The Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki, on Tuesday, expressed dismay that Nigeria’s democracy has not translated into good governance.
The governor said this while delivering the 2022 Nigeria Institute of International Affairs (NIIA) Distinguished Lecture Series titled, “Making Politics Work for Citizens, Governance and Development: The Edo State Experience,” at the institute, in Victoria Island, Lagos.
“We should also reflect on why we the political actors particularly those of us who are the political elite who have the responsibility not only to institutionalise the democratic process but also to develop a political culture which should foster and enhance development have so far failed to do so,” he said.
The governor noted that despite the inadequacies of the nation’s politics and democracy, there was the potential for democracy to be the vehicle for the delivery of development to the people.
The governor said some of his achievements included attracting $500m into the state’s agriculture sector, creation of 300,000 jobs, the 95MW Ossiomo Power Project; improved basic education for over 400,000 pupils and the 6000bpd capacity Edo Modular Refinery, among others.
He listed the defects of Nigeria’s political system to include entry barriers to the political system such as age restriction, high cost of nomination and expression of interest, negative perception of politics, mudslinging and deliberate character assignation, among others.
Chairman of the occasion, Prof. Bola Akinteriwa, said the lecture was a reminder that foreign policy is an extension of domestic policy.
“We do not have a good international image because of the way we govern ourselves. People often believe that anything goes in Nigeria. But today, we have someone who is doing things well. Whoever wants a constructive solution must learn from the experience of others. It is going to be empirical and a case study,” he said.