Former president, Olusegun Obasanjo, has warned Nigeria may experience what he termed: a “democratic quagmire” if the country fails to retrace its political steps in the right direction.
He made the assertion while presenting his Keynote address, titled: “Respecting the Principles of Democracy”, in Port Harcourt, on Thursday.
The former president noted that Nigeria’s democracy has gone through twists, dives and turns since political independence.
He opined that, “The best of the country’s history has been the sustenance of democracy since the military transfer of power to an elected government in 1999″.
Obasanjo, however, observed that there may be reasons to doubt how many lessons the leaders and followers have drawn from the country’s past, and how far they are willing to go to deepen, widen and strengthen democracy and democratic practice.
The former president declared that the ways in which the political class has practiced democracy have deepened contradictions, negative coalitions, distrust, disloyalty and unpatriotic tendencies within and between communities and constituencies all over the country.
He further stated that this means that there is a deep structural and philosophical problem that must be dealt with.
He informed that if the practice of democracy is superficial and opportunistic and is designed to pursue a struggle for limited objectives, it would precipitate variants of fractured engagements that cannot address structural and philosophical contradictions and challenges.
He stressed that democracy is possible in Nigeria and the people have the capacity to build a culture of democratisation.
However, he insisted that Nigerians must recognise and accept the fact that it is an evolutionary process