Elder statesman and former permanent representative of Nigeria to the United Nations (UN), Alhaji Maitama Sule, has explained why democracy is failing in Africa.
Sule, while speaking at the opening of the first Faculty of Arts International Conference of the University of Calabar at the Conference Centre of the institution, said that democracy is failing in Africa because the culture of the people was not taken into consideration before it was shaped.
He explained that the American style of democracy is not the same as that of Great Britain, adding that the British style of democracy is also different from that of France.
According to him, Africa will not succeed until its culture is taken into consideration in shaping the democracy.
Alhaji Sule said: “In Africa we have been having problems with democracy and I believe it is because we have not taken into account our cultural background in shaping our type of democracy.
“Is the American style of democracy the same as that of Great Britain? Is the British the same as France? Is France practicing the same as Russia?
“Until we take our culture into consideration in shaping our own democracy, we shall not succeed and continue to have problems. The democracy we are practicing today is not Afrocentric, but Eurocentric. We are not practicing our democracy along the lines of our culture.”
Sule also emphasized the need for justice in a democratic setting. He said: “I believe in democracy. At the end of the day it is justice for all. The president has to do justice to all irrespective of background. Justice should be done to whosoever deserves it. That is democracy. Justice is the only way that we can follow to achieve greatness and it should be done to all and sundry. The world should never be government by force and fear and power. Justice is what this democracy wants.”