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Babangida deplores polarisation of governance


Former Head of State, Gen. Ibrahim Babangida

One-time Military President Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida yesterday said democratic governance has been polarised along ethnic and religious lines.In his message to mark the country’s 19th uninterrupted democratic experience in Minna, the former leader noted: “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 are not healthy to our democracy.

“It is high time we looked once more to build a unique two-party structure at this critical period of electioneering year.”According to him, the country’s journey to nationhood and democracy from 1960 had been characterised by upheavals, “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 chequered history of nation-building.”

Babangida went on: “Therefore, it would be in our own interest to look for solutions to the problems confronting us as a nation.“In whatever circumstances we find ourselves, we must continue to exercise democratic tenets which promote freedom and respect for one another.”He commended the resilience of Nigerians in adopting democratic structures across the three tiers of government, adding: “It is my hope that the general elections next year will further consolidate democratic governance, freedom and security.”

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