Christopher Isiguzo in Enugu
Former Prime Minister of Kenya, Raila Odinga, yesterday in Enugu declared that despite the challenges facing Nigeria, the nation’s democracy had made enormous progress, noting however that the nation’s leaders need to put more efforts in stabilising democracy by opening the democratic space.
The former Prime Minister who made the disclosure in an interview with journalists at Akanu Ibiam Airport Enugu while on his way to Awka, Anambra State to deliver a lecture at the Nnamdi Azikiwe University (UNIZIK), said he was happy with the progress so far made in Nigeria.
According to former Kenyan opposition leader, nobody gave Nigeria the chance to remain as one country after the bloody 30 months civil war.
He expressed delight to see Nigeria making progress as one country.
Odinga particularly expressed satisfaction with the progress Nigeria has made so far in democracy.
“Democracy is not coffee that you brew and drink at the same time. Nigeria has made progress. Nobody believed that Nigeria will come out of the civil war as one country.
“But with all what we heard during that war, Nigeria came out of it as one country. After the war, the country experienced long years of military dictatorship.
“I am happy to see Nigeria under civilian rule. However, you need to open up democratic space,” Odinga said.
On the protest trailing the recent presidential election in United States of America (USA) won by Donald Trump of the Republican Party, Odinga said Americans have spoken through the ballot and the people get the leadership they deserve.
He said there was no need for Africans to fear about the emergence of Trump, adding that “we should look at ourselves in Africa and not depend on others, if we must develop.”
He added that “America needs Africa as much as Africa needs America.
The former Kenyan Prime Minister was later hosted at the Enugu Government House by Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi before he departed to Awka for the Nnamdi Azikiwe memorial lecture.