- Ibrahim Babangida is asking Nigeria to return to a two-party political structure
- Babangida wants Nigerians to promote and protect the country's democracy
- He laments that active politicians refuse to adhere to the rule of the game
As part of the democracy day celebration, former military president, Ibrahim Babangida, on Monday, May 28, called for a unique two-party structure in an effort to promote and protect the nation’s democratic institutions.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Babangida made this call in a personally signed statement and made available in Minna, the capital of Niger state..
He said it was high time to build a unique two-party structure in the country at this critical period of electioneering year.
“Our journey to nationhood and democracy from 1960 to date has been characterised by upheavals and turbulences, yet we must cherish our commitment to remain a united country, in brotherhood and respect for one another.
“We must also appreciate the strength and value of our diversity, with due understanding and recognition of the interests of various ethnic nationalities in our hearts,” he said.
Babangida reiterated resolve as a Nigerian to the unity and indivisibility of our dear nation, which our founding fathers struggled to gain from the British colonial rule.
“As we celebrate 19 years of democracy in our country, democratic governance has been polarized along divisive ethnic and religious lines.
“It is indeed worrisome that active politicians are not adhering to the rule of the game of politics.
“Our political parties since May 29, 1999 have no distinct ideologies with internal squabbles and cross carpeting that is not healthy to our democracy.
“We must also appreciate the strength and value of our diversity, with due understanding and recognition of the interests of various ethnic nationalities in our hearts.
“Nigeria has had its share of conflicts and political instability, just like many other nations and states, but we have always survived against all odds,” he said pointing out that in the efforts to promote and protect democratic institutions, "we should not forget the roles and sacrifices of our gallant armed forces in the history of nation-building."
According to him, "it would, therefore, be in our own interest to look for solutions to the problems confronting us as a nation.
"In whatever circumstance we find ourselves, we must continue to exercise democratic tenants, which promote freedom and respect of one another.”
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While saluting the resilience of Nigerians in adopting democratic structures across the three-tiers of government for an uninterrupted period of eighteen years, he expressed the hope that the general elections next year will further consolidate democratic governance, freedom and security.
NAIJ.com earlier reported that the Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF), on Monday, May 28, appealed to political leaders in the country to play politics by the rules to ensure a fair, peaceful and credible election in 2019. Its spokesperson, Muhammad Ibrahim, issued the warning in Kaduna.
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