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Our Democracy May Be Sluggish and Wobbling, but It Is More Desirable, Will Get Better – Ex-President Jonathan - TELL Magazine

Our Democracy May Be Sluggish and Wobbling, but It Is More Desirable, Will Get Better – Ex-President Jonathan

Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan Visit to Oba of Benin

Former Nigerian President, Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan is optimistic that the country’s democracy will get better in spite of appearing slow, sluggish and sometimes wobbling.

Fielding questions from journalists in Benin City, Edo State on Tuesday after emerging from a visit to the Benin monarch, Omo N’Oba N’Edo, Uku Akpolokpolo, Ewuare 11, Jonathan noted that in spite of present challenges, democracy is more desirable because it affords the citizens freedom of expression, and it is a gradual process.

According to him, “Tomorrow is the public holiday that we are celebrating the Democracy Day. And looking at these faces, some of you were not born in 1998, 1999 that this present Republic came to be because we will be 25 years old, and as at that time, some of you were not born; or maybe you could be one or two years old and may not know what really happened in Nigeria before this time.

“Democracy takes a gradual process. Some countries may move faster than others. We may be moving slowly, we may be a bit sluggish; we may even wobble sometimes, but the key thing is that democratic governance is what everybody wants so that people will be able to express themselves freely.

“We have media freedom because of democracy. It was not like this before. Yes, the dividends of democracy in terms of what come to the people; are you feeding well? Do you have a good job? Can you go to hospitals that have doctors, drugs? We are still struggling to get there. But the journey is on. I believe we will get there”, Jonathan said.

Asked why he had been embarking on such initiative of spreading the messages of democracy across the African continent, President Jonathan said it was part of his contributions to the continent.

According to him, “It is always a global practice when you have the privilege of serving your country as president,… and after having finished serving, you will think about what you will continue to do to give back to the society, and we selected the issue of consolidating democracy across the African continent – issues of good governance, and issue of standard practice of elections. These are the messages we have been carrying on”.

Earlier, at the Oba’s palace, Dr. Jonathan told Oba Ewuare 11 that he came to inform him of his forthcoming programme, the Goodluck Jonathan Foundation (GJF) Democracy Dialogue taking place in his domain and to seek his blessings for a successful event. Speaking on the theme of the Dialogue, “Functional Education, Effective Political Leadership as a Panacea to Africa’s Growth and Development”, he said education is key, stressing that if the people are not well educated and prepared, they may not know what to do.

In his response, Oba Ewuare II thanked the former president for bringing the event to Benin, stating that his action had really proven the value and respect he has for the Benin Kingdom which is the home of culture.

Commenting on the theme of the Dialogue, and President Jonathan’s remarks, the Oba said it is very apt because if you don’t tell a spoiler that he is spoiling things, he will think that he is repairing it. Appreciating the former president for always coming to pay him a visit, the Oba promised to reciprocate such gesture.

The Democracy Dialogue which will be co-hosted by Edo State governor, Godwin Obaseki, will be graced by the immediate past president of Kenya, Uhuru Kenyatta; former Liberian President, George Weah, and the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Muhammadu Sa’ad Abubakar, as well as former Vice President of Zambia, Dr. Nevers Mumba, and the head of the UNDP Sub-Regional Hub for West and Central Africa, Njoya Tikum.

Prof. Olubayi Olubayi, renowned scientist and expert on bacteria, is expected as the keynote speaker. Olubayi is the Chief Academic Officer at Maarifa Education, a Kenya-based Pan-African company which owns private universities across Africa and was the vice chancellor and president of the International University of East Africa (IUEA) in Uganda.

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