Gov. Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti has stressed the need to promote inclusive development to sustain true democracy in the country.
Fayemi made the call at a book launch titled, “Nigeria Democracy Without Development, How to Fix It,” authored by Dr Omano Edigheji.
Represented by Sen. Olubunmi Adetunmbi, Fayemi said for a country to have a democratic state, it must first and foremost succeed as a developmental state.
The governor commended the author for giving the public, what he called “Food for Thought“ about the relationship between democracy and development through his innovative ideas.
“The narrative of the book is the relationship between democracy and development, in my own view; I think development will deliver democracy but not the other way round.
“I hold the view that without development, it is difficult to sustain democracy because democracy pre-supposes that people are interested in enforcing freedom and participating in governance through contribution of representation,” he said.
According to him, it will be difficult to achieve such vision in an un-conducive environment especially, when the majority of people are facing one challenge or the other.
“I think this is an issue the author is able to address in his book, but I hope the view that to have a democratic state, first and foremost, we must succeed as a developmental state,” he said.
He called on stakeholders to address poverty, illiteracy and insurgency and ensure that other human calamities are taken away from the geographical jurisdiction for the nation to attain true democracy.
Also, Mr Auwal Musa, Executive Director, Civil Society Legislative Centre, noted it would be difficult for Nigeria as a nation to compete with other developed nations of the world democratically, if corruption is left unaddressed.
Musa, who was one of the panelists deliberated on politics, governance and the fight against corruption, stressed the need for the country to develop its industry, enhance ethical moral value, and total development among others.
He said that if corruption was not properly addressed it would affect the efforts towards attaining the desired development, and to consolidate true democracy.
Dr Omano Edigheji, the author of the book, said his decision to put up the writing was borne out of desire for achieving a true democracy in Nigeria, considering the level of low level of development in Nigeria.
“I am a Nigerian and I have been very lucky in life, I obtained free education, I see what is going on in my country and I have to find a way to give something back to the country.“
According to Edigheji, the book examines the factors that account for the current situation in Nigeria, offers practical solutions on how the deficiencies of electoral democracy can be overcome.
In addition, Edigheji, who is currently serving as a Special Adviser on Research and Documentation to Gov. Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State, said the book also suggested how Nigeria can promote inclusive development.