Democracy in Nigeria has been repeatedly promised by those in power for decades, but promises seem to fall short of their mark and Nigeria remains to be anything but a true democracy. For a democracy to be successful the people of a country need to feel like they matter, their vote matters, and that the government cares about them. A true democracy is “people initiated, people promoted, sustained by the people for the benefit of the people”, (Ogunleye, 2005) but in a country swept with corruption the only thing sustained by the people is the oil industry and croplands. Nigeria may be far from a working democracy but at least initiatives have existed to put one into place. For Nigeria’s future, it is not impossible to create a sustainable democracy, but a lot of work must be done.
Ever since the British takeover left Nigeria to try and create its own stable form of government with many failed constitutions they have failed to reach a maintainable form of democracy. The country has had countless military rules and leaders that have promised a push towards democracy, but instead have used their place in power to set up policies to support themselves. On top of this, a reach in power is also usually followed by subsequent extending of power to other members of the family. In this way they are able to keep themselves in charge by controlling as many different branches and positions as possible. Along with this is the complete takeover of revenues by those higher up to corrupt the country’s largest source of revenue for their own personal gain. All of these problems work against one of the most necessary steps in creating a strong democracy: the trust of the people.
Local governments need to have more power to properly give the people more representation. Nigeria’s people lack any sort of belief that they will adopt a democratic government system or that even if they do, it will not be successful. However, the Nigerian people are tired of military rule and government corruption and are surely up for a change of pace. A local government in Nigeria could raise priority on public goods, local infrastructure, education, and economic development in smaller and less represented areas. Of course this would be complicated to achieve because the government in Nigeria is fixed on keeping the power as high up as possible to keep the power from shifting away from those already in power. The Nigerian government uses its comprehensive grip of all the nation’s resources to keep the cycle of corruption continuous, for further progress to be made the government needs to assess how to split up oil (and other resource) revenues.
A key component to the success of Nigeria in particular is to have a complete grasp on their resources and for the people to see some of the revenue that comes from that. The working class of Nigeria is entirely focused on the oil industry and crops. But they do not see enough of the money that comes from the oil industry, which explain why the...