Essay series: Pathway to creating a sustainable democracy: 2019 election in focus

by Olufemi Ibukun

Democracy, in modern parlance, denotes “the rule of the people” wherein the affairs of a political state does not elude every single head. Here, every person confers their politically legitimate authority on a desired individual or group in what is termed “popular participation” on the ground that a series of proposed objectives is actualized; thus these individuals are elected images of the citizenry at the realms of state affairs. Undoubtedly. The objectives are to sustain the well- being of every individual, affluent or indigent, and by extension, that of the state in all aspects as it applies to the people so elected.

However, it is unfortunate that there has not been substantial sustenance of the state and the people altogether since the period Nigeria divested the nominal vestiges of colonialism; so, colonialism seemed well off independence, military juntas appeared soothing more than democratic rules and, in succession, the activities of past governments speak eloquently against the successive ones. Over the years, there has not been a democratic government

sustainable enough to ascertain and effectively tackle the plights of the nation which makes it vulnerable to more complicated plights.

First and foremost, there should be devolution of power cum authority to the citizenry at large. This encompasses recognizing the citizenry as the sole authority steering the state affairs. Since the citizenry is the one represented at the administrative levels and not the administrative levels themselves, the citizens should have says that may be refined by the administrative experts. Therefore, the citizenry should be able to exercise the power conferred on the administrative heads through what is electorally termed “referendum” or “plebiscite.” Hence, continued devolution would enable democracy to take after its true essence; thus a sustainable one.

More so, deployment of vibrant youth in administrative offices should be warmly embraced. Vibrant youth are youth that are actively investing their expertise and tactical knowledge in the growth of the state, either politically, economically, socially or technologically.

Citing a shining instance of the 41-year-old France president, Emmanuel Macron, as Minister of the Economy, Macron was at the forefront of pushing through business- friendly reforms. And there are milestone impacts he made as a young French president that constraints will not permit mentioning. If these vibrant brains could be brought into the system and even prompted to contest for the forthcoming elections at all levels of government, democracy will be sustained.

Furthermore, dissolution of excessive affinity of political overlords and economy typhoons from the administration should be envisioned. As we know, democracy is not rule in the hands of few citizens, but a system where the rule is basically emanating from the hands of the citizenry to create survival for all at an optimum pace. Given excessive room to persons of great economic or political wields may jeopardize democracy itself and that is veering off the pathway and identical to the travesty of democracy. So these set of people should not be over rated or recognized in the system if we do not want democracy to generate into elitist practice and if Its essence must be intact and sustained.

The last but not the least is that the citizenry should be addressed, at all levels, as the real architect of the state to build it towards an envisioned goal.

The people should be sensitized on all issues of the state so that each has a role to play that may contribute to the growth of the state. Doing this will enable the people to find their representative accessible and make them have a good bid as to what kind of persons would represent them even in these upcoming elections. So nation- wide enlightenment should be incorporated into government policies to make democracy reflect it real essence.

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