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We must change our political space to get economy right – Experts

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By Providence Adeyinka

Experts have said that except the ideology behind the Nigerian political space is corrected, it would be difficult to achieve a workable economy democracy.

This is the position of the exerts which included: Development Economist, Nigeria Labour Congress, Hajiya Hauwa Mustapha; Former Executive Director, Civil Liberties Organisation, CLO, Mr. Osaze Nosaze; Lecturer, Department of Political Science, Veritas University, Mr Adagbo Onoja; among others at a Webinar on “Conversation on Democracy in Nigeria” organised by Maroon Square Discourse 2020.

They pointed out that military intervention is a cradle for what is obtained in the politics of Nigeria, for instance: most of the people in politics today are from the military.

Also, they called for a rebirth of the country’s democracy which they said lacked framework.

According to Mustapha, “The factor that affected our politics from parties is the economy. With the crop of political parties we had in the ’60’s, it was the economy that governed the society. Greed, accumulation of resources was not as we have it today, people were not consumed as we have today. Insecurity and fear of tomorrow’s basic necessities also impacted on Nigeria. We cannot get it right in political parties except we rearrange the economy.

“Neo-liberalism affected the economy, people saw political parties as a vehicle for survival not service. Politics and economy are linked and we must ensure a workable strategy to get both right.

“The danger neo-liberalism has brought is democratizing the liberal states. We need to think deeply on what works and what did not work. We need to reinvent ourselves on how neo-colonialism is changing. We need to organize, go back and be positively critical about what is wrong. We need to change our strategy to fit into the new stride. We can’t go on with old strategy,” she said.

In his remark, Nosaze said that the state of Nigeria cannot be divorced from the ruling party, adding that the ruling party in Nigeria has not developed intellect, which is why the quality of education and knowledge was reducing due to negligence and non-adherence to democratic values.

He added that the knowledge gap in the dissemination and consumption of information requires rebirth for the country to galvanise its social, political and economic space into desired development.

“Nigeria mistake is to dissociate politics from the economy, in the early 70’s the political ruling class parties had vision but in the late 70’s they lost the vision and today what we have is political parties which are used as vehicle for fight for power,” he said.

Earlier, Onoja said that India, Brazil, Mexico and China are comparatively the categories that the Nigeria democracy should be categorized, stating: “our democracy lacks discourse, they conceptualize democracy. We do not have framework of democracy in Nigeria like others.”

He added that there are political parties with no concept due to collapse in consensus after independence. “Military intervention is a cradle for what we have today in politics; most of the people in politics today are from the military. The ruling classes have diversity of imagination.”

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