Nigeria’s Democracy not Improving – ex-Minister

A former Minister of Industry, Amb Fidelis Tapgun has criticised the current crop of Nigerian governors as a threat to the nation’s democracy saying they have hijacked political parties because they fund them.

The former governor of Plateau State also rated the country’s democracy below pass mark as he said elected politicians are fraudulently elected.

Tapgun said these in an exclusive interview on the state of the nation with newsmen.

He said: “The governors hijack the parties, fund the parties, control and do whatever they like with the parties and this is not helping us at all.

“I don’t know what percentage to give democratic rule because 50 per cent is usually the pass mark but by my own assessment, it has not reached 50 per cent. My reason is that a lot of the elected people you see around whether in the local government, State House of Assembly, governors or National Assembly, a lot of them have been fraudulently elected into office so you can’t claim that you are elected that way.

“Until we allow the people to vote who they want we cannot say we have succeeded. If we leave it the way it is now, you can see what is happening all over the place. If the governor says you will not stand, you will not contest, the delegates that are coming to vote, the governors handpick them to come and select the person they want to contest. It is a big problem, we have not moved anywhere.”

Speaking about the argument on the region to produce the next President in 2023, Tapgun, a former ambassador to Kenya said the Peoples Democratic Party is right for fielding Atiku Abubakar as the last President from the party was from the South.

Tapgun added: “If you can remember, Southern governors met and said the thing must go to the South; the Northern Governors met and said they didn’t agree. All these people that met are from different political parties and they have to respect the position of their parties not their personal position.

“They made political statements, fine, but they belong to political parties. Now, I am talking about PDP not APC. As far as we are concerned, we have not broken anything. To avoid this controversy that is why they left it open but if you follow it step by step, you will know that the last person that was President of Nigeria under the PDP was from the South. Before President Muhammadu Buhari came in, that was Jonathan.

“If you are following that, it means PDP is trying to bring somebody from the North but because there was so much agitation, they said okay, leave it open let everybody that is competent come and contest. The truth of the matter is that the last President before Buhari was from the Southern part of the country, I am not talking about APC, and they have their own.

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