President Goodluck Jonathan has explained what true democracy is to the opposition parties.
The President, who declined to mention a specific political party while speaking at the Official Presentation of the Kukah Centre at the Merit House, Abuja on Tuesday explained that true democracy is about sharing ideas and not about quarreling like motor park workers, The Nation reports.
The President, who was obviously replying his critics, said democracy should be strengthened by robust debates, innovative ideas and patriotism.
“I believe that our democracy should be strengthened by robust debates, generation of innovative ideas and development, patriotism and progress in our country. I therefore call on everyone, the political class, our ordinary citizens but even more importantly, the academic community to rise up to the challenges posed by this initiative. I think we are over defining our democracy today by quarrelling as if democracy is about competitors quarrelling as just motor park workers. As elections draw close, I call on all politicians to see this as another opportunity for us to renew our commitment to deepening our democracy. Democracy is not all about politicians abusing themselves, it is about development, discussing issues and ideas,” Jonathan said.
Mr. President further explained that Democracy is not just about political parties and politicians alone, adding that is also not just about winning or losing elections but about freedom, about development and above all a forward match of the nation’s 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 people,” he said.
Jonathan, who reiterated that the Kukah Centre was to add more building blocks to the growth and development of democracy, recalled that since Nigeria gained independence, this is the longest stretch of uninterrupted civilian rule that has been experienced in the country.
“Our long journey has been challenging, we have also shown resilience and commitment in walking the path of democratic consolidation. For this, I thank the people of Nigeria for their support and steadfastness. This country is ours to build and we must remain committed to this enterprise,” he said.
It can not be over emphasised that politicians and parties have continued to engage themselves in war of words, with the most recent one coming from APC gubernatorial candidate in Kaduna, Nasir El-Rufai, who alleged that President Jonathan aimed at leading Nigeria into war in order to stay in office and not hold the elections.