Former President Goodluck Jonathan has raised an alarm of the country’s democracy derailing towards dictatorship.
Speaking at the 70th birthday of Mathew Kukah, Catholic Bishop of Sokoto Diocese, in Abuja, on Wednesday August 31, Jonathan urged Nigerians not to lower their guards as this would make democracy recede into fascism.
The former President also called on Nigerian leaders to accommodate different views. He said;
“Obviously many people, especially our youths, are becoming increasingly disillusioned about our politics and democracy.
“However, we must remain on the democratic path because it is the only practical way of effectively managing our diversity, developing sustainably, and recording progress as a nation.
“The task before all of us is not to lower our guards lest the democracy we cherish today succumbs to threats and recedes into fascism tomorrow because there are signs.
“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.”
Urging Nigerians not to give up, he added;
“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.”
MEANWHILE in another news, Former President Goodluck Jonathan has narrated how his government resolved a lingering strike by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) in one night.
Speaking at a conference to mark the 70th birthday of the Bishop of Sokoto Diocese, Bishop Hassan Kukah, on Wednesday August 31, Jonathan recalled how his administration tried to tackle one of such industrial action.
“The society we are managing is quite complex. Yes, I was the president and I tried my best. Now, we are talking about ASUU strike. During my time too, ASUU had four months of strike. Different committees were meeting but nothing was working. I said ‘How can our children stay out of school for four good months?”
So, I had to call a meeting of all the leadership of ASUU. I presided over the meeting with my vice president. The Attorney General was there. I said that that night we must solve the problem. The Attorney General was there; the Secretary to the Government of the Federation was there; the ministers of education were there; the labour ministers were there; the finance ministers and everybody that had to do with it [strike].
And I thought that my being there would help us to do things quickly. But we spent the whole night. We finished like 5:30 am and the strike was called off. So, there were issues,” Jonathan said.