Former Military President Ibrahim Babangida has called for a unique two-party structure in an effort to promote and protect the nation’s democratic institutions.
Babangida made this call in a statement signed by himself and made available to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Minna on Monday to commemorate democracy day.
According to him, it is high time to build a unique two-party structure in the country at this critical period of electioneering year.
” Our journey to nationhood and democracy from 1960 to date has been characterised by upheavals and turbulences, yet we must cherish our commitment to remain a united country, in brotherhood and respect for one another.
” 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,” he said.
He reiterated resolve as a Nigerian to the unity and indivisibility of our dear nation, which our founding fathers struggled to gain from the British colonial rule.
” As we celebrate 19 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 rule of the game of politics.
” Our political parties since May 29, 1999 have no distinct ideologies with internal squabbles and cross carpeting that is not healthy to our Democracy.
” 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.
” Nigeria has had its share of conflicts and political instability, just like many other nations and states, but we have always survived against all odds,” he said
The former military president pointed out that in our efforts to promote and protect democratic institutions, we should not forget the roles and sacrifices of our gallant armed forces in the history of nation-building.
He said it would, therefore, be in our own interest to look for solutions to the problems confronting us as a nation.
Babangida said, “In whatever circumstance we find ourselves, we must continue to exercise democratic tenants, which promote freedom and respect of one another.”
While saluting the resilience of Nigerians in adopting democratic structures across the three-tiers of government for an uninterrupted period of eighteen years, he expressed the hope that the general elections next year will further consolidate democratic governance, freedom and security.