Attahiru Jega, former chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), says many of the prominent politicians on the continent learnt from the military.
Speaking at a workshop in Abuja on Friday, Jega said the military left “a lot of dangerous legacies”.
The workshop with the theme “Three decades of democratic transition in Africa”, was organised by the Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD).
Jega said some politicians who learnt “do-or-die mentality” from the military have failed to understand that regular, free and fair elections are a key component of democracy.
“In Africa today, we notice that despite achieving democracy, we’ve not had complete freedom,” he said.
“We still experience struggles and challenges and difficulties. The struggle for democracy has been characterised by frustrations.
“One of the key components of democracy that every African should note is regularity in elections as well as integrity of elections.
“Now, having said that, it is also important to recognise that democracy really is in a state of flux in the African continent and how, also, governance that is a product of this democratic transition is failing to satisfy the fundamental needs and aspirations of the people.
“The challenges we are facing now with democratization in Africa is on account of military rule. In Nigeria, many of the prominent politicians are people who learnt from the military rule particularly, Babangida politics of transition.
“And many of them have the mentality of engaging in elections. A do-or-die mindset that has been learnt from the military rule.”