Former Nigerian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Professor Bolaji Akinyemi, has said that the indictment of former American President, Donald Trump, may be good for democracy.
On Thursday, Professor Akinyemi sat with Arise News for an interview, where he shared his opinion that the indictment of President Trump may be good for democracy as a whole. “Is this good for democracy? Maybe, and the reason being that, presidents, who while in office think they can do and undo anything all of a sudden may be having second thoughts about the criminality or otherwise of their actions,” he said, “We now have ourselves in an age where presidents have to be very careful about their conduct”.
However, while he said there were pros to this indictment, there were also cons, as he said, “The one thing that worries me about this is given the toxic atmosphere that we have in Washington, I can imagine after any democratic president has left office, a district attorney somewhere is hiding to settle scores, file flimsy charges against that democratic president.” He explained that if this becomes a normal occurrence, it could lead to the demystification of the post, removing any aura of respectability for the position of the president of a world leader.
When asked about the lessons that Nigeria could adopt due to this case, the former minister said that since the democracy of Nigeria is fairly new, compared to that of the United States which is about 200 years old, so Nigerians may have a different reaction to a former president being charged. To this effect, he said, “Nigeria is still in a state of democratic blocks where we need to be careful,” saying that there are some issues that we will have to let our presidents get away with. Still, he stated, “But there are things that we may allow our president to get away with, that the ICC may not allow him to get away with.”
Akinyemi, speaking to Nigerians, then said, “I pray that our future leaders will all learn lessons from what is happening all over the world, warrants arrests, charges and what have you, to moderate their own behaviour while in office, knowing that just like there is life after office, there is prison after office.”