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Peter Obi, the Labour Party’s presidential candidate in last year’s elections, has slammed Nigeria’s political condition, asserting that the country has devolved into a dictatorship and state capture.

In a series of posts on his X handle on Wednesday, Obi reflected on this year’s June 12 Democracy Day commemoration, expressing concerns over the nation’s deviation from true democratic principles.

Obi lamented that leadership failures have led to systemic corruption, widespread insecurity, suppression of free speech, escalating poverty, and severe hunger and hardship. He questioned the authenticity of Nigeria’s democracy as the country marks 25 years of its democratic journey.

“Today, as we celebrate Democracy Day, we must ask ourselves: Are we truly democratic?” Obi stated. “It is crucial to re-examine our progress over the past quarter-century. Democracy should be government of, by, and for the people, but we have drifted into classical state capture, depriving the citizens instead of benefiting them.”

Obi emphasized that the absence of genuine democracy has resulted in significant issues, including systemic corruption, high insecurity, restricted freedoms, and rising poverty and hardship. He argued that true democracy prioritizes citizens’ rights, lawfulness, leader accountability, and the welfare of the populace, especially the impoverished.

Highlighting Nigeria’s poor performance in various global indices, Obi noted, “We score low on the Global Democracy Index with a score of 4.23. Our Corruption Perception Index ranks us 145th out of 180 countries, and we stand at 120th out of 142 on the World Justice Project’s Rule of Law Index. Additionally, the 2024 World Press Freedom Index ranks Nigeria 112th out of 180 countries, indicating significant challenges for journalists.”

Obi urged that the June 12 commemoration should prompt a recommitment to true democracy. “On June 12, 1993, we collectively voted for democracy. Today, we must defend it. I call on everyone to respect and protect democratic institutions, adhere to laws, be accountable to the people, and uphold responsible governance as outlined in the constitution.”

He concluded by stressing the need for Nigeria to return to a democratic path that truly serves its people, ensuring their rights and welfare are prioritized..

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