CIAN believes that democracy is a universal human aspiration, and an experience that is pursued and live in different ways around the world. These different ways come in multiple forms that are in constant evolution. With this understanding, one can safely say that, there is no single and universally applicable model of democracy. While systematically nurturing an open and pluralistic understanding of democracy, CIAN believes that democracy should not be prescriptive, nor instructive in approach; but should be respectful of every national context. While democracy, to some extent, may meet electoral expectations of institutional formality, and consolidate political citizenship, it however, accumulates a worrisome deficit in social relations, as its whole-scale adoption in most cases, neglects the culture, the history, and the peculiar national social context of the host country. Based on this, greater acceptance or rejection of democracy, therefore depends on how it is improving the lots of the people.
To be clear, democracy is not only about the physical structures or the letters of democracy – in terms of a parliament, regular elections, civilian government officials, a constitution etc, as it is being touted in many circles; but rather, democratic governance universally, should necessarily go beyond the aforementioned, to embrace the supremacy of the law and constitution, faith in the ballot box, integrity of the electoral system, sovereignty of the people, and ultimately to improve the living conditions of the disadvantaged, who are fervently hoping that this will satisfy their most urgent needs. To this end therefore, we seek to champion and work for the adoption of a democratic system that will accommodate the history, the cultures, and the peculiar needs of the Nigerian people, by committing ourselves to promote ways and means of introducing, advocating and consolidating institutions and practices that will engender and serve to advance home-grown democracy in Nigeria.