Peter Obi Speaks On June 12, Says Nigeria Has Deteriorated Into State Capture

by Amos Kalu

Peter Obi has voiced strong concerns about Nigeria’s democratic progress, claiming that the country has deteriorated into a state of “classical state capture.”

The Labour Party presidential candidate in the 2023 general elections, stated this in a statement to mark Nigeria’s Democracy Day celebrations.

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Reflecting on the nation’s 25 years journey towards democracy, Obi questioned whether Nigeria has truly upheld democratic principles.

According to him, while the transition in 1999 seemed promising, the country has since shifted into a system where governance benefits a select few, leading to widespread deprivation.

He stressed that true democracy should prioritize the welfare of its citizens, uphold their rights, ensure that laws are respected, and hold leaders accountable.

His words: ”The consequences of not being a true democracy have led to leadership failures that have resulted in uncontrolled systemic corruption, high levels of insecurity, lack of freedom of speech, increasing poverty rates, and unprecedented levels of hunger and hardship, which remain unsolved and are growing geometrically.

”True democracy should be people-oriented, where the rights of citizens are respected, the laws are obeyed, the leaders remain accountable to the people, and people’s welfare and care, especially for the poor, become paramount and high priorities.

”Unfortunately, the opposite is the case in our situation. To further illustrate that we are not truly democratic and have only produced the vices enumerated above, we are now ranked as follows: In the measurement of democracy, we have a democracy index score of 4.23, which ranks us low on the Global Democracy Index.

”In the Corruption Perception Index, we are ranked 145th among the 180 countries measured, showing a high level of corruption in Nigeria. In the Rule of Law Measurement, we are ranked 120th out of 142 countries measured in the World Justice Project (WJP) Rule of Law Index, indicating that Nigeria suffers from gross disobedience to the rule of law.

”The 2024 World Press Freedom Index by Reporters Without Borders (RSF) describes Nigeria as one of West Africa’s most dangerous and difficult countries for journalists.

”Nigeria ranks 112th out of 180 countries where journalists are regularly monitored, attacked, and arbitrarily arrested. We are ranked 109th out of 125 countries measured on the Global Hunger Index.

”Let us, therefore, use the commemoration of June 12 as an occasion to return to a truly democratic nation. We achieved that feat on June 12, 1993, by collectively voting for democracy in Nigeria. We must stand in defence of Nigeria’s democracy today.”

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