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Wednesday, March 22, 2023

Jonathan: Mismanagement of Diversity, Threat to Unity, Democracy

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Former president Goodluck Jonathan has described the mismanagement of the ethnic diversity in Nigeria in particular and Africa at large as the basic problem affecting democracy and unity in the continent.

This is as the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, said the next president of Nigeria could come from anywhere, adding that what the country needed at the moment ‘is good leadership.’

Jonathan who spoke during the second anniversary of the Goodluck Jonathan Foundation with the theme, “Democracy and the Unity of the State”, yesterday in Abuja, said “Our diversity is often misconstrued to be the source of our challenges, but I feel, if properly harnessed, it will be the source of our greatness.”

He explained that one good way to make progress in this regard is to strengthen government institutions to improve integration, equity, and social inclusion in the various nations.

He said: “For us, we carry the burden of promoting peace and prosperity, as aptly captured in our mission, not just in Nigeria, but in Africa and there is no better way than through consistent engagement with different stakeholders in our democratic space.

“Some nations are going through many challenges that have continued to pose serious threats to their unity and corporate existence.

“Democracy thrives on the mutuality of trust between government and the people and among the different groups within a state.

“This Dialogue: ‘Democracy and the Unity of State’ captures the essence of democracy, which drives its steam from productive civic engagements. The event of today therefore creates an open forum for brothers and sisters and friends alike to discuss our common challenges and share experience on how to surmount them.”

The former president said that friends from outside Nigeria had also been invited to share the experiences of their nations and the lessons from their democratic journey in a complex and diverse setting.

Jonathan said, “Our expectation therefore is to mobilise well-meaning citizens and leaders across board towards addressing some of the anxieties in our various nations.
“In Africa we need to harness our diversities and differences and translate them to strength for a more peaceful and prosperous future.”

He affirmed that the weapons of warfare in times like this should be love, justice and hope as the pursuit of these virtues will guarantee sustainable peace and unity in Africa.

“While guns, drones and other artillery may win the war, to win the peace we need to constantly engage in meaningful conversations in order to reach a compromise on issues affecting us all,” he explained.
In his goodwill message, the Senate President, Lawan said the next president of Nigeria could come from any part of the country, stressing that what matters most is good leadership.

While referring to Jonathan, he said, “My belief is that you have demonstrated very clearly that this country can be great. It can be great if the political class decides to be selfless. Most of us here don’t belong to the PDP, we are here because you are a unifier.”

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