Democracy Peer Education Training 13th – 15th June 2017

At the end of the 3-day training, the workshop issued the following as the major observations agreed on during the three-day event:
 Even though democracy has its age-old tenets which demand equality before the law by all citizens and that the interest of the people should always prevail, it is not practiced in Nigeria today in line with these doctrines because of the selfishness of elected office holders

The Communiqué

At the end of the 3-day training, the workshop issued the following as the major observations agreed on during the three-day event:
1.    Even though democracy has its age-old tenets which demand equality before the law by all citizens and that the interest of the people should always prevail, it is not practiced in Nigeria today in line with these doctrines because of the selfishness of elected office holders.
2.    That the rule of law in Nigeria’s democracy is inhibited by such factors as executive lawlessness and impunity, certain cultural practices, weak institutions, low public political education, prevalence of corruption, etc.
3.    There is the problem of human rights abuses in Nigeria as exemplified by torture of citizens by security agents and extra-judicial killings of citizens in the country.
4.    That transparency which involves operating in an open, honest, non-secret manner by leaders so that others particularly the followers can see and understand what is going on is lacking in Nigeria’s democracy.
5.    Similarly, there is little or no accountability among Nigerian leaders because of their overriding selfish interests over public good, corrupt tendencies, poor display of leadership qualities, lack of fear of God and inadequate awareness among Nigeria’s electorate regarding their human rights.
6.    CSOs and the media have great roles to play in deepening democracy in Nigeria and they must not relent but redouble their efforts in performing their functions.
7.    Freedom of expression connotes the ability to express oneself without hindrance. It also implies the ability to criticize government actions or inactions, hold independent contrary opinion and the right to be heard or given audience.
8.    Elections remain the only mechanism of acquiring political power in modern democracy. However, in Nigeria, elections lack the required democratic ingredients of transparency and credibility.
9.    That Nigerian political parties lack internal democracy, have no ideology and cohesion necessary to sustain democracy. This is further demonstrated by the uncultured behavior of politicians who hardly remain loyal to their political parties.
10.    That constituency engagement which enhances grassroots participation in policy making and community involvement in governance is absent in Nigeria as a result of lack of civic consciousness, indifference by members of the public to participate in the political process, lack of unity of purpose in the communities and the influence of other factors such as corruption and godfathers on the practice of democracy in Nigeria.
11.    In order to make positive impact in society, the youth should serve as democracy peer educators in their various communities by undertaking youth policy events, town hall meetings in order to open up the space for democracy to thrive in Nigeria.

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