Obasanjo criticizes Western liberal democracy in Africa, call for Afro-Democracy

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Former President Olusegun Obasanjo expressed his belief that African nations erred in adopting the Western liberal democracy brought by Europeans.

Speaking in Abuja during a session with House of Representatives members advocating for a return to the parliamentary system, Obasanjo highlighted the mismatch between Western democracy and African values.

Obasanjo emphasized that the liberal democracy imposed on African countries does not align with the continent’s ethos.

He urged African nations to develop democracies tailored to their needs, stating, “Let me go back to the beginning, where we got it wrong — the Western liberal democracy, that is what the Europeans have.”

Reflecting on the origins of Western democracy, Obasanjo pointed out its roots in European history, culture, and monarchy. He noted the absence of a concept like “loyal opposition” in African languages, equating opposition to “enemy” in African contexts. Emphasizing Africa’s pre-colonial self-governance through empires and kingdoms, he proposed the term “afro-democracy” as a starting point for redefining African governance.

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