I have always wondered, should democracy be practised just for the sake of practising it? Should we all embrace democracy just because everyone embraces it? The statistics in Africa shows that African countries did not only thrive, but their people fared better before the west overturned their governments and ‘gave’ them ‘democracy’. With democracy, all the benefits enjoyed, disappears. They pay heavily for the democracy with their natural resources. Before ‘democracy’, what was growing was the way of life of the people, affordable education, cheap houses, free or cheap-but-quality health care system, but after ‘democracy’, all that stops increasing; the people can no longer have access to affordable education and free health care system and the governments now concern themselves with having figures and numbers that can be ‘presentable’ in international scenes. Somewhere along the line, their concept of growth changes from better living for their people, it becomes a series of figures and numbers that make them look good on the international scene and earn them pats on the back from IMF, World Bank and the big brothers from the west.
Now when I question democracy, I am not questioning the right of the people to determine who their leaders are; I am questioning the concept that allows a group of nations to force their designs on a nation, thinking they know what’s best for them. If people go to the polls to vote and after electing their leaders, they don’t have to be scared that their leaders will mortgage their way of life and better conditions of living so they can get help from some bodies. Pre-‘democracy’ in Libya saw so many social benefits for the Libyans. Post-democracy sees those benefits withdrawn and the way of life of the people jerked up, while their oil is being looted heavily. Today, the US emerged as the largest producer of oil, it is African oil, and it is the heavy price we have to pay for this democracy.
African countries need to review this concept of democracy and determine their own mode of governance that doesn’t include the looting of their natural resources, that doesn’t include a drop in the quality of life of their people, that doesn’t include mortgaging the lives and future of their people as a prerequisite for getting ‘aid’ from the west. We have brains that are rotting away in foreign lands helping the west to maintain its stranglehold on African countries; it’s time for those brains to return home to help Africa design its own mode of governance that puts the quality of life of its people first and that ensures they keep their natural resources.
Ogun State, Nigeria