Tuesday, December 5, 2023

Democracy not working for African countries because it was ‘forced’ on them: Obasanjo 

Mr Obasanjo said the Western style of democracy failed in Africa because it does not consider the views of the majority of the people.

• November 20, 2023
Olusegun Obasanjo
Olusegun Obasanjo

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo on Monday in Abeokuta said democracy has not been working as a system of government in Africa because it was “forced” on the continent.

Mr Obasanjo, in his address at a high-level consultation on “Rethinking Western Liberal Democracy for Africa”, said the Western style of democracy failed in Africa because it does not consider the majority of the people.

The former president described Western Liberal Democracy as a “government of a few people over all the people or population”.

”These few people are representatives of only some of the people and not full representatives of all the people. 

“Invariably, the majority of the people were wittingly or unwittingly kept out. This is why we should have ‘Afro Democracy’ in place of Western Liberal Democracy,” said the former president. 

Mr Obasanjo said African countries have no business operating a system of government which they have no hands in its definition and design.

“The weakness and failure of liberal democracy as it is practised stem from its history, content, context and its practice; once you move from all the people to representatives of the people, you start to encounter troubles and problems.

“For those who define it as the rule of the majority, should the minority be ignored, neglected and excluded?

“In short, we have a system of government in which we have no hands to define and design, and we continue with it, even when we know that it is not working for us.

“Those who brought it to us are now questioning the rightness of their invention, its deliverability and its relevance today without reform,” he said.

Mr Obasanjo explained that the essence of any system of government should be the welfare and well-being of the people.

The former president stressed that Africans must examine the performance of democracy in the West, its origin. 

“We are here to stop being foolish and stupid. Can we look inward and outward to see what in our country, culture, tradition, practice and living over the years that we can learn from?

“(Something) that we can adopt and adapt with practices everywhere for a changed system of government that will serve our purpose better and deliver.

“We have to think out of the box and, after, act with our new thinking,” he said.

In his remarks, a former governor of Ekiti State, Kayode Fayemi, noted that liberal democracy in Africa was confronted with many challenges.

Mr Fayemi said the improvement of the welfare of the people remained important, saying that democracy faced delivery challenges in Africa.

“Non-delivery of development outcomes for the people must be adequately addressed so that democracy can deliver,” he said.


We have recently deactivated our website's comment provider in favour of other channels of distribution and commentary. We encourage you to join the conversation on our stories via our Facebook, Twitter and other social media pages.

More from Peoples Gazette

Katsina State


Katsina youths pledge to deliver over 2 million votes to Atiku

“Katsina State is Atiku’s political base because it is his second home.”

President Bola Tinubu

Heading 2

Tinubu orders probe into Kaduna village bombing

“President Tinubu describes the incident as unfortunate, disturbing, and painful.’’

Adamawa State


Gender-based violence cases decreasing in Adamawa: Official

“If we do not hear the voices of victims, the perpetrators will continue in their act.’’

Chief of Defence Staff, Gen. Christopher Musa


Why military launched drone attack on Kaduna community: Defence qtrs

“The Nigerian military does its best at all times to distinguish between civilians and terrorists.’’

Beecham Ampiclox, Augmentin, Paracetamol, Procold, and Novalgin


Inflation: New survey shows Beecham Ampiclox jumps from N750 to N9,000; Augmentin N4,000 to N26,000; paracetamol N40 to N150

Some of the steepest price changes were observed in essential analgesics like paracetamol and novalgin.