Former governor of Akwa Ibom State, Victor Attah, has reiterated the importance of an effective electoral system and sound governance in order to bolster Nigeria’s democracy.
Attah spoke at the 68th birthday celebration of Prof. Pat Utomi which coincided with the launching of his new book titled, ‘Power, Politics, Public Policy Process and Performance’, in Lagos, where various thought leaders spoke on the theme ‘Democracy, Governance and National Performance: The Mutual Relationship’.
He said Nigeria was full of great ideas but lacked implementation, which he said has been a bane to the country’s development. He said until Nigeria takes positive action and concentrates on democratic principles to build the nation right, nothing will change.
“We have always had analysis of our problems, but sometimes we shy away from proffering solutions. And when these solutions have been brought forward, we are not able to implement them. Maybe the time has come for us to realise that unless we take some positive actions, nothing will happen; we will continue to grumble and the situation will only get worse.
“In politics, there is a saying that power corrupts, but absolute power corrupts absolutely. This is very true; it is in politics that absolute power will corrupt to the point that the person excising the power does not know his excesses anymore; he thinks he is at the norm. That sort of absolutism has no place in democracy.
“So, we must concentrate on democratic principles and insist that our country follows them. And of course, the primary basis of democracy is elections. We have to find a way of getting elections right. Unless and until we’re able to put the people we want in office, and we are able to remove them when we’re dissatisfied with their performance, we will remain where we are,” Attah said.