Jonathan’s stance on regional and religious-based democracy

Cautioning against bequeathing to future Nigerian generations a democracy heavily influenced by regional or religious considerations, Former President Goodluck Jonathan spoke as the chairman of the national symposium for this year’s Democracy Day at the Presidential Villa in Abuja on Tuesday. He criticized the monopolistic nature of politics that disregards the performance of other parties in elections, deeming it as a hindrance to political justice and national unity.

Jonathan proposed for the National Assembly to devise a system where political parties that attain a specific percentage of votes in an election are also involved in governance. He argued that the prevailing winner-takes-all mentality in the country leads to aggressive and desperate politics.

Addressing a need for a more inclusive democratic model that fosters social cohesion, Jonathan emphasized the shortcomings of the zero-sum approach that fails to promote unity and fairness in politics. He highlighted the necessity for political parties securing a significant vote share to have a stake in governance. While not explicitly advocating for proportional representation, he suggested exploring different democratic models adopted by various countries. He called for a more tailored approach to suit the Nigerian context.

Jonathan underscored the importance of evolving a political landscape that discourages the cutthroat competition witnessed in elections, where parties that secure substantial votes are left with no tangible rewards. He pinpointed this scenario as a breeding ground for adversarial politics that impedes democratic consolidation.

Emphasizing the need for transformative and inclusive politics for the next 25 years, Jonathan urged the current administration to steer towards a path that ensures prosperity and progress for all citizens. He urged a departure from a democracy entrenched in religious or regional divides, citing its inherent instability and fragility.

Expressing concern over the wave of post-election litigations plaguing the Nigerian political sphere, Jonathan stressed the necessity of nurturing a democracy that diminishes such disputes in the coming decades. He viewed the current legal battles post-election cycles as a significant impediment to the establishment of a robust and enduring democratic system.

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