Democracy of No People

If there is anything making democracy buyable, and in fact easily sellable, it must be its notion of being of, for and by the people; there is something beautiful about how the conception of democracy gives the idea that freedom for the people is the mission, and that the government exists only because the people want it, and it exists how the people want it and for what they want it. These ideas of democracy as being a government with all its power made by the people and belonging to the people becomes even more romanceable when how the United States of America plays it around individual freedom for the people comes to the picture—everyone wants to be that free. But leave the ideas of democracy and the promotions it gets from authorities using its ideal conception to sell it to talk more about its practice, this kind of talk would expose the reality of democracy to more people—the fact that democracy is far from what it is sold as, and in big parts, it is the opposite of people’s government that it is said to be.

As of today, no democratic government in the world is of the people, by the people and for the people, not even that of America. The origination of the American democracy—-which we see as the headquarters of democracy, it’s set up, it’s practice, everything about it, they all tell there is no part of it that the people get to be the maker of the government and they make it for themselves; for a start, the mode of selecting and electing the people who make up the government does not show anything like the people being the ones who define who goes there, the decisions made in the government do not tell that the people get to have any true representation of their interests. But this truth about democracy—as practised everywhere in the world—is not the idea of democracy sold to the people—which the people claim and fight for.

Don’t get me wrong, I love the ideas of democracy and everything it is said to represent; I love what it is sold as, what I do not like is what it is practised as. I am very aware that everything about democracy as propagated is different from how it is practised. I want to leave America and how they preach democracy versus how they actually practise it alone to talk about same issue in Nigeria—as I’m more familiar with this instance. In Nigeria of today, what we call democracy is the mere expression that the people are the ones to do this and that, whether there are mechanisms set up to enable or disable the people on actually doing this and that is not talked about enough, and under this fact is where what makes the practice of the Nigerian democracy (and that of other countries) an antithesis of what it says it is. The concepts of democracy, our laws, and everyone who claims they are democratic believe the Nigerian government is setup by the people, the Nigerian government represents the people who design it, and all its power are with the people who design it, but the unfortunate truth of it is that the people don’t even get to design the government; although this can be said about any other democratic country in the world, but that of Nigeria just seems to be the worst, as of today.

The setup of a Nigerian government begins from the mode of selecting the people to contest in an election—which I’m certain no setting can have up to 10% of it being the people who select who contests. When the contests begin, it is also certain we cannot have 50% of the setting to elect who is going into the government for them. The primary elections in Nigeria is like three people out of one hundred choosing the ones to contest, and out of the hundred, only about fifteen or twenty of them get to vote. You would think this is because the level of political apathy is high in Nigeria, and yes you would be right, but that is not the root of the problem, that is only the part of the problem easily noticed. One of the questions we should ask often about this problem is: why is there so much political apathy in Nigeria? The answers to this question would expose why the laws and model express so much right for the people to design the government, be the components of the government, and have the government be all about them, but yet the people don’t really get to do all this. There are things we don’t talk about often in Nigeria as pertaining our democracy, and they are the things we should be talking about every day. Our democracy is not democracy just because the books and the laws say it is, the practice of it has to tell that it is; whatever mechanism in play which removes the people from our democracy must be addressed.

About Olusegun Peters

Olusegun Peters is a businessman, a politician, a scholar and a crypto enthusiast. He is passionate about impacting as many people as possible one person at a time. Read more about Olusegun here

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