Experts have warned that democracy will not deliver the expected national rebirth unless stakeholders adopt a change in strategy.
By Chinyere Okoroafor
They noted that political parties lack a clear ideological basis that shapes the economy and are mere vehicles for achieving political power.
They spoke during a webinar on Conversation on Democracy in Nigeria organised by Maroon Square Discourse 2020.
The discussants included a development economist Mrs Hauwa Mustapha; former Executive Director, Civil Liberties Organisation (CLO), Mr Osaze Nosaze; a lecturer in Department of Political Science, Veritas University, Mr Adagbo Onoja; among others
Mustapha said: “We cannot get it right in political parties except we rearrange the economy. Neo-liberalism affected the economy; people saw political parties as a vehicle for survival, not service…”
“Politics and the economy are linked and we must ensure a workable strategy to get both right. The danger neo-liberalism has brought is democratizing the liberal states.
“We need to think deeply about what works and what did not work. We need to reinvent ourselves on how neo-colonialism is changing. We need to organise, go back and be positively critical about what is wrong.
“We need to change our strategy to fit into the new stride. We can’t go on with old strategy.”
Nosaze said Nigeria cannot be divorced from the ruling party.
“Nigeria’s mistake is to dissociate politics from the economy. In the early 70’s, the ruling parties had a vision but in the late 70’s they lost the vision and today what we have is political parties which are used as vehicles to fight for power,” he said.
Onoja said Nigeria lacks a democratic framework that works. He added that there are political parties with no concept due to a collapse in consensus after independence.