Nigeria’s former Vice-President, Atiku Abubakar, has warned all those nursing the thought of a return to military rule to discard the idea as democracy remains Nigeria’s surest path to progress and development.
He made this remarks in his message on Monday to mark the nation’s democracy day.
Atiku said that democracy also entails that citizens be patient with their leaders until their time in office is up and another election takes place.
“Among the virtues of democracy, aside public discussion, is the culture of patience with the leadership which informs that once an election has taken place, and a leader is elected, the populace has to be patient with the leader until he completes his tenure.
“The implication of this is that a democratic system imbues the people with political wisdom, to improve on their mode of selection of leaders with each election that takes place.
“All those who may be contemplating alternatives (must) perish such thoughts as the worst form of democratic rule has been adjudged far better than the best form of military dictatorship,” the former Vice President said.
He added that “the best guarantee for the peace, progress and development of plural societies like Nigeria, and even homogeneous entities, is democracy because popular political participation and inclusiveness in government helps to develop patriotism in the citizenry and this galvanises the best endeavours of the people for the development of the society.”
Atiku acknowledged the improvements in the electoral processes over the years since 1999 but further tasked the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, “not to rest on its oars in making credible and transparent elections possible in the country.”
He stressed that “the beauty of democracy is the opportunity it gives to the people to elect their leaders.”
Atiku also called on Nigerians to continue to pray for the quick recovery and safe return of President Muhammadu Buhari “to continue with the work of entrenching democracy and development in the country.”