By Kasim Sumaina in Abuja
A former president, Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, on Wednesday hinted that democracy remains an incubator for great ideas, visions, development and hope.
Jonathan, on his Democracy Day message to Nigerians, titled: ‘Happy Democracy Day Nigeria!’ posted on his official Facebook page, Goodluck Jonathan, said: “Exactly twenty years ago, our nation turned the corner with a general election that signalled the end of a long spell of military dictatorship. With that came promises of good governance, equity and justice under the ambience of leadership driven by the will of the people.
“Our celebration of democracy is therefore, a mark of our commitment to the virtues of liberty, justice and the people’s freedom to daily engage government on how best to achieve our national goals.
“We may not have realised these promises and all that are possible in the new dispensation but democracy to me remains an incubator for great ideas, visions, development and hope.
“That is why I urge all citizens not to give in to pessimism and despair as our nation battles the challenges of insecurity, the scourge of unemployment and prevalent poverty, all of which threaten national peace and unity.”
According to him, “We must continue to work collectively as one in order to engender cohesion and build a nation of our dreams. We must remain vigilant to ensure that our sacred rights and freedoms don’t become mere privileges without guarantees. We must, at all times, remind ourselves and those in privileged positions of authority that as equal stakeholders in our commonwealth, the task of taking our nation to great heights rests on all of us.
“It is only with the currency of love, equity and justice that Nigeria can be truly great as it bargains for honour in the comity of nations.”
He further observed that as a nation, it is imperative for us to continue to strive for improvements in our electoral processes, adding that there is a need to deepen the gains so far attained by advancing the frontiers of credible electoral processes, fidelity to the rule of law and strict adherence to constitutionalism.
He posited that a credible electoral process is no doubt fundamental to making democracy work for us as a people, as it sufficiently empowers citizens to freely choose or reject their political leadership, thereby serving as an incentive for good governance.
Jonathan, who stated that democracy has come to stay in the country, added that: “So, let us stay in the creed and virtues of justice, equity, and love which makes democracy a solid ground of freedom, good governance, peace, and hope. Happy Democracy Day Nigeria! GEJ.”