Former President Olusegun Obasanjo of Nigeria criticized the Western style of democracy imposed on Africa, stating that it has not been working effectively as a system of government on the continent. Obasanjo made these remarks during a high-level consultation on “Rethinking Western Liberal Democracy for Africa” in Abeokuta, Ogun State.
According to Obasanjo, the Western model of liberal democracy failed in Africa because it did not adequately consider the views of the majority of the people. He described Western Liberal Democracy as a “government of a few people over all the people or population,” with representatives who may not fully represent all citizens. He proposed the adoption of “Afro Democracy” in place of the Western model, emphasizing the importance of Africans having a say in the definition and design of their governance systems.
Obasanjo questioned the viability of a system where the majority might neglect or exclude the minority. He called for a reevaluation of the Western democratic model and urged Africans to consider alternatives that align with their culture, tradition, and societal needs.
Former Ekiti State Governor Kayode Fayemi, who also participated in the consultation, acknowledged that liberal democracy in Africa faces challenges, particularly in delivering development outcomes for the people. Fayemi emphasized the importance of addressing these challenges to ensure that democracy can effectively serve the welfare and well-being of the African population.