Power to the People or Power in the People, Reflections on the Nigerian Democratic System: Implication for Policy Development
AbstractDemocracy is often applauded as government of the people wherein power belong to the electorates and the people who elect their representatives to represent and protect their interests. But the ideals of democracy as practiced in advanced Western World do not obtain here in Nigeria. This paper examines the democratic ideals in Nigeria in the present political dispensation. The paper attempts elucidation of the loci of power and authority in Nigeria-is it the electorates/people or the elected and political office holders? The attitudes and behavioral dispositions of office holders towards the people who elected them were x-rayed. The submission of this paper is that power belongs to political office holders and their cohorts and not the Nigerian people. The political office holders use their wealth and connections to oppress and dominate the electorates who ideally they are suppose to serve and defend. The policy implication of the issue being examined was discussed and recommendations were made on the feasible way forward.
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