Problems of Democracy in Nigeria

Problems of Democracy in Nigeria are provided in this article. If these problems are tackled, democracy will find fertile ground in Nigeria.

Factors Affecting Democracy in Nigeria:

  1. Corruption
  2. Electoral Violence and Malpractices
  3. Poor Dividends of Democracy
  4. Wrong Choice of Public Servants and Incompetency
Problems of Democracy in Nigeria
Problems of Democracy in Nigeria – Photo Source:

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Problems of Democracy in Nigeria:

1. Corruption

The democratic era of Nigeria has witnessed a high rate of corruption on the path of both elected and appointed officials.

The modern-day Nigerian democracy has been described as ‘stomach democracy’. This is because of the inability of leaders to account for the funds allocated to the office.

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Democracy has seen public funds being diverted into private and foreign accounts by our leaders. Leaders today live in largesse and own expensive properties beyond their legitimate.

In reaction to the increasing rate of corruption in Nigeria, Patrick Obioma Umeh, a poet in his poem titled ‘Ambassadors of Poverty’ described our democratic leaders as “Ambassadors of poverty, with their heads abroad and buttocks at home”.

Today, our economy is in a state of a quagmire, we have death traps as roads, poor health care, and educational facilities, poor industrialization, and very pitiably, insecurity of lives and properties, all these are occasioned as a result of a high rate of corruption in Nigerian democracy.

2. Electoral Violence and Malpractices

Truly, true democracy is known during the transition period. Over the years, the electioneering periods in Nigeria have recorded violence and malpractices; like manipulation of results, snatching of ballot boxes by hired thugs, partiality on the path of the electoral body, killings, etc.

The high rate of killings during elections in Nigeria has aroused fear in the lives of electorates and this has prompted the low participation of citizens during elections.

3. Poor Dividends of Democracy

In terms of rendering services to the people, democracy has not lived up to the expectations of providing the dividends of democracy to the people.

The major responsibility of a Democratic government is the protection of the lives and properties of its citizens but in the case of Nigeria, the issue of security has been politicized. For example, the current insurgency problem in the North East.

Also, violation of human rights has become the order of the day in a modern democracy. The provision of social amenities in recent times has been very poor.

For example, electricity, enabling business environment, water supply, education, the social welfare system, etc.

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4. Wrong Choice of Public Servants and Incompetency

Not all individuals who are under a democratic government are aware of the political and social circumstances in their country a Truism.

In voting systems, the majority of the most favored candidate wins irrespective of their past records, level of education, and leadership charisma.

A candidate might emerge a winner based on factors other than the required people-oriented capability.

With this manner of operation, we discover that the elected leaders may not be able to deliver to the people, the dividends of democracy and may likely seize the opportunity to enrich/herself, families, and generations yet to come with public funds because of a lack of goodwill for the people.

We hope this was helpful!

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