President Muhammadu Buhari’s Regime and Erosion of Democracy in Nigeria, 2015-2019
Keywords:Development, Rule of law, Separation of power
All over the world, democracy is adjudged the best form of government that promotes development. This perhaps may be due to how it is structured to cater for the welfare of the people who in turn demand certain dividends, such as good governance, equality, freedom, social justice, and equalization of opportunities, observance of the rule of law, reliable and functional institutions, and accelerated development, among others. This article interrogated how the government of Muhammadu Buhari has conformed to some key tenets of democracy, namely: the rule of law, free press, political freedom, independent judiciary, and due process, and thereby ensured all-inclusive, and people-oriented government, which are prerequisites for development. In same vein, the paper further assessed the democratic postures of the current government, to identify areas that government has failed and thereby suggest the way forward for the nation’s nascent democracy. The study is explorative, analytical in nature, and therefore relied on both primary and secondary data for testing the variables. It adopted system theory for explanation of how a system functions interdependently to achieve a common purpose. The findings of the study reveal that firstly, modern democracy thrives in a society where the regime is favourably disposed to honouring its governing principles, and secondly, that the supposed democratic government under President Muhammadu Buhari falls short of these expectations based on the flagrant breach of the principles. It concludes that except there is a paradigm shift in the way the governing elites manipulate democracy in Nigeria and bend rules to suit their personal comforts, the masses will not benefit from the system and there will be no hope of development in the nation’s democratic experiment.