Former President, Goodluck Jonathan, has tasked leaders across Africa to prioritise free, fair and credible elections and respect human rights of every citizen, saying it was important the continent wake up to the 21st century reality and bring about the needed development that had been eluding the black nation.
Jonathan, through his Goodluck Jonathan Foundation (GJF) also implored African leaders to safeguard democracies in the continent through the adherence to the rule of law and delivery of good governance.
He also called on the governments across the black continent to deliver on the promises of good governance, prioritise credible elections and guarantee the rights of all citizens such that people are well informed and could contribute meaningfully to the task of nation building.
The former president disclosed this through his foundation’s Executive Director, Ms Ann Iyonu, in a statement issued by the foundation’s Communications Officer, Wealth Ominabo, to mark 2021 International Day of Democracy. The International Day of Democracy is celebrated around the world on Sept. 15 each year.
Jonathan expressed worry over the essential values of democracy such as the rule of law, separation of powers and constitutionalism that were no longer adhered to in many African countries. The trend, according to him, posed a threat to the survival of the continent’s democracy.
“Democracy as a form of government is a platform for achieving peace, equality, justice, inclusion and sustainable development.
“However, in many African countries today, the essential values of democracy such as the rule of law, separation of powers and constitutional term limits are no longer adhered to.
“This situation poses a threat to the survival of democracy in Africa, as the promises of peace, justice and human freedoms are daily betrayed,’’ he said.
The former president urged the government to safeguard our democracies from further recession and attacks. He called on the government to deliver on the promises of good governance and prioritise free and credible elections to guarantee the rights of all citizens.
“Democracy flourishes in an atmosphere of peace, freedom and justice. This is the route we should follow to foster our democracies and make democracy meaningful to all citizens,” Jonathan said.
The International Day of Democracy was established through a resolution passed by the UN General Assembly in 2007, encouraging governments to strengthen and consolidate democracy. Since the day was first observed in 2008, hundreds of parliamentary events have been held worldwide.
The International Day was an opportunity to review the state of democracy around the world. Each year highlights a specific theme. Past themes have included stronger democracies, the importance of democracy for the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, strengthening the voices of citizens, dialogue and inclusiveness, accountability, and political tolerance.