Constitutional Design in Nigeria: Lessons for Recessed Democracies
Without argument and debate, democracy is critical to both human advancement and national development. Everything about human and national progress, it thus appear, revolves around the context of democratic experimentation. However, there exists a disconnection in the theory and practice of democracy especially in the Third World. The gap no doubt creates problems in the intellectual analysis of what type of democracy that is capable of nurturing and sustaining progress and development. There were, in the political and constitutional history of Nigeria, three attempts conceived and implemented by the military to write for the country a constitution. What, it is apt to ask, has the Nigerian experience provided to the world? Again, what in clear, specific terms can other countries of the world where democracy has recessed benefit from the Nigerian experience and lesson? The paper seeks to accurately address the many critical, epistemological issues in constitution drafting especially as extremely fragile political systems characterized as it were by heterogeneity founded on primordial considerations and attachments now attempt to reinvigorate their democracies. It seeks further the interrogation of the relationship between law and development as global societies review their foundations and mechanically formulate and implement decisions that are expected to consolidate their efforts at entrenching and institutionalising constitutional democracy within the capitalist framework of social organization and political liberalism of the western influence so as not to allow for democratic recession again. The methodology is qualitative with data collection and analysis scattered in secondary sources. The paper concludes on the note that writing a new constitution involves that certain elements and requirements should be fulfilled for it to bring about the consolidation of democracy and its consequent sustenance.