Experts caution against dictatorship in Africa

Experts have cautioned against single-party and authoritarian rule in Africa.

They declared their positions in Abuja, at a forum organised by the Centre for Democracy and Development.

The theme of the event was: “Three decades of democratic transition in Africa.”

One of the speakers, Prof. Ibrahim Jibrin said: “Our constitution is silent on political party programmes, and this goes a long way in determining democracy. Unfortunately, in the case of Nigeria, it has been a tragedy.

“Also, we are fast losing substantive tenets of democracy in Equatorial Guinea, Cameroun, Democratic Republic of Congo, Central African Republic and Togo.”

Another speaker, Prof. Ibrahim Abdallah solicited a secured, peaceful, economically prosperous and democratically stable West Africa sub region.

According to him, when these tenets are not in place in any democracy, a country cannot thrive.

Abdallah explained: “Capitalism and democracy have a link, as we in Africa inherited them from the colonial masters. But, it would take a long time to get these issues resolved.

“Many African countries are not well democratised, and we have to deal with these contradictions to move forward, because our solution is not in the military. Systematic elections rigging have also been a deficiency.”

In her contribution, Jeannette Eno said democracy witnessed its worst outing in 2017 in the sub-Sahara region.

She said democracy is not doing well here, because there is no inclusive 50:50 government sharing, as the players struggle to reclaim political space.

Eno explained that many political parties are still authoritarian, even as most countries only put women in the wings.

She canvassed capacity building for female politicians and youths in governance.

The former Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Attahiru Jega, said military rule had created a dangerous legacy.

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