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Nigeria’s democracy just a step above authoritarianism – report

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[FILES] Buhari during recent APC Presidential campaign


Nigeria’s democracy has been ranked 108 out of the 167-country-and-colony in the Economist Intelligence Unit’s Democracy index.

The country, which is Africa’s biggest democracy, has a slight improvement as it moved upward from 109 it was ranked in 2017 and 2016.

The country was also ranked 108 in 2015.

Nigeria was listed among 39 countries that EIU said have hybrid regimes, which is just a step above authoritarianism.

The index, which the 2018 is the 11th edition, reviews the state of democracy in 165 independent countries worldwide using five parameters: process and pluralism; civil liberties; the functioning of government; political participation; and political culture.

It “provides a snapshot of the state of democracy worldwide for 165 independent states and two territories” and categorised the countries into four sections, namely full democracy, flawed democracy, hybrid regime and authoritarian.

EIU said elections in countries with hybrid regimes are plagued by substantial regimes, which prevent them from being free and fair.

“Government pressure on opposition parties and candidates may be common.

“Serious weaknesses are more prevalent than in flawed democracies—in political culture, functioning of government and political participation.

“Corruption tends to be widespread and the rule of law is weak. Civil society is weak. Typically, there is harassment of and pressure on journalists, and the judiciary is not independent.”

Although Nigeria’s electoral process was rated high, with a score of 6.08 (out of the possible 10), the country flopped in terms of functioning government (4.64), political participation (3.33), political culture (3.75) and civil liberties (4.41).

Norway, rated the most democratised nation in the world scored maximum 10 points in all the five indices except in functioning of government and civil liberties, where it scored 9.64 and 9.71 respectively.


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