Former President Goodluck Jonathan yesterday passed a verdict that Nigeria’s democracy is gradually drifting towards dictatorship, insisting that all hands must be on deck to save the nation’s democracy.
Jonathan stated this at the 70th birthday celebration of Catholic Bishop of Sokoto Diocese, Matthew Hassan Kukah, held at Sheraton Hotel in Abuja. Dignitaries present at the occasion include Presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Tinubu; his running mate, Senator Kashim Shettima; Governor of Ekiti State, Kayode Fayemi; Governor of Plateau State, Simon Lalong and Secretary to Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha.
Others are Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos, Governor Dapo Abiodun of Ogun, Governor Udom Emmanuel of Akwa Ibom, former governor of Imo State, Emeka Ihedioha; former governor of Bayelsa State, Seriake Dickson, among others.
Speaking on the theme of the event, ‘Nigeria’s Unfinished Greatness: Next Steps’, Jonathan urged Nigerians to remain vigilant and put all hands on deck to choose leaders that will take the nation to the Promised Land.
According to him, many Nigerians, especially the youth are becoming increasingly disillusioned about the nation’s politics and democracy. He, however, maintained that Nigeria must remain on the democratic path, noting that it is the only practical way of effectively managing “our diversity, developing sustainably and recording progress as a nation.”
He said: “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 level, especially at this time when elections are coming must accommodate different views.”
He charged the youths that have registered ahead of the 2023 elections to endeavour to walk their talk by making sure they come out to vote on election day.
The former Nigerian leader described Nigeria as a work in progress; adding that until that work is done, people like Bishop Kukah, who serve as the conscience of the nation, will continue to be around to constantly hold the mirror of the nation’s progression to its face.