With the successful conduct of the just concluded 2019 general elections, former head of state, General Yakubu Gowon on yesterday said democracy has come to stay in the country.
The former head of state was speaking in Abuja at a book launch, “Elections in Nigeria, the long road to democracy”, written by Prof Abdullahi Shehu.
Gowon said, in spite of the unfortunate delay in the presidential election, Nigerians have shown that they are in love with democracy.
He said the election he monitored in Abuja was peaceful, even though he lamented post election violence in some parts of the country.
Gowon attributed the post election crisis to the desperation of some politicians to get to power by all means and urged politicians to accept the outcome of the election in the interest of the country.
He said Professor Shehu’s book will not only promote peaceful coexistence in the country, but will also show how elections can be conducted peacefully in the country.
Reviewing the 318-page book, a senior fellow, Center for Democracy and Development, Professor Jibrin Ibrahim said the author chronicled democratic happenings in Nigeria up till January this year.
He said the six-chapter book captures the nature, success and failures of President Muhammadu Buhari’s government adding that former president Goodluck Jonathan prepared the ground for Buhari’s election victory in 2015.
In his words, “Buhari didn’t need to do anything to win the election because of the magnitude of corruption and insecurity of former President Jonathan’s administration.
The book, according to Professor Ibrahim accused President Buhari of nepotism and his administration’s difficulty in the economic transformation of the country.
He adviced Buhari to appoint people with competence to ensure performance and rapid growth of the country.
While pointing out that President Buhari’s fight against corruption was selective, the book mentioned that when the Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai was accused of corruption, Buhari did not do anything but suspended the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN). Justice Walter Onnoghen over non declaration of assets.
The author, he said attributed the poor performance of the present administration in some areas to delay in quick response, even as he observed that Buhari came to power when things were extremely bad in the country.
In his speech, former President Olusegun Obasanjo, who was the chairman of the book launch, said election is fundamental to democracy and good governance in the country.