Enugu, March 14, 2019 A German-based Nigerian Professor, Chibueze Udeani says the best way to build Nigeria’s democracy and future leaders is through reintroduction of history and civic education in all school levels.
Udeani made this known in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Enugu on Thursday.
The professor of Philosophy in the University of Wurzburg, Germany and Visiting Professor to the University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN) said that civic education would teach younger ones basics of democracy.
The professor noted that Nigeria witnessed bad leadership because many politicians did not know the rudiments of democracy.
According to him, a lot of politicians do not know what the positions they are vying for entail and this leads to bad governance because you cannot give what you do not have.
Udeani urged governments at all levels to invest in civic education and reintroduce civics in primary, secondary and tertiary schools as well as continuous voter education for the general public.
“A nation must invest in civic education. We invest in mastering economy, in modern technology but the rule of state, nationhood, system of government bicameral or unicameral, the legislature, executive and parliamentary structure.
“Democracy is a mindset; it is not something that is born with, it is trained. We always think about democracy when there are elections.
“As a young man in those days, we used to have a subject called civics. This is where we were taught basic fundamentals of democracy.
“I still remember that we were taught in primary school that democracy is government of the people, by the people, for the people,’’ he said.
Udeani said that in developing countries, they trained their people the fundamentals of democracy, their rights and responsibilities from nursery to retirement.
“It is an ongoing process because society changes, new methods come up and new dynamism comes in where the electorate is enlightened not just through campaigns but as a continuous process.
“There is no country in the world where only the leadership that puts its nation on the forefront but the people, populace is the backbone of whatever successful democracy you have,’’ he said.
The professor urged Nigerian leaders to give the young ones a chance and assume the position of elder statesmen where the young ones could go for consultations.
Udeani cited the presidents of Austria and France as an example saying that they won the elections because they identified with the government through civic education from the onset.
According to him, nation building is a perpetual assignment; it does not stop with one generation.
NNN reports that Prof Udeani is the first black man to win the Karl Jasper Prize on Philosophy from the University of Oldenburg, Germany in 2013.
The prize preaches mutual coexistence and dialogue among different cultures and peoples of the world.