By: Joy Odor/Kaduna
The Catholic Archbishop of Abuja, His Eminence, Cardinal John Onaiyekan has said since 1966, Nigeria has been roaming in the bush as far as democracy is concerned, saying since 1960, the country takes two steps forward and five steps backward.
Cardinal Onaiyekan made this disclosure at a press conference organized by the Director of Communications, Reverend Father Patrick Tor Alumuku as part of activities to commemorate the 9th Regional Conference of the Catholic Media Practitioners Association of Nigeria (CAMPAN) with the Theme “Media Ethics and Values in a Democratic Dispensation held on Monday, 28th-to-30th of January, 2019 at SMA House, Jabi Abuja.
He noted that as far as democracy is concerned, the country has not recovered from the pigeonhole of the military rule, pointing out that many of the key actors in the democratic dispensation are still operating within the tenets of military coup plotters.
The Bishop maintained that Nigerians will continue to recycle the same politicians whether they like it or not come 2019 general election, saying that either they recycle those ruling for the past 4 years or they would recycled those who had ruled the country in the past.
According him, until the politicians get out of the military mentality, Nigeria will not make any progress as far as democracy is concerned because of their quest to get power by all means and taking it as a battle of guns.
Speaking further, he said: “I still believe that we would manage to have free, fair and credible elections only if the stakeholders abide by the rules.
“We pass on good wishes to former President Goodluck Jonathan for conceding defeat, you know, Africans don’t concede defeat in their nature, but due to democracy, it means if you lose, you have agreed to step down for the winner and pat on the back of the winner” He said.
Cardinal Onaiyekan who frowned at the political comments of father Mbaka said his utterances were irrational which is not expected of him.
According to him, “Reverend Father Mbaka did not speak under the umbrella of the Catholic”, stressed that he (Mbaka) does not represent the Catholic Church in all that he do.
He therefore called on all Christians and Muslims to maintain peaceful co-existence amongst the diverse denominations and respect one another.