the rule of law instead of respect for and fear of men,” he said.
Chief Akajiugo Obegolu, therefore urges Nigerian political elites to shun lip services and embrace leadership by example.