According to the Presidency, Olusegun Obasanjo, the former president of Nigeria, is responsible for the democracy’s current status.
According to Anaedoonline.ng, Obasanjo has critiqued Western democracy, claiming that it had not resulted in effective governance or progress in Africa.
At the high-level consultation on Rethinking Western Liberal Democracy in Africa, which took place at the Green Resort Legacy, Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library, Abeokuta, the former leader made this statement.
Citing the Western model’s contempt for African history and complexity, he went on to argue for a reexamination and modification of democracy to better suit African nations.
But in response to Obasanjo’s statement in an interview with The Punch, Special Advisor to the President on Information and Strategy Bayo Onanuga insisted that Obasanjo directly contributed to the democracy the nation currently practises during his two terms as president—as a civilian from 1999 to 2007 and as a military head of state from 1976 to 1979.
During the former leader’s tenure as Head of State and then President, the Presidency accused him of copying an inadequate model.
Onanuga said, “Obasanjo ought to know that he brought this thing into Nigeria. He was the one who made us adopt it in 1979. He must have seen it as expensive and unsuitable when he governed us for eight years and even wanted an extension for another four years.
“So, the way he is sounding, it is like the man is getting wiser after leaving office.
“If he believes in what he is saying now, he ought to be an advocate of the need to go back to the parliamentary system.
“We were practicing the parliamentary democracy the British left for us. Then, the military struck in 1966. And when we were going to return to democracy, instead of going back to what we were practicing before, parliamentary democracy, which was not expensive, it was this same Obasanjo who accepted the recommendation of the constitutional assembly at that time that recommended this American-style democracy.
“Obasanjo also knew that he copied this presidential system very wrongly. He copied the form and structure. But he didn’t copy the spirit of it.
“Something that should have been under him in 1999 to 2007, he even made attempts to modify the constitution.”
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