Ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo says Nigeria keeps failing as a country because everyone is impatient with democracy.
Obasanjo said the country is not making progress despite being ruled by leaders from various intellectual and professional fields.
He said the leaders need to start making efforts to correct past errors rather than acting like Nigeria is a new country.
Obasanjo spoke on Thursday while delivering a keynote address on ‘Deepening democratic culture and institutions for sustainable development and security in Nigeria’ in Port Harcourt, Rivers capital.
The former president said a nation that fails to “engage in conversations, self-analysis, self-criticism, and regular reading and interaction cannot make meaningful and sustainable progress”.
“It is probably best to state right from the beginning that no two democracies are exactly alike. Democratic practice and institutions are shaped by the specificity of history, socio-political struggles, culture, nature of production and exchange, orientation, social balances and the character of the government and ruling elites,” he said.
“However, citizens that live in democracies share common perspectives, expectations and commitments to the basic tenets of democratic practice. And they may turn out to be beneficiaries or victims depending on the course of the process and practice of democracy.
“Therefore, in this our brief conversation today, my goal is to redirect our minds to where we missed the bus. If we are patient, humble, reflective, and willing, another bus is just around the corner: are we ready to be active passengers?
“Our democracy has gone through twists, dives and turns since political independence and we are all living witnesses to our achievements and failures. The best of our history has been the sustenance of democracy since the transfer of power to an elected government in 1999.
“There is reason to appreciate this part of our history because we have thus far kept the military out of the full and formal control and domination of political power.
“However, there may be reasons to doubt how much lessons the leaders and followers have drawn from our past and how far they are willing to go to deepen, widen and strengthen democracy and democratic practice.
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