Former President, Goodluck Jonathan has advised Nigerian political leaders to accommodate different options saying there are signs already that the country is drifting towards dictatorship.
Jonathan, who spoke at the 70th birthday of the Catholic Bishop of Sokoto Diocese, Matthew Kukah, in Abuja, on Wednesday, August 31, 2022, said democracy is not all about winning elections.
He said Nigerian leaders now have the opportunity to choose a good leader for the nation ahead of the forthcoming general election in 2023.
Jonathan says: “The task before all of us is not to lower our guard, lest the democracy we cherish today succumbs to threats and recedes into fascism tomorrow, and there are signs already.
“Looking at the states and so on, we are derailing towards quasi-fascist form of government, but democracy is not only about winning elections alone, it is about accommodation. We, as leaders at the centre and at the state levels, especially at this time when elections are coming, must accommodate different views.
“Towards this goal, we are again faced with a good opportunity of choosing our leaders as the nation prepares to go to the polls next year. Let us choose those that will take us to the desired destination and the promised land.”
Describing the country as a work in progress, Jonathan said people like Kukah, who serve as the conscience of the nation, need to continue to be around to constantly hold the mirror of the nation’s progression to its face to get the work done.
“Nigeria may not be where we want it to and should be, but we should not give up or lose hope by focusing on only the negative.
“Judging from where we are coming from since independence in 1960, we may have been moving slowly in our journey of nationhood, but it is a journey of progress, all the same,” he said.
Jonathan also recalled that members of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) embarked on an industrial action during his tenure but he succeeded in ending the crisis.