In a goodwill message to Nigerians to mark the nation’s 52nd Independence Anniversary released by his media office in Abuja, the former Vice President noted with concern that a sense of nostalgia was leading Nigerians to give up about the present and the future.
Reviewing Nigeria’s democratic journey in the past 13 years, the former Vice President noted that it was understandable for people to be impatient for change because of their harsh experiences.
He, however, noted that the democratic process takes some time to get rooted and in the process mistakes were bound to occur.
According to him, the beauty of democracy lies in the power to replace leaders who have failed to deliver the goods.
The Turakin Adamawa, however, also maintained that good governance and sincerity were essential factors in sustaining people’s faith in the system. He said democracy is a covenant between the leaders and the people and once the elected officials deviate, democracy itself will be affected.
He advised elected leaders at all levels to see power as public trust rather than as a means of self-enrichment and suppressing perceived opponents.
Atiku identified large-scale corruption as the biggest obstacle to making the lives of the people better and that leaders must demonstrate courage and political will to terminate this national cancer.
The former Vice President said the luxurious lifestyles of leaders at the expense of the people could lead to disenchantment with the system.
While maintaining that democracy remains the best system, despite its shortcomings from one polity to another, the former Vice President said the attitude of the leaders would determine how they would be able to carry the citizens along.
He said this depends on their readiness to perceive public office as a call to selfless service rather than an opportunity to line their pockets while poverty crushes the ordinary people.