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Saturday, July 13, 2024

Jonathan: Nigeria Must Address Factors Fueling ‘Do-or-Die’ Politics



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Former Nigerian President, Goodluck Jonathan has said Nigeria under the leadership of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu must do everything within its powers to address factors fueling do-or-die politics in the country.

Jonathan disclosed this on Tuesday at a Public Lecture marking Nigeria’s celebration of 25 years of uninterrupted democratic governance held at the State House conference centre in Abuja.

He explained that the political elite and the masses should phase out the region, religion and other factors propelling politics of bitterness.

He urged urged President Tinubu, to encourage a democracy where all citizens are given free will to express themselves without friction.

Jonathan argued that the political class and elites must lead by example and their lifestyle must reflect that they were elected to the position by the electorate.

He emphasized the need to ensure that the dividends of democracy are felt by all Nigerians, regardless of economic status or social class.

According to him, a situation where children of political officeholders are seen spraying dollars at parties is not the democracy Nigerians want to witness.

He said the current situation where a winner in an election takes it all, is not healthy for Nigeria and promotes rancour.

“Together, let us build a Nigeria where every citizen has a voice, where opportunities abound, where the promise of a better tomorrow is not just a dream.

“We must not hand over to our children a democracy built on politics of region or religion.

“The National Assembly can also look at models that will suit us. We must address the factors that give rise to this Do or Die politics. It is inimical to consolidating democracy,” he said.

He advocated for a model of democratic practice that would be more inclusive and reinforce social cohesion.

“If a political party, for example, gets 30 percent of votes during an election, either national or sub-national level, the party should have something to go home with,” he said.

On his part, President Bola Tinubu represented by Vice President Kashim Shettima said June 12 is not just a day of remembrance but a call to action for all Nigerians to stand firmly behind democracy.

“As we celebrate our past we look to the future with a clear and determined vision. Today is not just a day of remembrance, it is a call to action.

“In the fullness of time, posterity will be kind to President Bola Ahmed Tinubu”, he said.

Babagana Kingibe, former Secretary to Government of the Federation and running mate to the late MKO Abiola, winner of the annulled June 12 presidential election said Democracy is providing Nigerians stable leadership and freedom of expression.

According to him, Nigerians have concluded that the worst civilian government is better than the best military governance.

Hadiza Bala Usman, Special Adviser to the President on Policy and Coordination commended Tinubu for providing leadership for democracy to strive in Nigeria.

Recall that the Nigerian government declared June 12 Wednesday, a Public Holiday to mark successful years of democracy.