The Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD West Africa) has warned that democracy in Africa is under threat.
The Director, CDD West Africa, Idayat Hassan, who said this yesterday in a statement marking this year’s International Day of Democracy, noted that democracy in Africa faces a number of challenges, including military coups, electoral fraud, and the suppression of dissent.
While calling for an urgent strengthening of democracy and inclusivity in Africa, Hassan said that this year’s theme, ‘Empowering the next generation’, highlights the vital role that young people play in advancing democracy and underscores the need to ensure equal opportunities for all to participate in democratic processes.
“As we mark this occasion, we reflect on recent elections in Gabon, Sierra Leone, and Nigeria where citizens exercised their right to vote. While these elections are a testament to the enduring spirit of democracy, they were not without their challenges.
“For example, in Nigeria the opposition went to court to contest the victory of the incumbent party while in Gabon, the military seized power claiming irregularities in the electoral process,” she said.
She noted that when democratic institutions are abused and disregarded, people find other means to seek legitimacy and they are often “unconstitutional, rash, and unsustainable.”
“CDD will continue to caution that a military takeover of the political and governance spaces would never be the solution to the challenges facing democratic governance and development on the African continent,” she said.