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25 years of Nigeria’s Democracy, Sadly Tragic – Bugaje



According to an article by Dr. Usman Muhammad Bugaje which critically examines the challenges Nigeria has faced in the last 25 years of democracy, highlighting issues such as poverty, insecurity, institutional decay, corruption, and a flawed political culture. It emphasizes the need for a new narrative and national consensus among the elite to address the country’s problems. Dr. Usman calls for a new political paradigm, suggesting that the current system, defined by money and violence, is unsustainable. Additionally, the article advocates for a new trajectory that involves reevaluating Nigeria’s political system, learning from successful nations like China, and focusing on internal strengths to build a truly independent and prosperous nation. He underscores the importance of leadership, consensus, and a redefined political culture in steering Nigeria towards a positive trajectory.

While highlighting Nigeria’s major problems, Dr. Usman averred that poverty has surged, disproportionately affecting the North, with Zamfara State experiencing over 90% poverty incidence. This economic hardship leads to malnutrition and stunted mental growth, primarily impacting the North. Insecurity has escalated dramatically, predominantly plaguing the North, with over 50,000 deaths and millions displaced. Social institutions, including the civil service, police, and judiciary, are crumbling, eroding trust and respect. Corruption has reached unprecedented levels, overshadowing our nation’s progress.

This downward spiral reflects a broken democracy and a political culture fostering mediocrity. The decay in critical institutions, soaring corruption, and a lack of effective leadership highlight the urgency for change. The path forward requires addressing the root causes systematically.

Challenges and Consequences:
1. Poverty and Inequality: The North bears the brunt of poverty, adversely affecting education and health. Urgent investment is needed to salvage human capital and curb social inequality.

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2. Insecurity: Escalating violence, rural banditry, and religious clashes have caused immeasurable trauma. The inadequacy of security forces poses a threat to urban areas, demanding a strategic solution.

3. Institutional Decay: The deterioration of critical institutions undermines the nation’s foundation. Rebuilding trust and efficacy in these institutions is paramount for a functional democracy.

4. Corruption Epidemic: The unchecked growth of corruption is a significant impediment to progress. Political leaders’ ostentatious displays of wealth amid public suffering highlight a systemic problem.

5. Educational Crisis: Nigeria grapples with the largest population of out-of-school children globally. The dire state of education jeopardizes the country’s future in the competitive 21st-century landscape.

A Call for Change:
1. Leadership Recruitment Overhaul: The flawed leadership recruitment process must be revamped to prioritize competence, knowledge, and character. A shift toward meritocracy is essential.

2. National Consensus and Narrative: Elite consensus is vital to create a shared vision for Nigeria’s future. Establishing a platform for constructive national discourse can foster unity and define common goals.

3. New Political Paradigm: A reevaluation of the political culture driven by money and violence is imperative. Initiatives to introduce clear suitability criteria for leaders should be pursued within political parties.

4. Exploring a New Trajectory: Rethinking the adopted political systems and looking inward for a more suitable governance structure will empower Nigeria to forge its own path to greatness.

In conclusion, a comprehensive and strategic approach is needed to extricate Nigeria from its current trajectory. By addressing the root causes and fostering a collective commitment to change, Nigeria can build a future that aligns with its vast potential and secures the well-being of its citizens.

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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Freedom is Nsibidi Confederation

    December 23, 2023 at 8:28 am

    The South and MB are sick and tired of “the Northerners” and their lies. They are parasites on the rest of Nigeria. Time for this failed Nigeria union to be Renegotiated. Let us all support the call by NINAS for Transitioning for Constitutional Renegotiation.

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