Nigeria’s former Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Alhaji Yusuf Maitama Sule, has said sitting president and governors seeking re-election should vacate office before poll is conducted to enable a free and fair process.
Sule said general elections in the country are not credible because incumbent leaders conduct them.
The elder statesman stated this on Wednesday, April 13, while speaking as as conference ambassador at the University of Calabar, during the premier edition of the Faculty of Arts International Conference, April 2016.
Sule said Nigeria and most African states have not gotten democratic governance right because of the failure to incorporate indigenous cultural backgrounds.
“For true leaders to emerge in Nigeria and Africa, those seeking re-election, including the president and governors, must resign their positions and hand over to an interim administration that is non-partisan,” he said at the event themed ‘Globalisation and Democratic Values in Africa- Perspectives in Humanities.’
Sule condemned African leaders for attempting to entrench themselves in office through corruption and other negative tendencies.
He said: “When people are elected into office, they like to perpetuate their stay in office – this is wrong. When people get to power, they only try to enrich themselves – this is not democracy.
“There is no reason why our democracy in Nigeria and other parts of Africa should not be real democracy. Here in Nigeria, there is no reason why the different tribes should bring about disunity. All religions teach the same moral values.”
He urged African leaders to embrace what he referred to as Africracy, which, he said, should evolve elements of local cultural backgrounds instead of the “wholesale western kind of democracy that is currently being practiced in the continent.”
“The democracy we are practising today in Nigeria and Africa is not Afro-centric; it is more of Euro-centric. The reason why we are having problem with our democracy is because we have not fashioned it in line with our cultural backgrounds. The democracy in France, Germany and the United States, are all different,” he added.
Also present at the event were former Senate president, Ken Nnamani, ex-deputy Senate president, Ibrahim Mantu, a former governor of Anambra State, Chief Chukwuemeka Ezeife, former governor of Akwa Ibom State, retired Air Commodore Idongesit Nkanga, among others.
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