Former President Goodluck Jonathan has urged Nigerians to guard against the nation’s democracy slipping into a dictatorship.
Jonathan gave the advice in a speech on Wednesday in Abuja, at the 70th birthday celebration of the Catholic Bishop of the Sokoto Diocese, Mathew Kukah.
Nigeria, he added, is still a work in progress, and he urged the populace to maintain their vigilance and prevent the demise of democracy.
He stated that leaders should respect opposing viewpoints, adding that democracy is much more than just winning elections.
“Obviously many people, especially our youths, are becoming increasingly disillusioned about our politics and democracy,” Jonathan said.
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“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,” the former president stated.