Former President Goodluck Jonathan’s Concerns
Former President of Nigeria, Goodluck Jonathan, has voiced his concerns about the recent wave of coups that have led to the overthrow of democratic governments in some African nations.
Jonathan pointed out that while there may have been jubilations following these military coups, they are unlikely to endure.
Instead, he emphasized that these events underscore the urgent need for African countries to reevaluate and improve their democratic systems.
Democracy for Development
In Jonathan’s perspective, leaders in African nations should prioritize ensuring that democracy translates into meaningful development for their citizens.
This sentiment was expressed during a Democracy Dialogue 2023 event organized by the Goodluck Jonathan Foundation (GJF) in Yenagoa.
Lamenting Democracy’s Impact
Jonathan lamented the unfortunate situation where democracy, in recent years, has contributed to severe crises in some African nations.
He specifically noted challenges related to poverty, unemployment, and the erosion of trust in leadership.
The former Nigerian leader stressed that it is the responsibility of leaders to address these challenges.
They should do so by combating poverty and unemployment, upholding the rule of law, strengthening public institutions, and respecting the rights of the people.
These are essential steps to ensure the survival and success of democracy in Africa.
Democracy and Economic Well-Being
Jonathan summarized his views by highlighting that leadership should be dedicated to translating democracy into economic well-being for the citizens.
He acknowledged the unsettling trend of celebrations following the overthrow of civilian administrations by the military, emphasizing that such moments are fleeting and indicative of the pressing need for democracy reform in Africa.
Addressing the Crisis of Trust
He further underscored that poverty and unemployment have contributed to a crisis of trust among African citizens.
To address this, leaders must adhere to the principles of democracy, uphold the rule of law, respect the rights of the people, strengthen public institutions, and implement policies that positively impact the lives of their constituents.