President Goodluck Jonathan on Tuesday called on politicians to shun unnecessary quarrelling, but rather engage in robust political debates that would strengthen the country’s democracy.
“I think we are over defining our democracy today by quarreling as if democracy is about competitors quarreling just like motor park workers,” said Jonathan at the public presentation and official launch of the Kukah Centre, founded by Catholic Bishop of Sokoto Diocese, Rev. Fr. Matthew Kukah.
“I call on everyone, the political class, our citizens and more importantly, the academic community to rise up to these challenges posed by this initiative (centre),” Jonathan said.
He also urged politicians to use the 2015 elections to renew their commitment to Nigeria’s unity.
“As elections draw close, I call on all politicians to see this as another opportunity for us to renew our commitment to deepen our democracy and strengthen our bond of unity.
“Democracy is not about political parties and politicians alone, it is not just about winning or losing elections; it is about freedom, about development and above all a forward march of our civilisation and encouragement of creativity.
“It is in this regard that we must seek to identify and support the growth of structures and institutions that will help strengthen our democracy to meet our aspirations as a people.”
Policy research institutes like the Kukah Centre had been pivotal to the social economic transformation of leading countries of the world,Jonathan noted, adding that they have served as the laboratories of the development, inter-relation and the refinement of key government policies.
He therefore challenged Nigerian politicians to draw inspiration from it.