Jonathan Seeks Reforms To Curb ‘Do-or-Die’ Politics, Election Litigations



Former President Goodluck Jonathan has called for reforms in Nigeria’s political system to curb the “do-or-die” approach to elections and reduce the avalanche of litigation that follows every electoral cycle.

Speaking on Tuesday at a national symposium to mark this year’s Democracy Day in Abuja, Jonathan lamented that the current winner-takes-all system has become inimical to political justice and national unity.

He advised the National Assembly to work out a formula that allows political parties that garner a certain percentage of votes, such as 30%, to have a role in governance, rather than being completely shut out.

“The zero-sum kind of politics, where a winner takes it all has not helped us to foster unity and political justice,” Jonathan stated.

“A political party, for example, that scored up to 30% of votes during an election either at the national or sub-national level should have something to go home with.”

The former president argued that the present practice, where parties that get 40% of votes at state levels end up with nothing, fuels the desperation and “do-or-die” mentality in politics.

This zero-sum approach, he said, is “inimical to consolidating and strengthening our democracy.”

Jonathan noted that the avalanche of litigation arising from dissatisfied parties after each election cycle is “very embarrassing” for Nigeria’s democracy.

He urged President Bola Tinubu-led administration to prioritise building a political system devoid of religious, ethnic, and regional sentiments over the next 25 years.

“You people have to gradually make sure that in the next 25 years, this is diluted if we must have a solid and enduring democracy,” he told Vice President Kashim Shettima, who represented Tinubu at the event.

The former president expressed optimism that Tinubu, being a key actor in the June 12 crisis, would have the capacity to navigate the process of political reforms for an all-inclusive system.

“And I know you and President Bola Ahmed Tinubu who was a key actor in the June 12 crisis will have the capacity to navigate through that process.

“I believe this programme and others commemorating this landmark will point the way to that glorious vision, and prepare the nation for a golden time centenary celebrations of enduring democracy,” he added.

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