Former Nigerian President, Goodluck Jonathan has urged African countries to strengthen institutions to ensure peace and security for citizens.
Jonathan made the call on Thursday during a keynote speech titled “Building an Inclusive Society for the Next Generation” in Abuja.
He delivered the speech at the year one memorial and launch of the Innocent Chukwuemeka Chukwuma Empowerment Foundation (ICCEF).
According to him, African countries must be deliberate in promoting the culture of inclusion.
Democracy, according to Jonathan, is a political concept that offers the broadest platform for public participation.
It is based on the intrinsic virtue of human freedom, which includes political, economic and social rights, noted the former Nigerian President.
These rights, he argued, are the bedrock on which democracy’s promises of peace, equality and justice rest, as well as its ability to improve the well-being and social conditions of citizens.
He also said that democracy only makes sense when citizens are satisfied and protected from political and social risks such as hunger, poverty, prejudice and persecution.
“It is undeniable that the satisfaction of basic human needs and the realization of democratic promises of peace and security and the fulfillment of human rights are the basic foundation on which democracy thrives.
“One of the main ingredients in building an inclusive society is to ensure that we strengthen our institutions and be deliberate about the application of economic rights in a way that guarantees peace and social security for citizens.
“Empowering citizens in this regard will raise an army of aware, patriotic and active citizens who can overcome the temptation of vote trading and other corrupt practices in our electoral system.
“We must therefore adopt measures that will completely eliminate the ugly incidence of the commodification of the electoral process,” he said.
Jonathan said Africans must change their political behavior and culture in order to develop nations.
Also read: Jonathan outlines ways to secure peace in the West African sub-region
He claimed that the type of politics practiced in most African countries hindered the desire for growth and development.
The ex-president urged Nigerian politicians and leaders to act in ways that instill hope and patriotism in the country.
Jonathan also asked them to inspire younger generations to believe in the Nigerian mission and put the country first in everything they do.
“We must behave in a way that encourages young people and children to trust their leaders and believe that Nigeria belongs to them.
“In this way, they will consolidate their participation in their country, believing that their country will protect them just as a father in the family unit will protect the interests of his children.
“There should be a plan and deliberate mentoring programs that ensure the transition of power and values from one generation to the next,” he said.
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