Former military president, General Ibrahim Babangida has said that the country’s democratic governance has been polarized along ethnic and religious lines.
Babangida, in his Democracy Day message titled: ‘Promote Democratic Governance’, said that “active politicians are not adhering to the rule of the game of politics.”
He regretted that the country’s political parties since May 29, 1999 have no distinct ideologies, but laced with internal squabbles and cross carpeting that is not healthy to our democracy.
“Nigeria’s democratic governance has been polarized along divisive ethnic and religious lines and it is indeed worrisome that active politicians are not adhering to the rule of the game of politics.
“It is high time we look once more on the need 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 turbulence, 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.
“No doubt, 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.
“In our efforts to promote and protect democratic institutions, we should not forget the roles and sacrifices of our gallant armed forces in the chequered history of nation-building.
“It would 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,” he said.
He expressed optimism that the 2019 general elections will further consolidate democratic governance, freedom and security and praised the resilience of Nigerians in adopting democratic structures across the three-tiers of government for 19 years running.