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Obasanjo Speaks On Adoption Of Western Liberal Democracy

Former Nigeria’s President, Olusegun Obasanjo on Tuesday posited that African countries made a mistake by adopting the Western liberal democracy introduced by the Europeans.

Obasanjo made the remarks while speaking at a meeting with members of the House of Representatives promoting a bill to reintroduce the parliamentary system of government in Abuja.

The former President said the liberal democracy introduced by the West to African countries is not synchronised with the continent’s value system.

Obasanjo asserted that there is nothing in liberal democracy that is African and called on the countries on the continent to come up with the type of democracy that suits them.


He said: “Let me go back to the beginning, where we got it wrong — the Western liberal democracy, that is what the Europeans have.

“When you look at Western liberal democracy, it is a product of their history. A product of their culture. A product of their way of life.

“I have looked into most African languages; Western democracy has what they call loyal opposition. What is opposition in African languages?

“Enemy. Western democracies called oppositions ‘loyal’ because the oppositions are loyal to the monarchy. That’s where their loyal democracy began. They used to have monarchies.

“There is nothing in liberal democracy that is African. We ruled ourselves before the advent of colonialism. We had empires and striving kingdoms. We did not rule ourselves as opposition.

“What is in it for us? I don’t know, but you can give it. For lack of an appropriate word, let us call it Afro-democracy. That is where we have to begin.”

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