Democracy and Good Governance: The Missing Link in Nigeria
AbstractAt the minimum, democracy refers to a political system that guarantees opportunities for citizens to choose and replace their leaders or representatives via free and fair elections; that respects and protects socio-economic, political and cultural rights of citizens as well as guarantee acceptable level of active involvement of citizens in decision-making. In any good sense of the word, in terms of its ability to bring changes to the living conditions of citizens, it is a form of governance that holds this truth that the people are the most that matter. This implies that both civic engagement of citizens and responsiveness of the state to citizens’ promptings and demands are key ingredients of democratic governance. However, except in very few countries such as Botswana, Ghana, Mauritius, Senegal, South Africa and Tanzania, democracy appears to be rare for most of Africa. Against this backdrop therefore, this paper seeks to examine based on direct observation and grand narratives found in literature, the missing link in the actualization of citizens’ aspirations in the supposed democratic states of Africa, focusing on Nigeria. It argues that good governance is virtually, the missing link in Nigeria's democratic experience since 1999. Furthermore, it posits that the institutionalization and realistic intensification of the crusade against corruption remains the basis of ensuring good governance only if the anti-corruption institutions will themselves be subject to democratic governance and the oversight powers of responsible civil society.
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