Former president, Goodluck Jonathan has advised President Bola Tinubu, to encourage a democracy where all citizens are given free will to express themselves without friction. 

He made the call on Tuesday at a one-day symposium to mark the Twenty-five years of unbroken democracy in Nigeria, held at the Banquet Hall of the State House Abuja.

“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 further explained President Tinubu has the responsibility of ensuring that the next 25 years of democracy in Nigeria, starts on a good note.

“So for the honourable Vice President, we are hoping that you build more infrastructure for us, improve the quality of education, facilities, etc.

“One key thing also is that, for the next twenty-five years, you will need to build a democracy that will reduce friction.

“The number of litigations that follow every round of election in Nigeria is very disruptive. If we must have a solid and enduring democracy, this practice needs to be diluted, and I know you and President Bola Tinubu who was a key actor in the June 12 crisis, will have the capacity to navigate through that process,” Dr. Jonathan added

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 emphasised 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 office holders 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.

Dr. Jonathan who is the chairman of the event attended by Vice President Kashim Shettima, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, George Akume among other guests, explained the need to come up with a model of democratic practice that will be more inclusive and reinforces social cohesion.

He noted that the zero-sum type of politics, where a winner takes it all, does not foster political justice.

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

In a statement on Tuesday, the Minister of Interior, Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo, who made the declaration on behalf of the Federal Government, congratulated Nigerians on the occasion.

He said, “As we mark another Democracy day in the history of our dear country, let us all reflect on the efforts of our founding fathers and ensure that Nigeria remains a united, secured, peaceful and indivisible entity”. He urged Nigerians to remain steadfast on the tenets of democratic governance.

Tunji-Ojo reiterated President Tinubu’s commitment to positive reforms to revive the nation’s economy and enhance security.

The minister called on Nigerians and friends of Nigeria to appreciate the progress that has been made, and look forward to a better future for Nigeria’s Democracy.

He wished Nigerians a Happy Democracy Day celebration.

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