Democracy consists of four basic elements: I want to begin with an overview of what democracy is. We can think of democracy as a system of government with four key elements: 1. A political system for choosing and replacing the government through free and fair elections. 2. The active participation of the people, as citizens, in politics and civic life. 3. Protection of the human rights of all citizens. 4. A rule of law, in which the laws and procedures apply equally to all citizens.
Since Nigeria returned to democracy in May 1999, after almost three decades of military rule, and almost two decades of economic crises, the country has been faced with the complex challenges of national reconciliation, national reconstruction and economic reform, and democratic consolidation. Even after holding the post-transition general elections in 2003, Nigeria continues to grapple with these challenges and the citizenry is still anxious to see and enjoy the benefits of “democracy dividends” – social welfare, justice, equity, and equal access to resources and power.
The rule of law and democracy in Nigerian politics
It is a universal phenomenon that any nation that cannot successfully thrive on with democracy and absolute supremacy of the law, is no doubt, heading for doom.
Democratic practice in Nigeria has always been an issue of serious concern to the average citizens, while the nation’s seemingly weak judicial system portends bad signals that the country is heading towards crisis, if drastic measures were not taken.
However, it is disheartening to note that there is an appalling intersection between politics and the rule of law.
This absurdity doesn’t arise from the Constitution nor the influence (or superiority) of the former over the latter, but a lack of commitment to core national issues on the part of our leaders, who have formed the habit of interfering in the duties of the judiciary thereby slowing down the process of