The Director General, National Institute For Legislative and Democratic Studies, NILDS, Prof. Abubakar O. Suleiman, says for Nigeria to sustain and deepen democracy, it must imbibe the culture of political inclusion.
Prof. Suleimanspoke on Thursday in Abuja during the public presentation of a research report on inclusive practices of political parties in Nigeria organized by the Institute for Legislative and Democratic Studies (NILDS) in conjunction with the Westminster Foundation for Democracy (WFD).
He observed that fake news, ethnic and religious sentiments and the upsurge in politics of bitterness are threats to the country’s democracy.
He said there was a dark shadow over the significant achievements in the last two decades following some perennial challenges Nigeria’s democracy has continued to witness.
“An essential requirement for sustainable democracy is political inclusion, especially for minorities and marginalised groups. Indeed, the very notion of democratic governance is premised on the notion of equal participation by all citizens.”
He lamented that women, young people, and people with disabilities need equal and meaningful participation and representation in all facets of the electoral process, stressing that women and youth constitute more than half of Nigeria’s population, yet their participation in governance processes where decisions are made remains peripheral.