Elect Leaders Who’ll Respect Laws of the Land, Jonathan Advises Electorate

Michael Olugbode in Abuja

Former Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan has revealed that the problems of Africa is the making of leaders who do not respect their nation’s laws, calling on the electorate to elect only leaders who will respect the laws of the land.

Jonathan, who is the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) special envoy, made the call on Tuesday while officially opening the second annual retreat for special envoys and high officials representing Regional Economic Communities (RECs) on Constitutional Transitions and Unconstitutional Changes of Governments, organised by the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (International IDEA) in collaboration with ECOWAS.

He said: “I believe that we need to elect leaders who will respect their laws. If our leaders — Presidents, Prime Ministers, the parliament and the judiciary — would respect our laws, I believe that 70 per cent of our problems would be solved.”

The former Nigerian President, while commending the organisers of the summit, enjoined them to get leaders involved, stressing that: “I have always said that for us to move forward, key political leaders need to be involved.

“Sometimes, these conversations are very brilliant but how do we make sure it works? It is like the debate between having strong institutions and having a strong man. No matter how strong the institutions are, there are some kind of characters that trample on the institutions and nothing will happen.”

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