Why Obasanjo Believes Africa Made a Mistake in Embracing Western Liberal Democracy

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo expressed his view that African countries made an error by embracing Western liberal democracy, a system introduced by Europeans.

He conveyed this sentiment during a gathering in Abuja on Tuesday, where he engaged with members of the House of Representatives who were advocating for a bill to reintroduce the parliamentary system of government.

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo highlighted that the liberal democracy brought to African nations by the West does not align with the continent’s intrinsic values.

He emphasized that there is no aspect of liberal democracy that inherently reflects African ideals.

Instead, he urged African countries to develop and adopt democratic systems that are more suited to their unique contexts and cultural backgrounds.

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He said: “Let me go back to the beginning, where we got it wrong — the Western liberal democracy, that is what the Europeans have.

“When you look at Western liberal democracy, it is a product of their history. A product of their culture. A product of their way of life.

“I have looked into most African languages; Western democracy has what they call loyal opposition. What is opposition in African languages?

“Enemy. Western democracies called oppositions ‘loyal’ because the oppositions are loyal to the monarchy. That’s where their loyal democracy began. They used to have monarchies.

“There is nothing in liberal democracy that is African. We ruled ourselves before the advent of colonialism. We had empires and striving kingdoms. We did not rule ourselves as opposition.

“What is in it for us? I don’t know, but you can give it. For lack of an appropriate word, let us call it afro-democracy. That is where we have to begin.”