Democracy as a system of government of the people, by the people and for the people is to the African continent imported. It is widely believed as a system of government embraced and being propagated by the United States of America, who is the symbol of democracy in the world. Nonetheless, no room is open for denying the benefits of democracy though at a costly price, costly in the sense that the political will needed to conform to the nitty gritty of democracy, which makes for the flow of dividends to the grass roots is absent. Uniformity is not a substitute for conformity, for until the game is played by its rules, the result will turn out always as negative.
Democracy all over the world runs on one template, and that is the uniformity. For instance, democratic processes are known worldwide to include the right to vote and be voted for, which is an inalienable right of every citizen of every nation. It is also believed to work on the threshold of equity, fairness, transparency, and justice. These are the contents of the template of democracy, which is uniform across the globe. Conformity on the other hand is playing the game according to the rules of it. This is guided also by the readiness of the actors, leaders of governments, and politicians to respect the principles of the social contract.
The inability for leaders to conform to the ethics and related in governing laws of democracy is the bane of the chaotic societies that we have today, especially in the African continent. The chaotic situation in the African continent, especially in countries that have experienced coups in the recent past, can be traceable to the failure on the part of the democratically-elected leaders of some of these countries to live up to the expectations of their people and in relation to the promises that they made to the people when running for offices.
The distrust between the leaders and the people can be a long-term cause of discontentment and the loss of confidence in the leaders. The army are opportunists. They always take advantage of the disconnect between leaders and the people. Going forward, it is important to point out that powerful countries like America, who is the symbol of democracy, need a renewed commitment to the advancement of democracy across the globe, but this time with a renewed vigor in the area of monitoring of not only uniformity among democratic governments in Africa or around the globe, but also conformity, which is the pivot on which the wheels of good governance rotate.
Motion is not enough to measure progress. There have to be movements. Coups cannot stop by mere pronouncements from advanced democracies. There has to be a deliberate reaction, which would justify making offense the best defense at the moment. The African Union (AU) and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) have been overwhelmed by the problems of insurgencies, insecurities, and all other manners of terrorist manifestations in the member state countries.
The absence of timely, preventive interventions from the international community of the United Nations and its agencies is a factor responsible for the frequency of coups in the African region. It is not too surprising as to why advanced democracies who are supposed to be monitoring the execution of the tenets of democracy in all countries that practice are negligent. It is obvious that they are losing sight of the changes that are taking place on uniformity where democracy as a system of government is characterized by thuggery, lack of transparency, dishonesty, insurrection, human rights abuses, including the lack of press freedom.
If these important pillars of democracy are overlooked when not available or applied where necessary, it therefore becomes not surprising when the infringement in the area of conformity is ignored or overlooked. It is not enough to sell a product; the manual that goes with it is for a reason, and a good product also comes with a warranty. Democracy should not be abandoned at the market after sale; importance and special emphasis has to be made in connection with the manual, while the benefit of a warranty is also a good marketing strategy and responsible.
On a final note, the use of evasive diplomacy by the international community in matters of African developments as a strategy to avoid telling deliberate lies and being exposed, rather than being productive, is counterproductive. These chaotic situations in Africa are almost becoming like a part of the lives of the people whereas they were designed and engineered to work somewhere and to fail elsewhere. So, why democracy is failing in Africa and working in other parts of the world is food for thought.
Finally, Nigeria, which is the largest democracy in Africa, is running on a fraudulent Constitution prepared solely by the military and imposed on the people, and the advanced democracies , such as the United States of America, pretend not to see or know. It is now brought to the front burner for quick intervention, which makes the wise to hear and increase in learning, and a man of understanding attaining unto wise counsel. Pretension is the nucleus of evasive diplomacy and that is a hindrance to preventive diplomacy, which is the roadmap to world peace.
Samuel ‘Tunji Adeyanju