The presidential candidate of the Allied Congress Party of Nigeria, ACPN, Dr. Obiageli Ezekwesili has said most Nigerians are political illiterates.
Ezekwesili, a former Minister of Education, explained that the many years of military rule has adversely affected political enlightenment in Nigeria.
Featuring on politico Politica with Isabella Akinseye, the former Minister also instead that apathy on the part of the electorate had contributed to political illiteracy in the country.
According to Ezekwesili, “In rating the Nigerian electorate, I think we are three out of a possible ten and the reason is simply because we suffered many years of militarization and my generation and the one before habitually knew military rule more than we knew democracy.
“It is a very young democracy in the sense that those among this current generation, born in 1999 will be 20 years and will be first time voters, so they are still an insignificant portion of the population so the literacy level of democracy and what it requires of citizens is pretty low. A lot of politicial literacy campaigns and civic activities will help us increase the rating right now.
“I think there is a lot of apathy in the sense that citizens feels government don’t play much role in their so they have this attitude of let me mind my business and do that which is important to me forgetting that nothing is more important than having a functional government.
“The understanding of governance is still a bit distorted, people believe that for you to have a role in governance you must be an appointed official but governance as a construct requires the engagement of the citizens. There is a demand and supply side to governance.
“If those who are citizens don’t play their active citizenship well, there is no demand side for governance and lack of this will make the supply side which is those in governance to do anything they like. They will behave like monopolies, they have no pressure to deliver results.”