Politics

Democracy Day: Corruption remains pervasive at all levels – Arapasopo

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The Osun State chairman of Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, Comrade Christopher Arapasopo, has declared that Nigeria’s democracy is neither perfect nor moving forward, as according to him, corruption remains prevalent at all levels of government.

He said the nation’s journey towards true democracy was tumultuous, marked by periods of military rule, political instability and socio economic challenges.

This was contained in a release issued and personally signed by him and, made available to newsmen in Osogbo on Thursday.

He said, “The country gained independence from British colonial rule in 1960 and experienced its first taste of democracy with the establishment of a parliamentary system of government. However, this early period of democracy was short-lived, as a series of military coups plunged the country into decades of military rule.

“It was not until 1999 that Nigeria transitioned back to civilian rule with the election of Olusegun Obasanjo as president, marking the beginning of the Fourth Republic. Since then, Nigeria has held several presidential and parliamentary elections, with power peacefully transferring between different political parties. This period has seen some progress in terms of political stability and freedom of expression, with the media playing a more active role in holding the government accountable.

“Nigeria’s democracy has been marred by several challenges that have hindered its development and prevented it from being truly effective and inclusive. One of the main issues is political corruption, which remains pervasive at all levels of government and undermines public trust in democratic institutions”

“The country also struggles with ethnic and religious divisions, which are often exploited by politicians for their gain, leading to tensions and violence in some regions”

“The electoral process in Nigeria has been plagued by irregularities, including voter intimidation, vote rigging, and violence, which have called into question the credibility of election results and undermined the legitimacy of elected officials. The judiciary, while independent in theory, has also faced accusations of bias and lack of transparency.”

Arapasopo averred that, poverty, inequality, and lack of basic services have continued to be pressing issues in Nigeria, thus leading to widespread disillusionment among the population and eroding confidence in the democratic system.

“The government’s failure to effectively address these socio-economic challenges has fueled discontent and contributed to a sense of disenchantment with the political process,” he said.

“Nigeria has now become a country where human rights and freedom of speech are no more working. To get your right could only be through stressful struggle.

“On National Living Wage, no agreement reached as claimed by President Bola Tinubu in his nationwide broadcast to mark Democracy Day. At the time negotiation ended on Friday, June 7, there was no agreement reached by the Tripartite Committee on the National Living Wage, rather two figures such as N250,000 from Organised Labour and N62,000 from government and Organised Private Sector, OPS were arrived at and ought to have been submitted to the President”

Osun NLC chairman further posited that, “it’s the hope of everyone that Mr. President will put smile on the faces of Nigerian Workers as promised.

“While Nigeria has made strides in its journey towards democracy, the country still faces significant obstacles that prevent its democratic system from functioning optimally. Addressing issues such as political corruption, electoral integrity, social inequality, and ethnic tensions will be crucial for Nigeria to strengthen its democratic institutions and ensure that all citizens can fully participate in and benefit from the democratic process.”

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