Following his recent statement, the Presidency sharply criticized former President Olusegun Obasanjo.
Bayo Onanuga, Special Adviser to President Tinubu on Information and Strategy, spoke to reporters on Monday, blaming Obasanjo for the current state of democracy in Nigeria. Onanuga stressed that Obasanjo’s influence on democratic practices in the country extended throughout his two terms as president, both as a civilian leader from 1999 to 2007 and as a military head of state from 1976 to 1979.
“Obasanjo should know that he brought this thing to Nigeria. It was he who forced us to adopt it in 1979. He must have considered it expensive and inappropriate, ruling us for eight years and even demanding an extension for another four years. So from his statements, it appears that he becomes wiser after leaving office,” Onanuga commented in response to Obasanjo’s post-presidential stance.
The Presidency’s remarks followed the former President’s recent remarks during the High-Level Consultation on Rethinking Western Liberal Democracy in Africa held at the Green Resort Legacy at the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library in Abeokuta. Obasanjo criticized Western democracy, saying it did not contribute to African development and good governance. He advocated re-examining and modifying democracy to better suit African countries, proposing an “Afro democracy” tailored to the needs of the continent.
Obasanjo said that the flaws of liberal democracy include the lack of indigenization and failure to take into account the nuances of multiculturalism and African history. He identified the weaknesses of Western liberal democracy, characterizing it as “the government of a few men over an entire nation or population, and these few people are representatives of only part of the nation, not fully representatives of the whole nation.” He argued that most people are always excluded, either intentionally or accidentally.