BY EBUN SESSOU
LAGOS — Dean of the Faculty of Social Science, Lagos State University, Professor Abubakar Momoh, has said the only way democracy would yield dividends in Nigeria is for politicians to stop playing destructive politics, even as he lamented that the problem of democracy in Nigeria is politicians and political parties.
He spoke as a guest speaker at the 2nd Legislative/Civil Society Parley of the Lagos State House of Assembly.
Speaking on the theme, “Good Governance at the Grassroots in Lagos State”, he said, “Democracy is about representation, participation and inclusion but submitted that not all the three factors were present in practice of democracy in Nigeria.”
Momoh argued that what the country had in the last 14 years was not democracy but despotism, saying most politicians were not representing the interest of the masses even though they were supposedly elected by the same masses.
Explaining the rationale behind government at the grassroots, he said the way the Local Government Council Areas, LDCAs, were created was highly political.
He noted: “If they are community and development focused, then the issue regarding bureaucracy will be a thing of the past. There are structural and behavioural issues that are wrong with our politics.”
“Chairmen of local government are like hand-bags, they are not independent in terms of finance, among others. Part of the challenges of grassroots governance includes corruption, constitutional ambiguity of tenure and powers of LGs, among others.”