Former president Olusegun Obasanjo on Thursday stressed that democracy is possible in Nigeria and the people have the capacity to build a culture of democratization.
NEWSBREAK reports that Obasanjo however insisted that Nigerians must recognise and accept the fact that it is an evolutionary process with principles.
The former Nigerian leader was speaking at the 2023 Port Harcourt International Conference, sponsored by Rivers State government, with the theme: Deepening Democratic Culture and Institutions for Sustainable Development and Security in Nigeria”, that held at Obi Wali International Conference in Port Harcourt.
The elder statesman declared that the ways in which the political class have practised democracy have deepened contradictions, negative coalitions, distrust, disloyalty and unpatriotic tendencies within and between communities and constituencies all over the country. He stated that this means that there is a deep structural and philosophical problems that must be deal with.
He informed that if the practice of democracy is superficial and opportunistic and it is designed to pursue a struggle of limited objectives, it would precipitate variants of fractured engagements that cannot address structural and philosophical contradictions and challenges.
“In fact, the order of the day would be community against community, religion against religion, leader against leader. Ordinary citizens are then dragged into the directionless, meaningless and opportunistic personal or narrow ambitions of leaders. The end result will be confusion, diffusion, distraction and possibly leading to separation and disintegration,” Obasanjo said.
He stressed that democracy is possible in Nigeria and the people have the capacity to build a culture of democratization. However, he insisted that Nigerians must recognise and accept the fact that it is an evolutionary process with principles.
“Without retracing our political steps to the right direction, the current process will either not produce the right leaders or it will leave so many broken blocks on the path to governance and attract resources and energy away from the task of rebuilding Nigeria and consolidating our democratic practice.
“The result will be democratic quagmire, increased corruption, insecurity and survival of the fittest, richest and better connected with little or no recognition of merits. The implications and cost of such a scenario to our present and future can best be imagined. I pray that God will grant us the wisdom to do what is right for our country and people at all times and more so now,” he said.
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