Former President Goodluck Jonathan has said democracy is taking a firm root in the nation.
In a special foreword to the Nigeria At 60 ‘Big Book’, the former president said judging by the frequency of holding regular elections in Nigeria, the country was making significant progress.
He, however, said there was room for improvement.
“We can make democracy work better for us by striving to ensure that our elections become more transparent and credible,” Jonathan said.
The former president who won accolades by conceding defeat in 2015, even before the final result of the presidential election was announced, said democracy would be deepened and good governance firmly established when citizens can truly elect or remove their leaders with their vote.
His foreword, entitled, “We will overcome our challenges,” was received by the Chairman of LEADERSHIP Group, Mr. Sam Nda-Isaiah, in Abuja on Monday.
The chairman thanked the former president for being an exemplary leader, saying, “His historic concession phone call to President Buhari in 2015 when others in his position may have acted differently will forever set him apart as a statesman among statesmen.”
He also recalled that it would be the second time in 10 years that Jonathan would be writing a preamble for LEADERSHIP Group, the first being in 2010, during the country’s golden jubilee independence anniversary.
Jonathan said even though the country’s founding fathers had lofty dreams, a combination of factors including colonial hangover, prolonged military incursion and heightened ethnic consciousness has “flattened” the momentum of progress.
He, however, urged the country not to despair, saying, “Great nations that we know today have also had some bumpy moments and still go through challenging times.”
The former president said the quickest route to deepen democracy and get the country to its destination was to strengthen the independence of the electoral management body and massively deploy technology.
“I will continue to make the point,” he said, “that the quickest route to get to this destination is to strengthen the independence of the electoral management body and massively deploy technology to actuate electronic voting. The latter has the capacity to check rigging, reduce cost of elections and minimize violence, because it will limit human presence at voting points.”
The Vice Chairman of LEADERSHIP COLLECTION Limited (publisher of the book), Mr. Azu Ishiekwene, said he was impressed by the excitement and expression of interest the iconic publication has created. He also said limited content is already available for viewing at: www.nigeriasixty.com.