It must be worthwhile, in the week in which the two dominant political parties in Nigeria are set to pick a presidential candidate, to recall what some seers in the matter of politics generally and democracy in Nigeria in particular had said, years ago. It is not about whether they are right or wrong but about the themes they selected to focus on and the angle they brought into such issues from where they stood. Now, read on!
“The leadership which is educated and often prospers at the expense of the general society has no serious commitments to democracy or to patriotism and, essentially, they are victims of mental serfdom. The low consciousness of the masses and the mental serfdom of the upper classes constitute the greatest obstacle to the attainment of democracy in Africa”
- Prof Eme Awa at a Conference on ‘Democratisation and Good Governance in Africa’ in the Republic of Benin in 1993
“The zoning and rotation devices in the Constitution are a fanciful attempt to deal with relocating power from one area to another so as to give a sense of belonging and participating. This is all admirable except for perhaps a bigger problem it creates for the survival and sustenance of democracy. As demonstrated above, democracy worked effectively to relocate holders of power. It is the military dictatorship that somehow produced mostly northerners to head the Federal Government. Democracy has shown itself as capable of solving this problem. Hence, zoning and rotation involving six positions are based on incorrect diagnosis of the disease and the prescription of the drug. To say the least, this may not cure the patient. A wrong diagnosis of a disease and the administration of wrong drug may not cure the patient”.
- Mallam Adamu Ciroma in an address to a Business Luncheon of the Lagos Island Club in January 1996
“Herein lies the critical relevance of the theme that must assume pre-eminence in our discourses on the future of our troubled nation for years to come. For, I doubt if there is any informed Nigerian today who would deny the decline, nay the frightening descent into bestial anarchy resulting from the moral void created by the political economy of primitive accumulation. At the epicenter of this anarchy, indeed, its very source, is the Nigerian State, itself the product of the global expansion of capital in search of profit.
- Prof Aaron Gana in his Acceptance Speech on the Conferment of the “Fellow of the Social Science Academy of Nigeria” on him by the Academy on July 23rd, 2003 in Abuja