The Office of the President has criticized former President Olusegun Obasanjo for the state of democracy in Nigeria.
Bayo Onanuga, President Tinubu’s Special Assistant on Information and Strategy, told reporters on Monday that Obasanjo has had a direct impact on the type of democracy the country practices today.
He said Obasanjo’s influence spanned his two terms as president, first as civilian president from 1999 to 2007 and then as military head of state from 1976 to 1979.
“Obasanjo should know that he brought this to Nigeria. It was he who got us to introduce it in 1979. He ruled us for eight years and gave us another four years. When he asked for an extension, he must have thought it expensive and inappropriate.
Reacting to Obasanjo’s post-presidential stance, Onanuga said, “From the way he speaks, it seems like this man has become wiser after leaving office.”
The president’s comments follow the former president’s remarks at the High-Level Consultations on Reimagining Western Liberal Democracies in Africa held at the Green Resort Legacy of the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library in Abeokuta.
Mr. Obasanjo criticized Western democracies, saying they were not contributing to Africa’s development or decent governance.
Citing the Western model’s disdain for Africa’s history and complexity, he advocated a rethinking and modification of democracy to better suit African countries.
Obasanjo proposed an “African democracy” tailored to the needs of the continent.
The former president said the shortcomings of liberal democracy were, among other things, that it did not take into account multiculturalism and the nuances of African history, rather than indigenous ones.
Obasanjo identified a weakness in Western liberal democracies, calling it “a government of a few people against the whole people, and these few people represent only some people, and they are not fully representative of all the people.” “He is not a representative.”
He argued that large sections of the population are always excluded, whether intentionally or by accident.