A former Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Alfa Belgore (rtd), has urged Nigerian leaders to govern with the fear of God and ensure that they deliver dividends of democracy to the people.
In an interview with our correspondent on Saturday night, Belgore said quality service would endear leaders to the people.
He said it was worrisome that many countries that lagged behind Nigeria in the past had surpassed the country in growth and development.
The ex-CJN blamed military regimes as substantially responsible for Nigeria’s backwardness.
Belgore said, “Nigerian leaders should fear God. They are the servants of the people. They must serve the people and at the end of their service, let the people be able to tell them that they have done well and they will see the evidence of their doing well.
“Military regime is responsible for Nigeria’s underdevelopment. If we were not having military regime, we would not have instability. We would have gone very far. As at 1973, Nigeria was, in development, years ahead of Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirate and so many countries in the Middle East.
“They are now ahead of us, very much ahead of us, because of instability. If we had been stable, we would have gone very far.
Military regime by nature is unstable. You appoint head of State and governors. They are busy spending a lot of the resources on internal security.”
He said that democracy was more capable of promoting development and people’s participation in governance than military regimes.
He added that there was the need to sustain democracy, despite some of its shortcomings.
According to him, Nigeria’s democracy and the electoral process, with time, will achieve high credibility devoid of electoral malpractices and shortcomings.
“Democracy is better. Whether it is wrong or it is done through rigging, for the time being, we regard them as democracy and with time we will develop our full culture of democracy and everything will be alright.”