September 04, 2015
by Akinbode Fasakin
Republished from: Taylor & Francis
The article interrogates the relationship between democratization and people power in Nigeria. It argues that the broadening of the Nigerian public sphere has not led to reciprocal development of democratic principles and practice. As civilian rule reigns and economic growth is reported, Nigeria’s democratization is fraught with many challenges. Democratization remains questionable in Nigeria; it is rudimentary and distorted by irregularities. These have had implications for national development and human securities as the poverty level worsens and acclaimed economic growth and “democratic dividends” fail to enhance Nigerians’ quality of life.
The trivialization of democratization raises critical questions about its state and relevance to Nigerians and the Nigerian state. Is Nigeria democratizing or de-democratizing? How does the democratization process bring the Nigerian people closer to state (power)? How has it helped their developmental quests? The article contends that Nigeria’s democratization process is indeed on trial. As Ake argues, Nigerian state democratization does not only trivialize the essence of democracy—it also continues to reverse the democratization process. Against this background, the article concludes that the democratization process in Nigeria requires elite political will and people’s consciousness to advance to the next stage for better democratic consolidated and economic development relevant to Nigerians.