By Dayo Olujuwon
The former Vice President of Nigerian Bar Association, Barr. Monday Onyekachi Ubani has said that Nigeria has returned to civil rule and not practicing proper Democracy.
He stated this in an interview aired on AsphericTV in it’s functional Programme “State of the nation” hosted by Dayo Olujuwon.
In the interview, he noted that we need to go further to deepen our democratic tenets and put aside violation of the constitution of the land, and take a step towards obeying court decision, ensuring that the fundamental human right of the people is respected and not trampled upon.
In his statement “The position of things is that what we are practicing is not the proper democracy. What we have is just a return to civil rule. There are many things that makes up practice of true democracy. One such is independence of the Judiciary. The Judiciary must be clearly independent and must not be toyed with and must not be dictated to”
“The moment you have undue interference by other organs of the government, then there’s absence of true democracy. A situation where there is no observant of the no rule of law, where the judgement delivered by court of law is not obeyed, then you cannot be said to be practicing democracy. “
“Democracy means there must be law, the rule of law. The law is above everybody including the President. The president himself cannot toyed with the rule of law, whoever no matter how powerful cannot toyed with the rule of law. The moment you don’t have supremacy of the law but individuals that are so powerful that can dictate what happen contrary to laws, then you cannot be said to be practicing true democracy.”
“We have made some level of progress in terms of civil rule. From 1999 till date we have change of government of electing our leaders who to some extent are not military dictators who have occupied our positions as Presidents and Governors. In this wise, we have civil rule. But we need to go step further by making sure that the true observers of rule of law is clearly implemented. One of which is the issue of obedience to the court decision, not violating the constitution of the land, there’s the supremacy of the law, ensuring that the fundamental human right of the people is respected and not trampled upon. Most of the policies of the government must be tailored towards the whims and caprices of the people because government is about the people. The issue of security is critical. This is when we will say we have true democracy. The moment we start making amend to some of practices and ensure the supremacy of the law, then I can go home and say we are practicing true democracy. For now, I can only say we are practicing civilian administration whereby we have been able to change from one leader to the other and not through any military overthrow of any government elected. We need to go further to deepen our democratic tenets”