There was a time when Nigeria was well on her way to self-actualisation. In the abstract political climate of the period in-between Nigeria’s definitive democratic phases lies a host of questions which remain unanswered.
In light of this, one cannot help but wonder what exactly happened. All the promises once showed by our great country came to be replaced by mass corruption and failing government. It is a noteworthy fact that the 1980s, when Nigerian civil society was most active, was some of the best years of public life. These were also the glory days of Nigerian higher education, when academia was challenging and enriching.
It is also worth noting that the end of Nigeria’s golden age coincided perfectly with the rise of so-called democratic rule. Nigeria, currently on its fourth attempt at democracy, is barely holding on to any semblance of human and economic development. If the Nigerian people, disaffected by poor government and corruption, had not given up on shaping the government, by now, we may have discovered a model of government that works exclusively for us.
For answers, there is a need to look at current states who have taken vast natural resources and exacted the appropriate wealth from them. The gulf monarchies are a very good example thereof. Political life in the Gulf States, much like Nigeria, is still heavily influenced by tribal ties. Although the West claims these states lack civil liberties, their economies are some of the best in the world.
Furthermore, China operates a one-party dominant communist political system which has proven immensely effective. Both the World Bank and the IMF rate China as the world’s largest economy based on Purchasing Power Parity. This is not to say that authoritarian rule in Nigeria is the way forward. Instead, there is a need to find and forge a unique political system that accurately reflects and meets the needs of the Nigerian populace.
There is no hiding the fact that the Western model of liberal democratic rule has succeeded immensely in the West, but created little other than dependency and failure in other parts of the world, particularly here at home. We must thus, ask ourselves which is more important: following global political norms or achieving a full realisation of all our capabilities as a nation. May God bless our dear country, .
Funmilayo Adetokubo A-A, a Political and International Affairs Analyst, writes from Somerset, England, United Kingdom.