1st June, 2010
A former Minister of Education, Prof. Babs Fafunwa, and some other scholars said elimination of corruption among public office holders would strengthen democracy in Nigeria.
The scholars said in Lagos that corruption was a major hindrance to Nigeriaâ€™s development in the past 11 years of its return to civil rule.
They spoke in separate interviews with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).
â€œI am happy that we have been able to maintain civil rule for the past 11 years, but I feel we are still struggling to get there, going by the high rate of corruption in public offices,â€ Fafunwa said.
The former minister urged cooperation of all Nigerians on the eradication of corruption and electoral fraud to deepen Nigeriaâ€™s democracy.
â€œWe must ensure that free, fair and credible elections are conducted in 2011 if we really plan to enjoy true democracy,â€ he urged.
In his contribution, a professor of law, Oyelowo Oyewo, said it was inappropriate that 11 years after Nigeriaâ€™s return to civil rule, its elected officers were not accountable to the electorate.
Oyewo, Dean, Faculty of Law, University of Lagos (UNILAG), argued that political parties had failed to offer moral, ethical and value-oriented persuasion on elected public officers.
â€œIt is sad that after 11 years, we are yet to reform our electoral system and guarantee the principle of constitutional democracy which is one man, one vote,â€ Oyewo added.
Dr. Ayo Olowe also of UNILAG told NAN that Nigeriaâ€™s democracy was still in the experimental stage â€œbasically as a result of the high level of corruption in every sector of the countryâ€™s economy.