Former military president, General Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida, is worried that since May 29,1999, political parties in the country have no distinct ideologies.
General Babangida, who made the observation in a statement to mark the 18 years of democratic practice in Nigeria, noted that the parties are decked with internal squabbles and cross carpeting that is not healthy to our democracy.
According to him, unlike in the past, democratic governance had totally derailed from what it used to be and now polarized along ethnic and religious lines.
He said, “As we celebrate 18 years of democracy in our country, democratic governance has been polarized along divisive ethnic and religious lines. It is, indeed, worrisome that active politicians are not adhering to the rules of the game of politics.
Babangida advised Nigerians that as the nation approached the 2019 general elections, it was necessary for the country to again look at the desirability of building a unique two party structure to bring sanity to the polity.
He, however, said in whatever circumstance the country finds itself, “we must continue to exercise democratic tenets which promote freedom and respect for one another.”
He lauded the resilience of Nigerians in adopting democratic structures across the three-tiers of government for an interrupted period of 18 years, expressing the hope that “the general elections next year will further consolidate democratic governance, freedom and security”.
The ex-president noted that the country’s journey to nationhood and democracy from 1960 to date, had been characterized by “upheavals and turbulence” adding that the country must cherish its commitment to remain a united entity.
He said further, “We must also appreciate the strength and value of our diversity, with due understanding and recognition of the interests of various ethnic nationalities in our hearts.”
Babangida said Nigeria had had its share of conflicts and political instability, just like many other nations but noted that it had always survived against all odds.
He said it was in the interest of Nigerians to look for solutions to the problems confronting them as a people.
General Babangida reiterated his commitment to the oneness and unity of the country, saying” I have resolved as a Nigerian to be committed to the unity and indivisibility of our dear nation which our founding fathers struggled to gain from the British colonial rule and I call on all Nigerians to also follow suit for the progress of our dear country.”