Former Military President, General Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida, has said that establishing a two-party political system in the country is critical to building the nation’s democracy.
In a message to Nigerians ahead of the May 29 Democracy Day celebration, Babangida said he is worried about the country’s political structure and the absence of a clear-cut ideology by political parties.
He also alleged that democracy in Nigeria has been polarized in the last 18 years and therefore, he wants the nation to consider adopting a two-party structure as a way to solving many of its challenges.
“Let me reiterate my 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 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 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. It is high time we look once more on the need to build a unique two-party structure in the country at this critical period of electioneering year”.
Speaking further, Babangida urged Nigerians to always remember the roles and sacrifices of the armed forces in upholding the country’s unity.
He also said regardless of the challenges the nation has witnessed, citizens should remain committed to building a united nation.
The former head of state also noted that he is optimistic that the 2019 elections will further consolidate democratic governance, freedom and security in Nigeria.
He said, “Our journey to Nationhood and Democracy from 1960 to date has been characterized by upheavals and turbulence, 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.
“No doubt, 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. In our efforts to promote and protect democratic institutions, we should not forget the roles and sacrifices of our gallant armed forces in the checkered history of nation-building. Therefore, it would be in our own interest to look for solutions to the problems confronting us as a nation. “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 interrupted period of eighteen years, it is my hope that the general elections next year will further consolidate democratic governance, freedom and security.