Nigeria’s democracy, a classical state capture, says Peter Obi

By Innocent Raphael 

Former presidential candidate of the Labour Party, Peter Obi, has criticized the state of Nigeria’s democracy, describing it as a “classical state capture.” 

In a statement posted on his X handle on Wednesday, the former Anambra State Governor expressed concerns over the nation’s leadership and systemic corruption, which he claims have led to severe insecurity, suppression of free speech, increasing poverty, and widespread hunger.

As Nigeria marks its 25th Democracy Day, Obi questioned the authenticity of the country’s democratic progress. “Are we truly democratic?” he asked, emphasizing that democracy should be people-oriented, with respect for citizens’ rights, adherence to laws, and accountable leadership.

Reflecting on the past 25 years, Obi noted that while Nigeria embarked on a democratic journey in 1999, the nation has since devolved into a state where benefits are restricted to a few, leaving the majority deprived. 

He cited various global indices to highlight Nigeria’s democratic shortcomings: a low score on the Global Democracy Index, a poor ranking on the Corruption Perception Index, and significant issues with the rule of law according to the World Justice Project.

Furthermore, Obi pointed to Nigeria’s dismal performance on the 2024 World Press Freedom Index, where it is labeled as one of West Africa’s most perilous environments for journalists.

He also noted that Nigeria’s ranking on the Global Hunger Index highlights the severity of poverty and food insecurity in the country.

Obi called for a renewed commitment to true democracy, urging Nigerians to protect democratic institutions, obey the law, and ensure responsible governance. 

He concluded by encouraging citizens to use Democracy Day as a reminder of the collective effort required to uphold democratic values and improve the nation’s welfare.

Back to top button