The Executive Director of YIAGA Africa, Samson Itodo, has revealed that the style of leadership in Africa has made it very difficult for democracy advocates to defend the system of government in the continent.
Itodo who disclosed this during a panel discussion about the importance of democracy in Africa, at the Brazilian embassy in Abuja on Thursday, said the style of leadership in the continent has made the citizens lose trust in the system.
According to the YAGA boss, while speaking at the event organised by the embassy of the Czech Republic in Nigeria, Nigerian lawmakers are buying expensive cars while the “country is going through a hard economic time.”
He however added that the “style of expensive leadership in Nigeria is not amusing to cheer citizens about democracy.”
“Let us look at the kind of cars the legislatures want to purchase for themselves while the country is going through a hard economic time,” Itodo said.
“The kind of cabinet that we have, 49 ministers, for a country that is crawling on its knees. And you will tell someone that democracy is the government of the people by the people? Just give us a break.
“The question is, these anomalies, what can we do as citizens?
“This is where I see hope for democracy. We need to utilise our voices as citizens. I am not saying we have lost faith as Nigerians, I think we have lost faith in our leaders and institutions and they are too disempowered to provide the right instruments of democracy.
“It is right to add that you can have the best of democracy but no guarantee that there will be economic prosperity.
“It is a challenge for us today to defend democracy. It is the biggest challenge but compared to forms of government, most people look at Rwanda, look at the development, look at China, look at Russia, they make all these comparisons.
“You may see that as development, but these are short-lived developments. Look at Cameroon there, you have someone there who has spent over four decades,” he said.