Seth Kunkpe: Nigeria’s snail pace to democratic maturity


Take it or leave it, Nigeria is a big fish in all ramifications in the world over and particularly in Africa. To push that nation aside is to break the arm you are using to push it.

Apart from its population which has crossed 200 hundred million, show me any aspect of life that Nigeria is not a major player on African soil. Is it Religion or comedy, is it trade or the movie industry, is it commerce or manufacturing? Name them and Nigeria will pop up.

Nigeria is so blessed with potential that if genuinely deployed can set a new standard for the entirety of Africa. The state of Lagos for instance is the 5th largest economy in Africa (one state).

Indeed, Nigeria qualifies beyond every reasonable doubt to be called the Giant of Africa. People deny it for the sake of winning arguments but in their hearts of hearts, they know they are not being realistic.

When it comes to politics and democracy, it is however one of the babies in African politics. Having survived coups like many other African countries and a deadly civil war, Nigeria seems to be moving at a snail’s pace as far as political and democratic maturity is concerned.

I was 9 years of age when Abiola died after being denied his mandate to rule after an election. I was on holiday in Nigeria when Funso Williams was assassinated because of politics. You would think he was killed by opposition party members but no.

He was killed before the primaries in their own political party. That is Nigeria. In fact, having been conversant with the political tension in Ghana and Nigeria, I can say with a bold chest that Nigeria’s politics is too violent and leaves much to be desired of a giant country.

The just-ended election is another attestation of what I call the creed of greed, thuggery, and hypocrisy.

After so much investment of the taxpayers’ money into an election that promises to silence naysayers about the democracy of Nigeria, this election has only come to show that Nigeria is not ready.

After so much improvement in electoral laws and so much hope given to innocent citizens garnished with the fine eloquence of the INEC chairman, Nigerian politicians have shown once again that it is not electoral laws that win elections but greed and thuggery.

Now let me be quick to add that there is no perfect system anywhere and the evil perpetuated on citizens was not displayed everywhere in the country. That should be clear. However, elections in Nigeria have one more time shown that this great country is still immature democratically.

Now let me take it one after the other.


The overdose of power is dangerous. Some politicians have shown that political offices are thrones and it must be occupied at any cost. If not greed, why won’t some politicians make the people’s will prevail?.  The idea, if it’s not my party, then forget it is gradually bringing Nigeria to its knees politically.

I am seriously wondering how this Nation will peacefully reconcile after such an election. It is true that the love of having increases with having. It is really true that power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. The younger generation has a big task ahead of them.


After the governorship election, I wept in prayer for Nigeria. One will think that the violence seen in the presidential election will be reduced. For where? It rather increased. The use of thugs to disrupt a system is not peculiar to Nigeria alone, but Nigerian politicians have increasingly proven that they are headmasters when it comes to using thugs.

Two states which surpassed all other states in the use of thugs in this election are River State and Lagos State. Though far away in Ghana, I followed the elections like a shadow follows the body.

Thuggery did so much evil in this election. People were stabbed because of elections, people were prevented from voting by thugs, people were chased from performing their constitutional rights by thugs, and people died because of thugs. In some places, the police aided the thugs or were looking unconcerned as the thugs displaced their madness.

Some tribes were targeted, and some political party members were warned not to show up at the polling stations. What a country? In some States, if you don’t have thugs in equal measure forget about casting your vote let alone winning the election. Go and verify this claim I am making.

Thuggery has gradually been institutionalized in a country I am so proud to associate with. It’s sad.

Regarding insecurity in Nigeria, one is quick to mention Boko haram, IPOB, and so on. Now it’s clear that thugs can also terrorize.

If there should be violence before a politician will win an election, if people have to lose their lives all because you want to maintain your power, then we really have a long way to go.


What baffles me about the just-ended election is the perceived silence of people who have authority and have some clout in society. This has done evil to the process and made the few that speak out a target. There are others who are selective in condemning what happened on the 25th of February and 18th of March.

They criticize when it affects them negatively. If it happens in areas where their party loses, you will hear them condemning the process. Oh. what a Country. Take Lagos for example, look at the mayhem unleashed on some tribes, look at the voter suppression and voter apathy all because of thugs, yet you will not hear voices of conscience speaking out.

The coming Sunday will witness a lot of thanksgiving in churches. Pastors will collect fat offerings from politicians who used thugs and greed to rig elections and once the money enters the offering buckets, these respected church elders will go blind. Hmmm. I weep for Nigeria.

The injustice meted out to innocent citizens in this election makes me weep. Will there be a minimum level of decency in Nigerian politics?

Those who should speak out and call people to order are silent and the craze continues.

I am a preacher of the gospel of Jesus Christ and a writer with minimal or no influence. No matter how valid my points are, the probability that this article may not make any impact is very high. If this was coming out from the pen of fathers of faith and influential people, the effect it will make will definitely be high.

What can I say again? May posterity record that I said my part. May God take notice that I said my mind.

For those who won through the ballot genuinely but minimal infractions, I congratulate you because society is not perfect. God bless you and may you be a difference.

For those who perpetuated violence and won through bullets and thuggery, I can only say …. REPENT

I love Nigeria Regardless

May Nigeria be the giant it claims to be in values, conscience, and the rule of law.

For the love of God, society, and Young People


Rev Seth Kunkpe

Preacher and Writer

Penfromafar………writing to make things right.

 You can reach me on or read more of my articles on-    

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DISCLAIMER: The Views, Comments, Opinions, Contributions and Statements made by Readers and Contributors on this platform do not necessarily represent the views or policy of Multimedia Group Limited.

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