Olusegun Obasanjo, a former president, praised Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike for his bravery and resolve to prevent the truncation of Nigeria’s democracy.
The former President stated that the future of democracy in the nation depended on the Rivers governor’s willingness to challenge any leader and speak truth to power.
Obasanjo reportedly said this on Thursday at the 2023 Port Harcourt City International Conference in Port Harcourt, according to Thisweekng.
Obasanjo, who gave the keynote speech on “Respecting the Principles of Democracy,” praised the conference’s planners and Wike for lending his support to the intellectual debate at this crucial juncture.
He said: “Wike’s courage ‘is one of the things’ he believed were essential for the survival of democracy in Nigeria.”
Obasanjo continued by saying that Nigeria had seen ups and downs since gaining political independence and recommended the government to address serious cultural and physiological issues.
A nation cannot advance meaningfully and sustainably, according to Obasanjo, if it does not participate in dialogue, self-reflection, self-criticism, regular reading, and interactions.
According to him, a true democracy would develop nationalism and patriotism, foster trust in the leadership and the political system, and motivate the populace to the peak of their creative and productive capacity.
Obasanjo said that democracy when properly practised in the interest of peace, inclusion, national growth development, security and sustainability would address the nation’s problem.
According to him, no two democracies are exactly alike because democratic parties and institutions are shaped by the specifics of history, society, culture, nature of production and exchange, orientation, special balancing and the character of the government and the ruling elites.
Obasanjo said that as governing is completely open,the governing and ruling elites not anchored in production would not have the urge to invest in research and development, science and technology and good governance.
According to him, citizens that live in a democracy share common perspectives, petitions and commitments in the basic terms of democratic practice, and they may turn out to be beneficiaries or victims depending on the cause of the process and practice of democracy.
“If after six decades of political independence, our leaders are not showing clear capacities to provide a transformative leadership that unites Nigerians and contains ethnic, religious, regional, selfish and class proclivities then there is a problem,” he said.