We made mistake adopting western liberal democracy – Obasanjo

We made mistake adopting western liberal democracy – Obasanjo

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has expressed his disapproval of African countries, including Nigeria, adopting Western liberal democracy. He made this statement on Monday when members of the House of Representatives, led by Minority Leader Kingsley Chinda, met with him in Abuja to solicit his support for transitioning to a parliamentary system of government.

Obasanjo, who midwifed the 1979 Constitution that introduced the presidential system, stated that Western liberal democracy is not consistent with African values and cultures. He emphasized that African countries should develop their own unique system, which he referred to as “Afro-democracy,” tailored to their specific needs and historical contexts.

The former president cautioned the lawmakers against using the term “parliamentary system,” advising them to focus on promoting a homegrown democracy that suits Nigeria’s needs. He agreed that a fundamental shift from the current system is necessary but emphasized the need for a long-term plan and tactical approach. Obasanjo warned that simply adopting a parliamentary system without considering Nigeria’s unique circumstances could lead to unintended consequences.

The lawmakers, under the Parliamentary Group, are advocating for a return to the parliamentary system used in the First Republic, with a prime minister as the head of government. They argue that this system would foster a closer relationship between the executive and legislative branches, allowing for more efficient decision-making and policy implementation. The lawmakers have sponsored constitution alteration bills and set a target of 2031 to achieve their goal.

In addition to meeting with Obasanjo, the lawmakers have been engaging with other politicians who served in the Second and Third Republics, including Ango Abdullahi, Bisi Akande, and Sanusi Dantata. They are organizing a national dialogue on the project, scheduled for July 1, to gather input and build consensus among stakeholders.

Obasanjo’s statement has sparked a national conversation about Nigeria’s political system and its suitability for the country’s development. While some have praised his call for an Afro-democracy, others have raised concerns about the potential challenges and uncertainties of adopting a new system.

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