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Osinbajo seeks strong institutions to develop Africa’s democracy

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Nigeria’s vice president Yemi Osinbajo


Vice President Yemi Osinbajo caled for strong social and institutional systems that will provide what the people could rely on and trust in order to develop democracy in Africa.He said this in his remark at the inaugural Flagship Lecture of The Kukah Centre in Abuja with the theme “How to make Democracy Work for Africa’’.

According to him the solution is the law and the state, a merit driven bureaucracy, a strong law and order architecture, the rule of law and adjudicative system that is well resourced and immune to manipulation.

Osinbajo noted that African people expect those charged with governance to deliver on their promises.He said these included delivering social goods, ensuring that the growing youth population got jobs, ensure rule of law and security.

“These are issues that remain very prominent everywhere in Africa,’’ he explained.

He said there was the issue of the capacity of the state to deliver on most of the important role of security, ensuring justice and rule of law.

“It is often threatened because we simply have not invested enough in the institutions that make this possible.

“So ensuring security, problems of weak policing are some of the issues that we experience.

“The perception of people on the efficiency and fairness of the justice system is affected always by the slow pace of trials and manipulation of the systems by those who can afford superior legal representation,’’ Osinbajo said.

He noted that the country had an anti-corruption war but could not boast of the number of people it convicted due to the system’s manipulation by the suspects and counsel.

Osinbajo said people could be put on trial but the trials could go on forever because the system enabled people to employ unending dilatory tactics.

The Vice President also observed that the challenges to democracy in Africa posed a great threat because of the historic failure to invest sufficiently in nation and state building.

“Many of the ethnic and other parochial tension that tended to create insecurity and outright conflict, time and time again, are largely on account of failure to deliberately undertake nation-building efforts,’’ he said.

Accordingly he said the elite preferred the status quo which set the lowest bar for political advancement, being “identity politics’’ of where one comes from or which religion one belongs.

He said that many follow the path of such division to analyse real development issues thus diminishing the real issues concerning the people such as good governance, job creation, poverty alleviation, peace and security.

He said such development issued hardly formed themes in public debates towards elections.

Osinbajo hinted that forging of national identity and purpose, built around great values and principle, was crucial for engendering commitment to national goals and sustaining peace and security.He said state building involved the capacity of the government to deliver rule of law, law and order, good governance, and social goods.

He stated that it was clear that extreme inequality, weak justice system, absence of rule of law, lack of state capacity to maintain law and order put nations constantly under real threats.“And that is the Africa story; democracy, yes; election yes.

“But the question of the capacity of the state to deliver on its most important role of security, justice and rule of law is often threatened because we have not invested enough in institutions that make it possible,’’ he added.


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Yemi Osinbajo
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