Deputy Senate President Ike Ekweremadu has decried the widespread coercion of the press, civil society, the judiciary, and parliaments by some African leaders.
The leaders, he mentioned, had no regard for his or her oaths of workplace and constitutional limits of their powers
Mr. Uche Anichukwu, Special Adviser (Media) to Deputy President of the Senate, mentioned on Saturday that Ekweremadu made his place identified in a lecture, “African Politics: The Dynamics and Lesson”, which he delivered on the House of Commons, Parliament of the United Kingdom (UK).
Ekweremadu warned that democracy could be imperilled and transmute to civilian dictatorship with out respect for key establishments of democracy.
The former Speaker of the Parliament of the Economic Community of West African States, (ECOWAS Parliament), regretted that “outside Nigeria, South Africa, and a few others, most African parliaments are largely caged and often reduced to rubber stamps and appendages of the executive”.
He cited the case of Cameroon the place the structure had been severally amended to maintain 84 years outdated President Paul Biya in energy since November 1982.
He additionally referred to Uganda the place the parliament lately voted to take away the constitutional age restrict to elongate the tenure of 73 years outdated President Yoweri Museveni, who has been in workplace for about 30 years.
He, nonetheless, recommended the judiciary for important interventions to avoid wasting democracy in Nigeria’s intra-party dispute in addition to the Gambian, Kenyan and Liberian presidential elections.
“The Judiciary will not be solely the final hope of the frequent man in Africa, but additionally the prized hope of democracy, rule of regulation, human rights, fairness, and justice.
“Take away an impartial judiciary and what you may have left is crude dictatorship.
“Lately, the Supreme Court of Nigeria saved democracy within the nation in its judgment on the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, disaster when it held that the choice of a celebration in its nationwide conference is remaining and binding.
“Also, after the PDP misplaced election in Nigeria in 2015, the APC-led authorities ran riot and commenced to indict, arrest, examine, and detain its opponents and particular person enemies. The judiciary was its main roadblock.
“In response to its frustration, the homes of judges have been embarrassingly raided at midnight and judicial officers humiliated by safety businesses working for the Federal Government of Nigeria.
“Such executive lawlessness must be condemned in strongest terms and must not be allowed to find a sanctuary in African politics,” Ekweremadu added.
Ekweremadu additionally deplored the harassment of social media customers, on-line bloggers and publishers in elements of Africa.
He additionally famous that effort to enact an Act to control Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) was unhealthy for democracy.
He mentioned: “It is even quite hypocritical that former opposition leaders and parties rise to power, but only to turn round, determined to break and burn the very ladder with which they climbed into power”.
Ekweremadu recognized refusal of many presidents to do justice to all method of individuals, and never enable non-public curiosity to affect official determination as a gift menace to democracy within the continent.
“Contrary to the oaths, what we see is blatant nepotism, cronyism, and tribalism. The ethnic teams of the heads of state are largely favoured in appointments, alternatives, and provision of infrastructure.’’
He flayed the “emasculation of the English-speaking a part of Cameroon underneath President Biya and the alleged favouritism in the direction of the Zulus by President Jacob Zuma in South Africa’’ and urged African leaders to be all embracing.
Speaking, the chief host of the occasion and Member of the UK Parliament, Rt. Hon Keith Vaz, described the occasion as the primary of its sort, stressing that Africa was wanting as much as Nigeria to indicate management.
On his half, the President, Enugu Diapora, UK and Ireland, Prof. Joe Ukemenam, assured that the Nigerian diaspora group was prepared to lend help to Africa.